"There’s no reason why the American flag, the very symbol of our nation and the men and women who have bravely served in the armed forces, can’t be made right here at home. With Ohio companies proudly producing the American flag, taxpayer funds shouldn’t be used to purchase flags from other countries."
This is part of an email I received from Senator Sherrod Brown's office today. Taxpayer funds should not be spent on imported American flags. That is un-American.
But if the government is only going to buy American made flags taxpayers should be made aware of the costs. I assume that since Sen. Brown thinks there needs to be a law forcing the taxpayers to buy American made flags that they are more expensive. Otherwise they would be bought without a law. So taxpayers are going to be spending more money on flags. This is money that cannot be spent on other things. That is called opportunity cost, and it has unseen effects.
If taxpayers spend an extra $1 on a flag to "... honor our veterans and support our manufacturers" then that $1 cannot be spent on an ice cream cone from McDonald's, a cone made by an American worker. This decreases the demand for ice cream cones, or any of the other goods or services that could have been bought with that dollar. Spending more on American flags does not help American workers at the expense of foreign workers; it helps the American workers who make flags at the expense of all of the other workers, many of whom are Americans, that make other things.
Whenever the government uses taxpayer money to buy something that they could have bought cheaper somewhere else they divert dollars away from all of the other things that could have been purchased with that money. This decreases the demand for those now un-purchased products and harms the workers who make those products.
Dollars are scarce which means that if we use them to buy one thing we can't use them to buy another. Spending more on flags is not a net gain to the taxpayers, it is a net loss. If taxpayers are able to buy the imported flag for $1 less than the American made flag they can have a flag and an ice cream cone. Instead all they will have is a flag. How is that a good thing?