Thursday, December 20, 2007

Born in the USA?

I am always surprised when I find seemingly mundane and innocuous ideas are now seemingly political and devisive ideas. Take, for example, the idea of products created in the US. My Dad and I were having a "chicken and the egg" conversation the other day about the demise of small businesses and the rise of big box stores with low low prices. Dad feels that the increased taxes on business owners have driven them offshore. I feel that the middle class pays a disproportionate amount of the taxes and that is why we are forced to shop at these retailers, instead of the local (and more expensive) mom and pop stores, thereby driving them out of business. The issue is more complicated than either one of us thinks, no doubt. But the conversation got me thinking about products made in the US. Where are the US products now? Do I even own anything that originated in the US, other than handicrafts and things like that?

Ok, so with this in mind, I did a little surfing to find out what is available, which leads me to me point of politics. I was amazed to find such "anti-everyone else" instead of "pro US products" language in their content. One site had a list of things made in France, so good Americans could boycott - are people still refusing to give up on that? I thought Freedom Fries had died long ago. The sites seemed to be enticing shoppers with negativity, darn near Hate speech, rather than talking about why US made products are the way to go. I find that unsettling. We hate it when our politicians "go negative" and fail to talk about what she or he can do for us. Why in the world would we want to make our consumer purchases under that same practice of mudslinging?

So, once I again, I sit at my computer, scratching my head and thinking "huh?". I must really be out of sync with things. I like to support local folks, US jobs, quality products. But I don't want to be in the company of the people who wrap themselves in the flag and damn everyone else in the world. I still like French fashion, English tea, Swiss chocolates and Japanese tech. Does that make me a traitor to my country? I want to buy US made clothing, toys and household goods but I won't frequent websites that traffic in hate speech.

Damn, why does something that seems so simple have to be so bloody political? Bah humbug.

If I manage to find sites that sell US products without the strings of political extremeists, I'll list them at the bottom of this post.


Lorraine said...

That's pretty infuriating, actually. Kinda makes me want to buy nothing BUT foreign made stuff. Except Chinese products. From Walmart.

Anonymous said...

I'm only as passionate with locally made as fits my shrinking budget so I'll have no soap box today. But I will say that the root problem has a shit-ton more to do with the loss of our middle class than anything else.

rosemary said...

Hum....I looked in my new LV bag that my wonderful husband got for me while he was in Hong Kong....made in strange is that??? The label had the LV name and then France. Go Figure.

Thank you for visiting and commenting. You are right, why re-invent the broom? I wrap an old wet (clean) dishtowel over the end of mine, rubber band it and then wash my floor every day.....same as my grandmother did.