Made in America?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by rainplace, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    I got one of those emails that I hate to get. The sort of email that one gets that gets forwarded to a gazillion people and contains questionable statistics. But this one got me thinking even if the person who forwarded it to me never gave it another thought after they hit the forward button. What would happen if every American bought only items made in the U.S.A for one month?

    It made me wonder about our economy. It made me wonder about jobs in the United States and who's really to blame for American job loss. I started thinking about our desire to have more things instead of a few. I talked to the husband and he looked at our T.V. and said, "Could we have bought this if we were only buying American made products?" I did a search and I could not come up with an American TV manufacturer. One has to exist doesn't it? If not, where do those people work now that use to make them? How many jobs were lost because people had to have not only the T.V. but entertainment center, the sound system, the cable, the DVD player, etc and thus looked for the cheapest out there? Maybe it's not really like that, but I'm not convinced that it wasn't our own greed to have more that is the true cause of American job loss.

    Why are we blaming politicians and wall street, when collectively we have enormous buying power?

    A quick trip through some drawers starting in the bathroom. I randomly pulled out 4 items. Scunci hair ties (made in China) DenTek Floss Picks (made in China) Equate toothbrushes (made in China) Sensodyne toothpaste (says made in USA).

    It seems simplistic that buying American could create American jobs, but this month I will do my best to only buy American. Not delay buying things that are not made here, but to actively pursue American made products and spend my dollars here.

    My husband and I are having a great debate regarding this subject. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the subject too. I'm off to work and won't get back to this till late tonight or tomorrow.
  2. KFox

    KFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    I try to buy everything that is "Made in USA" labeled. My husband and I have been doing this for about 5 years.

    We started by going online and looking for websites that list products made here. I will e-mail companies and ask. When purchasing our chicken feeders, I contacted several companies until I found one made in the USA.

    There are websites for jeans if you can't locate things locally. My husband has been wearing RoundHouse jeans for years and they last three times as long as cheaper jeans that are imported from Mexico.

    There are also websites that list products manufactured by union companies. That isn't an absolute must in our household, but even if an item is imported and then packaged or whatever by workers here, it helps.

    I've never pushed my way of doing things on anyone or forwarded any e-mails about it, I just do it. I also try to buy all of my produce from farmer markets and not at the grocery store. Even there, it's best to check labels.
  3. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    Manufacturing jobs in this country are a dying breed, and this must change. It is the single biggest reason we are where we are economically.

    I have a manufacturing job, and hope to help to create more.

    There are multiple issues associated with the discussion of buying Made in America, the issue of offshoring, govenment policy, and multiple economic effects caused by these practices.

    OUR government really needs to get its act together to create an environment conducive to the creation of manufacturing jobs.

    Tax Breaks for major corporations as a benefit of offshoring needs to be flipped on its axis and make it a tax break for Made in America with an added tariff for bringing goods into this country.

    Small business incentives will be required as a part of this effort, to enable those with a will, to succeed in setting up shop to produce those items that you mentioned (like television sets) that are currently not manufactured in the U.S.

    We as consumers are equally responsible for the impact our buying practices have. However, when considering the actions of Govt and Corporate America it makes it hard to survive, so those extra few cents / dollars saved when buying cheap imports seems to help to make ends meet.

    Historically, Made in America products were a higher quality item, manufactured to last longer, so over time, the cost curve is actually less. I am unsure if we as a nation can still produce a higher quality product, or if the competative environment will cause lesser quality in items made in america, who knows what the cost curves would look like going forward.

    Manufacturing Jobs support, create, require additional jobs. If I were to build a new factory to make television sets, then that would create jobs in architecture, construction trades, government activities in building department, road crews, electrical service, phone, etc etc. When my new factory is up and running, and employing hundreds, the local housing market will see a positive impact, service jobs will see an uptick as all of those new employees will require hair cuts, dental work, health care, groceries, etc. Assume that all empoyees in this new venture are hired from the existing populace, and unemployement rates plummet, aid programs require less funding, new cars are purchased, or used cars as the case may be, and this goes on and on across all aspects of life.

    Assume the new factory created 200 jobs, there are many many more jobs created to support those 200 jobs, if not created, then saved.

    The sad part of all of this is that there really is very little that can be purchased that is actually made in america, take the challenge, look at all of the belongings in your home, look hard, what percentage can you find? 10%, 20%?

    "Made in America" should be looked upon as a badge of honor.


    Like I said earlier, I work in manufacturing, I have the challenge and pleasure to be in the position of trying to hire employees.

    There are an incredible number of persons from the younger generations that want absolutely nothing to do with manufacturing.

    I find this issue to be greatly disturbing. Are our children being taught that manufacturing jobs are a bad thing? Where do they form this opinion? School? Parenting? Social interaction? This is a serious issue. I was raised in a manner where I learned that hard work was a good thing, busting butt all day to produce something leaves me with a sense of satisfaction. I learned much of this from doing piece work, bust butt, and you make more money. I see young emplloyees with a sense of entitlement. I should get paid well without having to bust butt, I deserve it.

    Me thinks you dont deserve it, you earn it.

    Rambling again.............

    This is a very complex issue that will take all aspects of society to team together to make it work.

    How can I buy American if there are no American Made products?

    Government need to set policy changes that focus on number one, make it here, global trade is a wonderful thing, for our competition. I do not condone a fully protectionist position, however I do condone a position where America comes first.

    Corporate America needs to invest, they are sitting on billions in cash. Build factories, put the population to work. Think long term, not this years income statement.

    The American Public needs to invest in American Products. Buy American where you can, start a business when you can't. Those extra dollars and cents you spend to buy american, will come back to you in ways that are not easily measured.

    I have rambled enough.............

