A friend recently sent me an email about a "Buy American" challenge starting August 1st and going this whole month. Yes, I'm a little late getting the news! Now, I have tried, to some extent, to buy American products when I can but have not put a tremendous amount of effort into it. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit I have not tried harder. However, after reading the email I decided that now's the time. With things going the way they are economically and every way else there are just no excuses left, for me anyway. We harp and harp about buying local meats and produce from our local farmers (and that's great) but nobody says much about buying other American made products. A lot of people even have the gall to say you can't do it. You wouldn't have anything if you limited yourself to only American made. While it is true that these products may be harder to find, and cost a little more, they are out there. We just have to get off our lazy ass and find them. And, it's not a bad thing in my book that it would cut down on the amount of cheap crap that the majority of Americans drag into their homes every day.
Here is the gist of what the email said: (Now, I didn't see this Diane Sawyer show that is mentioned, so I don't know how much of that is true, nor some of the other statistics quoted, but I think it is a good challenge none the less).
Did y'all see Diane Sawyer's special report? They removed ALL items from a typical, middle class family's home that were not made in the USA .
There was hardly anything left besides the kitchen sink. Literally. During the special they showed truckloads of items - USA made - being brought in to replace everything and talked about how to find these items and the difference in price etc..
It was interesting that Diane said if every American spent just $64 more than normal on USA made items this year, it would create something like 200,000 new jobs!
FOR EXAMPLE THE "OUR FAMILY" BRAND OF THE MANDARIN ORANGES SAYS RIGHT ON THE CAN 'FROM CHINA '
I WAS SHOCKED SO FOR A FEW MORE CENTS I BOUGHT THE LIBERTY GOLD BRAND OR THE DOLE SINCE IT'S FROM CALIF.
Are we Americans as dumb as we appear --- or --- is it that we just do not think. The Chinese, knowingly and intentionally, export inferior and even toxic products and dangerous toys and goods to be sold in American markets.
70% of Americans believe that the trading privileges afforded to the Chinese should be suspended.
Why do you need the government to suspend trading privileges? DO IT YOURSELF, AMERICA !!
Simply look on the bottom of every product you buy, and if it says 'Made in China ' or 'PRC' (and that now includes Hong Kong ), simply choose another product, or none at all. You will be amazed at how dependent you are on Chinese products, and you will be equally amazed at what you can do without.
Who needs plastic eggs to celebrate Easter? If you must have eggs, use real ones and benefit some American farmer. Easter is just an example. The point is do not wait for the government to act. Just go ahead and assume control on your own.
THINK ABOUT THIS: If 200 million Americans each refuse to buy just $20 of Chinese goods, that's a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor...fast!!
Most of the people who have been reading about this matter are planning on implementing this on Aug. 1st and continue it until Sept. 1st. That is only one month of trading losses, but it will hit the Chinese for 1/12th of the total, or 8%, of their American exports.
Remember, August 1st to Sept. 1st !!!!!! START NOW.
If we can't live without cheap Chinese goods for one month out of our lives, WE DESERVE WHAT WE GET! ( I agree!!!)
Now, I don't necessarily agree with the kinda vehement anti-Chinese sentiment expressed there. I'm not interested in "sticking it to China" or trying to cause them trouble. I just think it's about time we quit pissing and moaning about the sad state of economics etc., in this country and do something about it. How many jobs have been lost due to our manufacturing being sent overseas? And yes, I realize many of jobs were replaced with some other type but a country cannot remain secure if it doesn't have a stable infrastructure and relies so heavily on other countries, that probably don't have our best interests in mind, for tools, clothing and many other very important daily supplies.
I did a little investigating last night by looking up a number of USA made products online. There is a lot more out there than what you might think. Now, I know some people are saying, 'I can't afford to do this. USA made stuff costs a lot more'. Not necessarily and many of the companies offer free shipping. With the cost of gas these days and that most people don't live next door to a mall, are you really saving that shipping charge by driving to the shopping areas? And like I said, so what if it costs a couple dollars more? It's giving an American a job and it might just cut back on this epidemic of useless shit that floods our homes.
I thought about how this relates to Wal-Mart too and their whole prostitution ring with China but I don't know that I really want to get into that. It makes me too sick and upset. If you don't shop at Wal-Mart yo have your reasons and I don't need to convince you. If you do shop at Wal-Mart I would just ask you, do you really think that company cares about this country or do they just care about lining their own pockets? I know Wal-Mart has made some efforts to carry more USA made products but only because the people have called them on it and they will sell out whoever they have to in order to continue to rob the American public of all they can.
Anyway, I just feel that we have sat on our asses long enough. Are we going to let this country go down the shitter, even more than it has, or are we going to stand up and DO something? Even if it means giving up our cheap, plastic, worthless junk. How sad it would be if most people would choose their junk over this beautiful country.
Jack and I went to a movie yesterday and then we stopped at the pet store to get Chigger a new Frisbee (which probably wasn't made here) and I went next door to a large chain department store just to look around and see how much USA produced stuff I could find. I have to say that if we stopped importing stuff today we would at least have plenty of glassware and throw rugs. Not much else! I asked the lady at the jewelry counter if any of it was made in the US. She looked kinda funny and then she said no, she didn't think so. She thought for a moment and then she looked at me very seriously and said, 'we need to change that'. I said, "yes, we do!" We talked about it for a while and I was surprised that she was on my same line of thought but then I think lots of people are starting to get tired of this situation. I ended up buying some foot lotion and a card, both made in the US. I also found some very pretty candles and glasses. Today I looked around the house to take stock of what I have here. I'm happy to say that much of what I actually have is made here because I buy a lot of stuff from local artists and craftspeople. But, I was very unhappy to see that of my wonderful collection of books (ya'll know how I am about books) many are not printed here even though the publishers are American. What crap!! This is something I will keep in mind in the future.
So, I challenge you to join me! We sit around and wonder what can we do to help society. We wonder what we can do to help our fellow citizen. This is one, simple thing we can do. We are constantly reminded to support our troops (and rightfully so), but what about supporting ourselves!? Please don't tell me that the indomitable American spirit is dead.