One small step for Americans


First Posted: 10/14/2009

Today I got an e-mail that reinforces everything I believe in that we all have to band together to buy American-made products.
In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else even their job. As the e-mail said, one grasshopper couldnt stop a train, but a billion of them could.
If we all band together to buy American-made products exclusively, jobs could be saved, even created. Its an easy concept, you scratch my back, I scratch yours.
Everybody who knows me well at all knows there is one particular big box store in which I refuse to shop. Without revealing the name of that store, Ill just say that making me go in there is worse than Chinese water torture. The reason for my aversion is that stores like that kept demanding that products be made cheaper and cheaper, causing almost all of our local factories to close.
I was working here at The Mount Airy News when factory after factory had to close their doors because of the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was especially sad to see the Proctor-Silex toaster factory shut down. For some reason, that one really stuck with me, even though I was sad to see anyone lose their job. These days it is almost impossible to find a good toaster, not some cheap China-made product that will break when you least expect it. So whats the advantage of paying less for something if it is not going to work for long? There is none. I would rather pay more for something that will last longer so that I will not have to keep replacing.
Case in point, I have a favorite pair of black tights I bought many years ago. They are still good after all these years and who knows how many washings. It still says on the tag, Made in the U.S.A. Remember when thats all you heard about? Buy American Made Products. We need to bring that kind of thinking back again.
I would rather have a $100 pair of American-made shoes than 10 $10 pairs that are cheaply made and wont hold up to the test of time.
Last year at this time when I came back to The News, I bought a camera that I had always wanted, a Nikon, a D-40 to be exact. I didnt think much of it at the time of the purchase, I just assumed the camera was quality made because of the name, but as it turns out it was made in Thailand. Within one year, both of the lenses have just stopped working for no reason. I sent the wide-angel lens off to be fixed and they did fix it for no charge. But now that the longer lens has quit working, they want me to send back the camera and the lens, with the biggest trip of my life on the horizon, the Triad Flight of Honor on Oct. 28. And, theres no guarantee that they could have it fixed and back to me on time. After doing a little research, I cant find one camera that is still made in the United States. That makes me more than a little sad.
My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA the job you save may be your own or your neighbors.
If you want to make sure your money stays right here at home, shop locally. Buy American and save a job.
Mondee Tilley is a staff reporter at The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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