OPINION: Aren't we better off buying safe, Made-in-USA products?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's a brief opinion piece from Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Media Director Steven Capozzola.
A recent Gallup poll finds that 45% of Americans make a “special effort” to buy American-made products when possible. Their reasoning, according to Gallup? They want to support the U.S. economy and keep jobs in this country.
Sadly, those consumers are fighting an uphill battle. The truth is that more and more consumer goods are made overseas, and that’s a real problem, not just for consumers, but for the long-term security of America’s middle class.
What’s confusing is the name brands that sound like pillars of the U.S. economy, but aren’t actually made here. Think Levi’s Jeans, Rawlings Baseballs, the Barbie Doll, Converse All-Stars, the Etch-a-Sketch, Huffy Bikes, Mattel Toys… Those were brand names that carried weight, that said “Made in USA.” But not any more.
Even worse are the "Rest-in-Peace" stories. Remember Pontiac cars—the GTO, the Bonneville, the Firebird, the Sunbird, the Grand Am?... Gone. Extinct. Out of business. Same with televisions. Zenith, RCA? Gone. You can’t buy an American-made TV any more.
Even the majority of American flags sold in stores are made in China, if you can believe it.
Here’s the bottom line: Businesses have a right to pick up and move operations overseas. But America’s consumers also have the right to NOT buy goods that are stamped “Made in China.”
And actually, that may be a wise move. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) continues to list more and more unsafe products from China-- everything from lead-painted kids toys and tainted Heparin medication (that killed dozens of Americans), to toxic drywall and poisoned pet food. These “cheap” goods can actually prove more expensive in the long run.
There’s a reason why American-made goods may cost slightly more. And that’s because U.S. manufacturers pay their workers well, they provide healthcare. They maintain safe factories with clean working conditions. Contrast that with the recent collapse of a Bangladeshi clothing factory that killed more than 1,000 workers. That crumbling plant churned out cheap garments for the U.S. market.
Is it really such a good thing, then, if Americans can pay less at Wal-Mart when the rest of the world toils in miserable labor conditions?
I don’t want to buy items made overseas, if I can help it. I want to support America’s workers with my paycheck instead of tacitly endorsing sweatshop labor. I want to do my part to pay for a strong middle class in this country, and I know that buying American-made will do that.
Related recent Blogs
- Pharmaceutical companies' interests are covered in the TPP -- as for everyone else? Ehh ... • by mmcmullan • 12/09/2013
- A swing and a miss for Biden in Asia • by TGarland • 12/09/2013
- December 9, 2013: China reports biggest trade surplus in five years • by TGarland • 12/09/2013
- Kickstarting a manufacturing renaissance • by TGarland • 12/06/2013
- December 6, 2013: The #AAMeter, it moves (in the right direction)! • by mmcmullan • 12/06/2013
- U.S. Manufacturing Gains 27,000 Jobs in November: Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) Statement. • by scapozzola • 12/06/2013
- Indiana manufacturing program expands • by TGarland • 12/05/2013
- Scott Paul: Keep skilled jobs for skilled workers in Washington • by mmcmullan • 12/05/2013
- December 5, 2013: Another voice for a currency rule in the TPP • by mmcmullan • 12/05/2013
- Some Made in America gift ideas for the obnoxious teenager in your life • by LDonia • 12/04/2013