Sorry, but I just couldn’t resist a play on words for this story!
The U.S. government is dropping an Alabama condom supplier in favor of overseas manufacturers for its condom distribution program which provides contraceptives to poor nations to slow the spread of AIDS.
The decision could cost 300 Americans their jobs, the Alabama business has said.
Many are asking whether it’s right for the government to make decisions that could affect American jobs while in the middle of doling out stimulus money to save the economy.
It’s certainly an unfortunate twist.  But many of the same people who are complaining about the stimulus plan itself are basing their complaints on the cost they say we’ll be stuck paying back for generations.
So how can they complain about the government making a decision to save expenses?
And in an otherwise-normal economy, would they say a word?
I get the whole “Buy American” angle, of course, and whenever I can, I try.  But if the American-made products don’t cut the mustard, in terms of quality or price, then the very free market system we pretend to embrace so strongly most of the time dictates that we should look elsewhere for a cheaper and better alternative.
The article also notes that the American company has had a somewhat less than exemplary delivery record as well.  And it may well have been those problems that prompted the government to start looking for more cost-effective alternatives in the first place.  That makes it all the more sad for those workers:  their company’s performance sealed its own fate.
Maybe the other suppliers will raise their prices.  Maybe then America will just switch back to buying American.