What If We Only Bought American Tech?

About the author
This thread is closed for comments
37 comments
    Your comment
  • allenpan
    i think the article will be more ideal if "american tech" means no OEM from other asian company.... the LCD TV, i bet the panel is LG or samsug, eventho it is american company does not mean american tech...
  • You seem to only mention American based companies...where do the parts come from for the Vizio TV? Are the panels made in America as well...or is the entire unit built overseas and just sold via an American corporation? What about the circuitry, chips, etc. for all of these items? Just because you buy from an American company...really doesn't mean the money is staying here.
  • allenpan
    dell = compal or quanta ...so not really american tech..
  • snarfies
    Not a well thought-out article. Of all of these items 0.0% are manufactured 100% in... hell, in the American hemisphere. The parts, probably 90% of them if not more, are imports.
  • Codesmith
    There are very few products that can be truly said to be made in any single country. The raw materials and component parts are likely to be sourced from dozens of countries.

    You could do a % break down on where the money goes. What country gets what % of taxes, % of profits, % of wages.

    I really don't think Made in X has much meaning anymore in today's global economy.
  • jah_33
    Russian, American it doesn't matter its all made in Taiwan ;)
  • jah_33
    Russian American it doesn't matter its all made in Taiwan
  • cablechewer
    'Buy American' in the current environment is of very limited usefulness (beyond political grandstanding). Sure if you are buying a piece of hand-crafted wood furniture you can probably be sure everything in that piece is American. Buying a loaf of bread sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup? Almost certainly American. Any other product? Unlikely. Too many pieces are sourced elsewhere.

    I would love to see a breakdown of where the money goes from that Dell laptop. Of course when you break it down you have to decide where to stop. Do you stop at Dell's suppliers or do you trace all the components right back to when they were dug up from the ground? :)

    Unfortunately there is such a huge gap between "Buy ", "Made in Country X" and "Assembled in Country X". How many people will keep them straight and understand the differences...
  • jkeelsnc
    While I like buying american when it comes to technology very little of it is actually made here anymore and especially not the various low level components like circuit boards, microchips, etc. Most of that stuff is made in China. Also, computer themselves are often still at least partly made in the pacific region. I would love to see production of these things brought back to the US. However, there are two problems. The cost of doing business in manufacturing in the US is too high and also a lack of qualified and high skilled technical workers to work in a microchip production facility (although training and education can be done.) Mainly, the business environment is too expensive in the US anymore in order to be competitive with the chinese for production. Honestly, what chance is there that we can match China's production costs? Almost none, unless we all want to move into a cardboard hut with a ditch for a sewer and work 16 hours per day at less than one dollar per hour.
  • jkeelsnc
    Honestly, it makes more sense to buy what fits your needs. If that means samsung, sony, LG, etc then so be it. Personally, I will not buy Lenovo though. IBM should have found a way to at least keep it has a domestic corporation instead of selling the whole PC business to Lenovo.
  • hellwig
    Corporations are responsible for the poor state of American goods these days. Whirlpool was sold to China, IBM sold off their PC division to Lenovo. Call Dell tech support, and you get someone in India. You can buy Nike shoes, but everyone knows those are made in sweat-shops in south-east asia. Coprorations did this because they saw using American labor was too expensive.

    Now its the average consumers problem for also shopping overseas? Why do multi-billion dollar companies get to take advantage of foreign labor, laying off american workforces, but those same companies get to try to guilt us into buying American instead of a more affordable foreign option? I think more people would buy American technology if that still meant American workers were getting paid. Instead, if Dell makes a profit off a LCD panel fabbed in Taiwan, whats the point?
  • danimal_the_animal
    I have ben burned buy EVERYONE I bought products from this past year that were made in america....faulty design.....obvious bad design yet the company sells it anyway knowing it wont work.....

    now it seems that over the seas companies (except japan) quality is degrading also due to the economy.

    make sure you buy from someone that will accept returns...and stay away from ebay for a while as bunk stuff is showing up with no way to get a refund...
  • Nossy
    Define buying american? Does it mean we buy things that are made in the US keeping american (US) employed? Or does it mean the company's headquarter is based in USA? Those two are different. For instance it doesn't keep job in the US if all a computer company buy all the parts from Taiwan (Most of the electrical) and Customer Service and Technical help is outsourced to Pakistan. That means only the bigshot and admin gets a job while most the graduates who just came out of school with a IT education is screwed.

