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4th Of July Patriotism Is Buying American Products -- Everyday

May 3, 2008
There's no denying it-- the U.S. economic downturn is evident everywhere from lagging home sales to rising gas and food costs. And as companies downsize and shift jobs overseas to save money, unemployment fears rise. Let's face it, we're all looking to stretch our dollars these days but we should also be looking to support American-made products.

Why? Frankly, buying items made here does vastly more good for our country's employment level than buying goods made in other countries. Now more than ever it matters, as the people who made that product need that job. Keeping them employed helps to stop the downturn from getting worse. In effect, the negative cycle is broken if we buy products made here in the USA.

There are lots of other reasons to care about products being made in the USA.

1) The Next Generation - As the U.S. manufacturing ability fades, future generations of U.S. citizens will be unable to find relevant jobs.

2) Support Democracy - Factories and money are currently shifting to countries not friendly to the USA or democracy.

3) Respect for Workers and Environment - Lack of minimum wage, worker safety, or environmental pollution controls in many countries undermines the concept of "fair and free trade". No nation can ultimately compete on price with a country willing to massively exploit and pollute its own people.

4) Safety - Foreign safety standards are non-existent or dangerously low. There are poisonous levels of lead in tens of millions of toys shipped to the USA.

5) Trade Deficit - The huge U.S trade deficit leads to massive, unsustainable borrowing from other countries.

6) Reliance on Other Countries - The growing lack of America's ability to manufacture many products is strategically unsound.

7) Wage Exploitation - The minimum wage is low or non- existent in many countries.

8) The Environment - U.S. manufacturing processes are much cleaner for the environment than many other countries. Many brands sold here are produced in countries using dangerous, heavily polluting processes.

9) No Return - Once gone, jobs shipped abroad almost never return.

10) Worker Conditions - Foreign labor standards allow unsafe worker conditions in many countries.

Unfortunately, sometimes it's downright difficult to find American made products. But there's something we can all do about that, as well.

We can change things. We can make a real difference. We can use our collective voices and our buying power to affect change.

If you hear a major U.S. producer is considering moving production to Mexico, tell them about your concerns. Senior executives get a lot less mail than you might realize, so if they suddenly start getting twenty letters a day on a topic, it's a nightmare. Heaven forbid we start writing to newspapers, or standing up at shareholder meetings!

Stores, even big ones, really do care about customer suggestions and complaints -- as long as they understand customers have alternatives and are willing to pursue those alternatives.

If a local merchant offers Made in the USA products, but an imported version is available at the local mega-mart at a cheaper price, we have to put our wallets where our mouths are and be willing to spend more. It does no good to say you don't like that an item is made in China and could be toxic, but you buy it anyway because it's $10 cheaper.

Ultimately, it is about protecting America's future. Where in history has a country outsourced its ability to produce and continued to thrive?
About the Author
Having worked abroad in Asia in the high-tech industry for over seven years, Todd Lipscomb knows firsthand the challenges America is facing. He founded http://www.MadeInUSAForever.com, as an easy, fun way to buy products made in the USA.
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