Don't Blame Japan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   President Bush's trip to Japan sure stirred up a lot of attention regarding foreign trade. But aside from all the tough talk, Japan bashing and patriotic slogans, I began to think about just how silly the whole controversy was.

The whole argument centered around the fact that Japan can go gung-ho (no pun intended) into our markets, and we are barely allowed to sell a bag of beans over there.When you look at the facts surrounding the issue, you see that if anyone deserves to be bashed, it's America.

First of all, this entire "trade imbalance" thing is ridiculous. Japan happens to be our second largest trade partner. Our economy is already limping, what good will it do us to shoot ourselves in the other foot by antagonizing one of our biggest customers?

Second, Prime Minister Miazawa was right when he stated that American workers are lazy and want to get paid for nothing. Sure, there are lots of bright talented workers out there who work hard, but it's the lazy ones who drag quality and efficiency down. In a way, the system for blue-collar workers is partly to blame. They're taught that they don't have to improve their work habits because the labor unions will be there to protect them. Companies would rather keep poor workers than go through long, expensive court battles.

Third, we can't compete with Japan because we haven't cost effectiveness. Until we learn to produce goods at as minimal a cost as possible, we won't be turning a maximum profit.

The most obvious reason is quality: American goods just don't have it. So whose fault is that? It certainly isn't Japan's. I don't think it's un-American not to buy American goods. It's just a matter of not wanting to waste money on products that will fall apart. Besides, if Americans don't want to buy goods made in their own country, what makes us think the Japanese will buy them, even if they open up their markets?

Instead of acting like a bunch of sore losers, we should see what makes Japan so successful and try to follow its example. It is much too easy to point the finger at a "bad guy" than it is to take responsibility for our own shortcomings. Instead of taking this easy cop-out, let's try to improve our products and make them more attractive to both foreign and American consumers. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback