The slogan "Buy American" makes good sense during a time when America is digging its way out of a recession that took 8 years to create. But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has lost sight of who they used to represent, so they are spending millions to make sure that Americans ignore the slogan, "Buy American." The U.S. Chamber has hired Madison Avenue PR firms to discourage any "Buy American" trend from taking hold with consumers.
When you understand that the U.S. Chamber no longer represents mom-and-pop businesses, that Chamber position makes sense. The organization that use to represent small business interests has morphed into a lapdog that serves a new master. That master is international mega-corporations.
The Chamber went as far as lobbying to exclude "Buy American" provisions in economic stimulus programs. When the clunkers-for-cash program sold 700,000 new automobiles, the Japanese did cartwheels while American auto factory workers stood in unemployment lines.
For decades, the U.S. Chamber has operated below the radar while they promoted campaigns that have pandered to the big money power that controls their organization. They campaigned to promote illegal immigration in order to secure cheap labor. They have campaigned to expand offshore tax haven laws that move 100 billion dollars a year away from America's tax base, while average American taxpayers take up the slack. They lobbied to make it more lucrative for America's mega-corporations to ship jobs overseas. When the Chamber unleashed their lobbying efforts on health care reform, their approach was predictable. They came to the defense of America's largest insurance companies. Those massive insurance companies were terrified of free market competition with a public option plan. The Chamber makes small business the victim. Some small businesses have seen 400% premium increases in their employee health plans in just the last ten years because there are no options.
It doesn't stop there. When big box retail stores come to town to put mom-and-pop small family stores out of business, you will always find the U.S. Chamber's efforts siding with Goliath against David. But in past weeks, Apple and Nike Corporations focused some light on how out of touch the U.S. Chamber leadership has become. Those two giants abandoned the Chamber because of its flat-earth position on climate change. The Chamber is trying to stop legislation directed at lowering greenhouse gases. Their talking points are that severe climate change actually is taking place, but a warmer climate will be healthier for our world's population. Cold is bad, warm is good -- is the psychotic lunacy being pitched by the dinosaurs who call the shots for the U.S. Chamber. That caliber of demented talk is too weird for corporations that have abandoned the Chamber in the last month. The real benefit to all this is that it is becoming difficult for the Chamber to operate unnoticed in its altered reality world. Witless babble is always an attention-getter.
Local chambers are the engines that drive sustainable capitalism because they represent mom-and-pop business. It is that smaller business group that should get a queasy feeling every time they send support money to a U.S. Chamber that is so out of touch with America in 2009.