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'Kicking the Consumer'

April 28, 1985

Maybe I and millions of other Americans are wrong about Japanese cars. Maybe the only thing better about them is the advertising used to sell them. Maybe I don't realize that American cars today are built just as well as Japanese cars. But this is not the point. The point is that as a free individual in a free country I should be able to spend my money on whatever I wish without having to pay any import tax.

Economically speaking, if I were allowed to buy a Japanese car at its true price, say $8,000, instead of the government-imposed price of, say $9,000, I would have $1,000 left. With this money I could buy, for example, a washer and dryer for my family. This would not only make my family's life better (i.e. raise their standard of living) but it would also provide jobs for the washer/dryer industry. Or perhaps I would just put the money in the bank where it would add to the money available to be loaned and thus lower interest rates. If these kinds of actions were multiplied by the millions of dollars spent on import duty taxes by millions of other Americans, the economy of the United States would certainly improve.

Some of us are auto workers, some of us are farmers and some of us work in other industries. But ultimately we are all consumers. And consumers, above all others, should be protected. This is done when we are allowed to buy what we believe is the highest quality product at the lowest possible price regardless of who made the product or where it came from.

GARY SIEGEL

Los Angeles

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