When I shop, I spend as much time reading packaging labels for the country of origin on a product as a weight watcher does reading the nutrition information. It seems most common goods are not made in the USA anymore. Its hard work to try and buy American Made products. What can we do?
It breaks down into reality vs. luxury. I will explain both.
REALITY: How hard is it to make a pen, a sandwich bag or a binder for photographs in the USA? Take a look in a large retail store and it seems it must be very hard. I just found my usual Ziplock bags are now made in Taiwan. If I didnt happen to read that a box of Target Brand sandwich bags are currently made in the USA at my mom's last week, I would be in quite a predicament! The reality of these items which we use up and discard multiples of year round add up to a lot of money going to foreigners undercutting Americans. The company may still be located in the USA but they are not paying Americans to make them. You may be supporting the pockets of high ranking USA company owners, but you are not sharing any wealth with our neighbors and fellow hard working middle class Americans. A lot of them lost their jobs when these companies started outsourcing. We need to keep industry in the USA and tell these companies we will not settle for their products until they bring industry back. I frequently call a company or email them when I find they are suddenly making these goods in another country. I cannot do it all by myself so I challenge you to make AT LEAST one call a month to complain about this situation. Perhaps if enough of us did and pledged to do without until it changes we may make headway. Go buy a tupperware if you cannot find one made here. Quit buying foreign plastic bags altogether if you have too until they can't sell a single box.
LUXURY: How many times have you dreamed of owning that Lamborghini Murcielago? If you have the money to shell out for a $150,000 or more sports car and thats what you like GO FOR IT! I would not complain about a person having the opportunity to get their hands on a dream car like that and buying it. Take the time to think about this... Toyota makes a nice truck. Honda makes a reliable car. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY TO BUY A DREAM CAR, CHOOSE THE MOST AMERICAN MADE CAR POSSIBLE. The Toyota truck and Honda car are the same as a Chevy or Ford if the purpose is to just drive it everyday. When I am at an intersection in one of my Grand Ams (I own two) beside a VW or a KIA, I get to thinking whats the point, its a twenty to thirty thousand dollar car. Its not all about the looks of a car or the status of the operator/owner unless it is worth a hundred thousand bucks. Time to get real people, the more we keep buying foreign the more opportunity they have to compete and bring this country down. Sure there are so many foreign parts in a car now a days, but its our friends and neighbors building the GMs and Fords we need to support. Foreign cars are being built in our country, employing Americans. They make a living, but in the end, our money is leaving the country. There is more to disucuss about the fortune of owning luxury items than cars, but this is just one eye sore we see on our roads everyday I want to point out.
I am guilty myself. I own a Kawasaki ZX6R (which I love) and have been riding metric bikes for about 6 years now. I race them too and the only bikes really in my hobby are foreign. I guarantee the day I am in the market for a cruiser, I will take any american made bike over a foreign bike. I needed a pair of jeans for work. Went to Sears, every pair was made in Mexico or some other country. Second time I wore the Levi's I bought there the darn pocket ripped off the back when I was putting my tape measure in it. I used AMERICAN tape to hold them together til I got home and threw them out. A guy at work told me where he found his American Made jeans and now I shop there strictly.
So when it comes to reality vs. luxury, millionaires are seeking the luxury of the real foreign status symbols. The majority of us living in reality have the buying power as a whole to make a difference. Take the time to read a label or two and find the American Made product. It might cost a few cents or a buck more, but you'll survive. Sacrifice a night out a month by spending the little bit extra on some real American products if your budget is that tight. I do and it is not that hard. Find ways around foreign goods by being smart or creative. Ive made my own stuff (laundry bags, photograph books, furniture etc...) with American componants. During the holidays I dont buy Chinese. I buy you American Made presents or make them myself. People still like gifts which arent Chinese! In the end I hope to make a difference but will I ever live to see an American Revolution to bring back the industry we lost?