    Does Mexico and Canada counts as "American"? Cuz some Chevy cars are made in Mexico and Canada but can still be claim as American made because Mexico and Canada is still in North America. Also, Toyota's headquarter is based in Japan, but some of their cars are 80% assembled in the US. That's more "american" to me in my eyes.
  • FYI, Leica is owned by a US Company called Danaher Corporation. Would that count them as American even if they are technically overseas?
  • scooterlibby
    "Buy American" is just protectionist claptrap that does not benefit America, or anyone else, as a whole. I say this as an American with basic knowledge regarding international trade. People seem to forget if you punish other countries with tariffs, import quotas, etc. they will respond in kind, screwing your domestic exporting industries. Everyone loses. I'll buy whatever is the best value, not restrict myself to economic ideologies that conveniently fit onto bumper stickers.
  • bardia
    "buy American" campaigns are as bad as the 100% American ones from many decades ago. It fundamentally misunderstands the point of being an American... protectionist, racist, what's the difference really? At least racists don't *** up our economy.

    PS. I'm having a hard time fitting into Obama's new USSA. Time to have a Tea Party I guess.
  • NuclearShadow
    I'm sure we could live off of purely American tech. If our business went purely to American based companies this would give them the financial resources to develop faster. So basically it would suck at first but could very well become the best the world has to offer. This would also greatly help create jobs within America and thus help the economy.

    Of course it would only be a matter of time before the companies would get greedy and figure that it would be cheaper to move out the of nation so they could hire cheap labor that will accept any amount of pay and demand no workers rights nor benefits.
  • FLGibsonJr
    The economic engine of the United States of America was built on protective tariffs which were put in place by our founding fathers, and specifically Alexander Hamilton our first Secretary of the Treasury. His idea, and our historic policy was to put protective tariffs on foreign manufactured goods while allowing the import of raw commodities. He knew then what is still true today, a strong manufacturing base was key to prosperity and national power. His and our founding fathers policies led directly to creating the greatest economic power in the world. We began to dismantle that policy just recently in historical terms, 170 years after our founding, just after WWII and then much more completely in the Reagan administration and subsequent administrations, Republican and Democratic alike. The result has been probably the greatest economic crumbling in the history of the world. A once mighty economic power now lays in shambles, a mere shadow of itself, with an economy that according to a Noble Prize Economist more resembles a banana republic than a it does a modern advanced economy.

    And to think that it was all self-inflicted and wonder how we allowed it to happen, but then again you read some of the above comments denigrating protective trade policies, and it makes you think, what a nation of fools.

    Regards,
  • bardia
    NuclearShadowI'm sure we could live off of purely American tech. If our business went purely to American based companies this would give them the financial resources to develop faster. So basically it would suck at first but could very well become the best the world has to offer. This would also greatly help create jobs within America and thus help the economy. Of course it would only be a matter of time before the companies would get greedy and figure that it would be cheaper to move out the of nation so they could hire cheap labor that will accept any amount of pay and demand no workers rights nor benefits.


    You have absolutely no concept of economics do you... "outsourcing" is just another name for "beneficial trade".

    Think about it, if outsourcing is bad, then why should we do it between states too? Between cities? Between families? I know, everyone should just make everything they need by hand! That'd be great, then later we could go out and hunt wild boars and pick berries.

    What is wrong with schools these days...
  • bardia
    FLGibsonJr,
    the side of the story you're conveniently leaving out is that prior to the estate tax and income tax, tarifs amounted to the vast majority of tax revenue, to the tune of about 80%.

