Made in America Challenge Part Two
Have you been watching the ABC World News Made in America Challenge?
I thought the first night to be quite interesting. Unfortunately, I missed the second night. Last night, they had the big reveal, which showed a pretty well stocked house. Tonight, they are talking price and the things they still couldn’t find to replace in the home.
If you click on the link above, you will find some pretty interesting information, including what companies that might surprise you that no longer produce their goods in the U.S.
Mat made some valid points in his comments from the post on Tuesday, thanks, Mat. My interest isn’t in getting involved in some lost cause, bringing back jobs long gone. As Bruce Springsteen sang, “Foreman says these jobs are going boys, and they ain’t coming back to your hometown.”
But I do think there is validity in trying to see if we can keep the remaining companies from going overseas. We have a huge trade deficit, importing many more goods than we export. I think many Americans, particularly those that rely on whatever manufacturing jobs remain, would be interested in at least keeping that trade deficit from growing any larger.
In many instances, it means only paying a few cents more per product to purchase items Made in America. ABC News reported on Monday night that if we spent only .18 cents more per day, on average, buying Made in America products, 200,000 jobs could be created (I didn’t catch the number of consumers it would take to do that).
We’re all on budgets, but I also know what it would be like if Dale’s large boat production company decided to move the plant overseas. The company laying off 1/3 of their employees in 2008 crippled our town, moving and closing the plant would wipe it out.
If we can stop and ask ourselves each time we make a purchase, even if we don’t make that many “is this made in the U.S. and if not, is there an alternative product I can buy that is?” a neighbor may get to keep their job and a community may go on thriving.
Again, there is also the environmental factor. Shipping something from across the state or even across the country is much more sustainable than shipping it from around the world.
Here are some tips that might make the Made in America Challenge easier for you:
- Check the labels and read them carefully, even your food, many companies that are U.S. based will have the company name and list a city and state. Down further, however, it might say, “Made in China.”
- Check the label, even if it is from a well-known company you “think” may produce in the U.S. For example, Kim commented the other day that she believed her Kitchen Aid mixer is still produced in the U.S. It is, but their food processors, including the one I purchased, is now Made in China. As with our Le Creuset steel stockpot, which we “assumed” was made in France, just like their enamelware cast iron cookware, but was not.
- Comparison shop. If there is a choice, how much more, really, are you paying for an item Made in the U.S. and realistically, can you afford it.
- If you cannot find an item Made in the U.S. in the store, do you need it today (something we always ask ourselves anyway, due to limited space and how much we should really be bringing in), or can it wait until you can do some online research? Is it something that would be a cool retro item and can an early American made counterpart be found in a thrift or antique shop (as Kim pointed out, many old kitchen utensils can still have a long life in your home).
If you’ve watched the series, what has been your reaction? Did you really start looking around your home or think about purchases you were making this week?