  4. Dunkopf

    Dunkopf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2010
    Kiowa, Colorado
    Quote:Bravo. We have trade policies mandating trade with foreign countries. The question is why does Korea only have to buy 1 car for every 10 that we buy? Who made these policies and why? I remember over in Germany. Jeans in the commissary were rationed because there was a black market on the economy for them. Why? Because they were made in America.

    It is difficult to buy American. The list is pretty minimal.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It is a complicated issue. If you can afford to buy "Made in America" and can find what you want, please do. At one time, if you bought a specific Toyota, you were buying more "Made in America" than if you bought a Ford. I don't know if that is still true or not. If you can afford to buy things good for the environment and can actually figure out what that is, please do. But a lot of people can't afford to do that. I do think that buying quality is cheaper in the long run, but where it is made is no longer a good indication of that. I'm an engineer by training and experience and I am often embarrassed at what is engineered in America. We can do better, but "management" often elects not to for profit reasons. And a pet peeve (or thought) of mine, is that people have high expectations of what they think they need and expect to have it, when they really don't. But that is another issue.

    The world is round. A lot of people seem to have a problem with that concept. It is a global economy. A lot of the businesses, no matter where they may be based, are global corporations with a responsibility to their shareholders to make a profit. As competitive as the global economy is, the difference between profit or loss can be pretty thin. They have to look at the global picture, not one with a parochial country based view.

    One of the natural resources of certain countries has been a lot of cheap labor. I'm amazed with transportation costs that it is sometimes cheaper to manufacture certain things in China, India, Indonesia or wherever and then ship it, but that is often the case. And that is a problem that is facing the developing world. As they develop, those cheap labor natural resources want a better wage. China particularly could be heading for a big problem.

    Do government policies affect jobs? Of course they do. I've seen some pretty big projects that would have created several American jobs develop or not be developed because certain tax breaks did or did not apply. But then we have certain international agreements that limit what we can do because we want to stop other countries from "dumping" their products here or that might prevent us from selling our goods in their country. Why do we have the 10 to 1 agreement with South Korea? I don't know. What other concessions did we get with that agreement? Or is this a way to limit their imports and force them to open up their markets to any of our cars? Maybe 10 to 1 is a lot better than 100 to 1.

    Then you have the current political climate here that makes any tax breaks for big business that might help keep jobs here political poison. This does not mean that I think all tax breaks for big corporations are good for our country. Some loopholes need to be closed, but it sometimes gets complicated figuring out which ones those are. Determining the actual consequences takes more than a 15 second sound bite. And anybody that undertakes a serious discussion of that are going to be boring, most Americans don't seem to have the attention span or interest to really try to understand, and any politician or corporate executive that does try to explain will find 15 secong sound bites taken out of context and exploited by the opposition. With so much information available on the internet, anybody can find statistics and information to reinforce their hairbrained ideas and help keep their mind closed. As I recently read in an editorial in an actual papaer newspaper, true wisdom probably starts with doubting that what you think is really correct.

    Anyway, enough of my soap box. It is complicated and we don't make it any easier to really understand.
  6. zippitydooda

    zippitydooda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2010
    Ottawa, Ohio
    Quote:I work for a Chevrolet-Buick dealership (GM) and it makes me SO MAD to know that while our products are assembled in the US (most of them, but some are put together in Canada or Mexico), over 90% of the parts are made elsewhere. Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Korea are where most of the parts are made.

    Go to Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, Safeway, Costco, Sams Club..... LOOK for Made in America. YOU WONT FIND THEM EASILY.

    The problem with buying American made for most families is purely financial. If you have XX amount of money to spend on 4 people, you look for the most bang for your buck. Instead of buying Johnnie & Julie one nice pair of shoes each, you can buy them each a pair of shoes, a pair of pants, a shirt, a coat and underwear for the same amount of money as the one pair of shoes by buying foreign made. It truly stinks, but that is where our economy has gotten us.

    Our country has SO MANY areas that need improvement, it is ridiculous. For instance, I think that the politicians should have to pay for their own health care and their own transportation and related costs. I think that lobbyists should be banned (why should any one group be able to throw money out for votes?), and that the welfare system be completely revamped to support itself and encourage people to get OUT of the system and help people become taxpaying citizens.

    Buying American will make a dent and I intend to do my part. Thanks for this thread. It is interesting. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  7. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    The other thing going on is how much of a consumer society we have become. We buy new clothes every season, replace the car every five years, update the kitchen and bath every ten years, buy new consumer electronics, have tons of kitchen gadgets etc. We would, as a society, rather have the shoes, pants shirts and coat than wear the same pair of shoes for 5-10 years; much less a shirt or pair of pants. Cheap and disposable trumps long term quality in this country. This goes for everything from plastic grocery store bags to cars and homes.

    Additionally, much of our food comes from somewhere else. While I eat a great deal of locally produced food, I would be hard pressed to eat local grain, oils, coffee, tea or spices. There isn't much fruit that tolerates this climate, and any fish comes from somewhere else. And people want their food to be cheap. People want cheap farmed Atlantic salmon rather than wild caught Pacific salmon. Cheap store chicken trumps home or sustainably farmed chicken, and people want to have tomatoes year round.

    While I support local businesses, and buy American made items; to make "American Made" have any meaning means completely changing the entire American economy and mindset. I do not see this as a real possibility.
  8. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    Part of the problem is the greenies in this country want it to be a park and pass strangleholds on corps that force them to move just as some states force business out of the area for a whole host of reasons.
  9. Dunkopf

    Dunkopf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2010
    Kiowa, Colorado
    Quote:Great post
  10. KenK

    KenK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    For the men that wear dress clothes to work or church, look at O'Connell's. Very nice family run business. A high percentage of what they sell is U.S. made.

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