    This lack of a tax burden on the domestic side easily made up for the inherently damaging nature of tariffs, especially in an age when shipping was already very expensive.
  • andy_newton
    This article is biased.

    The physical company HQ just being in the US does not make its product also being an all American.

    Also, the author forgot to mention that both Dell Adamo & Lenoxo X300 are both more expensive than Macbook Air and come with much slower DDR2 integrated graphics card.

    If you notice, lately Macbook Air is the world's thickest notebook. How can a .7" adamo is thinner than a .76" rear & .16" front Macbook Air? Did the author even spend the time to take the average thickness measurement?

    When you're traveling as much as I do, you'll know that it is not the thickest point that counts. Rather, the average thickness so you can avoid giving it too much stress from your other gadgets in your bag.

    Don't get me wrong though, I hate Macbook Air!!! It's glossy, only has 1 USB and no FW but unfortunately, it is still the thinnest and among the thinnest, it is still the fastest. I can't wait for lenovo to beat its nVidia 9400 because when it does, I'll get one.

    Speaking of all American laptop, how come Dell has to show up many times? Is it that hard to discuss an HP and Apple? Or Toms guide is not aware that HP has some pictures posted in its website and that Apple is also American?

    And how about the mac wannabe: Psystar? That's also American. And how about Systemax? Even though their products are crappy, the company has been campaigning itself for being "all american" for ages. Not to mention that tigerdirect.com, its subsidiary, is very well known as a good source for PC parts, directly competing with newegg.com.

    You need to do more research before posting articles on tomsguide so you don't end up misguiding.

    -ND
  • andy_newton
    This article is biased.

    The physical company HQ just being in the US does not make its product also being an all American.

    Also, the author forgot to mention that both Dell Adamo & Lenoxo X300 are both more expensive than Macbook Air and come with much slower DDR2 integrated graphics card.

    If you notice, lately Macbook Air is the world's thickest notebook. How can a .7" adamo is thinner than a .76" rear & .16" front Macbook Air? Did the author even spend the time to take the average thickness measurement?

    When you're traveling as much as I do, you'll know that it is not the thickest point that counts. Rather, the average thickness so you can avoid giving it too much stress from your other gadgets in your bag.

    Don't get me wrong though, I hate Macbook Air!!! It's glossy, only has 1 USB and no FW but unfortunately, it is still the thinnest and among the thinnest, it is still the fastest. I can't wait for lenovo to beat its nVidia 9400 because when it does, I'll get one.

    Speaking of all American laptop, how come Dell has to show up many times? Is it that hard to discuss an HP and Apple? Or Toms guide is not aware that HP has some pictures posted in its website and that Apple is also American?

    And how about the mac wannabe: Psystar? That's also American. And how about Systemax? Even though their products are crappy, the company has been campaigning itself for being "all american" for ages. Not to mention that tigerdirect.com, its subsidiary, is very well known as a good source for PC parts, directly competing with newegg.com.

    You need to do more research before posting articles on tomsguide so you don't end up misguiding.

    -ND
  • Tomsguiderachel
    Wow, this article sure brought a lot of interesting perspectives and philosophies out of the woodwork. Thanks for all of your comments. To be clear, for the purposes of this article we defined "American" as a product whose parent company has its headquarters located in America. We made no claims about the location of manufacturing, the sourcing of components, etc. Especially if the company is traded on a U.S. stock market, we feel that this meets our criteria for these purposes. I'm glad so many of you expressed interest in an article that breaks down a gadget into multiple components, which can be sourced to many other countries. We will consider doing a story like this in the future.

    Rachel Rosmarin
    Editor of Tom's Guide
  • pocketdrummer
    The internet: American Tech.

    Sorry, it'll take a lot more than TVs and Cameras to make up for that one. Keep trying Eastern Hemisphere. lol

    (couldn't help myself...)