The Buy Irish Scam

The Buy Irish Scam

on Jun, 24 2011

From the official Guaranteed Irish website:

"Shoppers know that when they buy a product or service featuring the guaranteed Irish logo they are supporting Irish companies and safeguarding Irish jobs. That makes it an important, powerful, device"

The implication in the above statement is that there is a moral imperative to buy Irish - that it supports Irish jobs.  It's funny, I always understood that when I act as a consumer - I do best when I purchase either the cheaper or better quality product regardless of it's origin.  I thought the role of the producer was to produce either the cheaper or better quality product and bring it to me.  The producers that are best at meeting my wants are rewarded to continue by receiving my money.  The producers that fail go out of business - whether they're local or foreign.

So the question is, should I forgo my personal optimal satisfaction to "safeguard Irish jobs", even if the Irish product is inferior?

Absolutely not.

Surely exposing Irish companies to the full competitive force of the global market guarantees me cheaper and higher quality products.  I don't want to "safeguard Irish jobs" - I want to safeguard good businesses and good products (and at great prices I might add).  What's next?  Perhaps we should allow full-time staff to sign on the dole as well!


The Irish people have come to hold word "employment" in the highest reverence.  All a politician has to do is mention the word "jobs" and they're elected as fast as you can say "Aran Sweater".  In the real world however, employment is the reward for productivity and profit.  Rewarding a person a job simply for the sake having one is just condescending (and quite destructive). 

The plea from local businesses to "support Irish companies" amounts to nothing more than common begging.  What they are really saying is "Please keep buying my products so I can keep my prices high and quality low".  If this was not the case, there would be no reason to ask!  If the local products are so much better, won't people end up buying them anyway?

We are also told that we need to keep our money here at home.  Purchasing power is very valuable!  I don't believe we necessarily need to make any efforts at keeping money in the country. We do however want to keep wealth - which is entirely different to money.  Money represents the stage before wealth, whereas wealth itself is whatever any individual puts real value in (like a car, a home, electricity, health, etc.)


That's not to say people don't value money itself and want to hang onto it, as with a savings account.  But people don't value money as much as they value stuff - that's why they're always giving it away in exchange.


Maybe more importantly however, is the more money that goes abroad, the more purchasing power foreign countries have to buy exports from us.  Imagine the rich pool of potential customers all around the world that are unlocked when we open trade with other countries.


Conclusion, don't feel bad when you pick a foreign product over a local one because you prefer it.  It's your job when you're a consumer to buy what you desire, and the producers job as your servant to meet your desires - or get out of the way for someone else to do it instead.

Last modified on on Dec, 29 2011

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