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Monday, August 6, 2012

Made In America?

We recently hosted two Chinese college students through our church's youth program. This is our third time hosting students, though our first from China.

As always it was a great time and we learned so much and made great, new friendships that hopefully will last a very long time. I highly encourage families to try hosting at least once. It truly is an experience you'll never forget, and rarely regret.

One thing that came up this time, that hadn't in the past was that these students and most others in their group of 13 really wanted to take home products "Made in the USA." You would think that wouldn't be too hard, right? WRONG! Three weeks here, several trips to various malls and shopping places, including small towns and big, you wanna know what they found to take home with them? A box of Crayola brand crayons and a mini-flash light. That's it, period.

I can't tell you how angry and embarrassed I am over this! With our students we looked at labels on several products ranging from shoes and clothing to touristy type stuff including AMERICAN FLAGS, and all we could find, fully made and manufactured in America were crayons and a flashlight. This is something to be concerned about people, it really is.

Curious where most products were made? While we found some made in South American Countries and of course India, Malaysia and a few others, the majority were made in: CHINA! I would estimate about 80-85% made in China.

With unemployment so high right now, my first thoughts wandered to, what if we brought back some of this manufacturing to America? Of course we'd have to fix the reasons manufacturing left to begin with.

I am highly discouraged over this. I know we'd have to pay more, probably a lot more to purchase products made in America, but I for one would gladly do so! Let's bring back quality too, while we're at it. I remember when you might pay much more for a blouse or other piece of clothing, but it would last for many years. Now you can buy a shirt at Wal-Mart or else where for five bucks. But how long does it last? In my experience, a couple of washings.

I am all for bringing jobs to America, making products we can take pride in, and yes, paying more for those products.

Like I said, I was terribly embarrassed that we couldn't find any made in America products for my students and their peers, and equally embarrassed that most of what we found was made in their country. But, this wont change anytime soon, if others don't care, and don't speak out against it, or refuse to buy and use cheaply made and foreign manufactured items. Let your pocket book speak for you.

Not all hope is lost. I did an Internet search and came up with these sites I will link below that specialize in locating and selling American made products. While I am extremely grateful to them and what they do, I can't help but think how sad that we need such businesses to help locate and find American made items, right here, in America. It should be as simple as walking into your local market place, but it's not. And something just isn't right with that. I am SO not okay with that. Are you?

American Made Products Directory




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