I'd like to start this blog with an admission of guilt. For many years I remained blissfully unaware of the unethical practices of the major corporations that sell us Americans most of the junk we buy. From Ipads to bananas everything thing we buy has a story behind it. The last half a century, greedy corporations have moved their manufacturing operations overseas in order to exploit unprotected workers, defile natural resources and dodge business regulations and taxes in the US. I could not be more aware of these despicable practices of these mega-corporations nowadays and I am ready to strike back.
I cannot do this alone, I need your help; all of you...and I need your friends' and families' help, too. Together we can foster a paradigm shift in American consumerism and call these corporations out for their abuses. We have the power to control the markets if we band together.
I'm sure most of you at some point, got the chain emails about, "don't buy gas on this day" or "don't buy gas at this station". Nothing much ever came of it but that is only because we did not stand together in the effort.
My goal is to get 1% of the United States population to band together with me in an effort to reel these rouge corporations in, bring their jobs back to America and pay taxes like everyone else. There are over 300 million people in the US, if 3 million banded together, we could control any market we wish to.
First things first.
Let's get into a mentality that will heighten our awareness to what we find on the shelves at the grocery store or the mall.
If it has a label(which it should always) it has a story about how it got to your hand. The first thing to look for is where it was made. "Made in China" - put it down. Just put it down, don't look at the price or anything else, just put it down. China must be falling over themselves at our idiocy as Americans. We borrow billions and billions of dollars from them so that we can prop up their economy by purchasing the poor quality goods and tainted foodstuffs they send over here and we buy that crap with the money we borrowed from them! Is this setting off alarms for anyone else but me? Then what do we do when China is not so dependant on our markets and we still owe them 20 years of our GDP?
I admit that it is sometimes, well, oftentimes difficult to find a US-made product and to that I offer two solutions.
First: Search online before making a major purchase; a grill, a cordless drill, a set of dumbells(no pun intended). With the magic of Google nowadays, we can seek out American-made products before we even get to the store.
Case in Point: I recently was on the hunt for a new grill. After searching Ace Hardware, a store I will always go to before one of the big box stores, and not finding a grill made in the US, I could have easily given up and bought the Chinese one. I did not. I held off for a few days and reluctantly went to Home Depot. There I found an Aussie-style grill, resonably priced, made in the USA. Hooray! Score one for the team.
Second: Go for proximity. If it says China, put it down. Even, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Phillipines are better looks than China. Sure, your shoes were probably still made by a 14-year old girl who made five cents to make it but at least you are not giving our borrowed Chinese money back to China. Look for proximity. El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica are quickly becoming clothing manufacturing centers and they are our neighbors. If it's made closer to where you live, it's always a better look.
Consider the item's journey before purchasing. How did this item get to me? How far did it have to travel? What human hands or machines went into producing it? If a pair of Chinese-made sneakers looks just like the American-made ones you are holding and are the same price or cheaper, ask yourself how. How did the Chinese produce this item, ship it across the Pacific Ocean and across the terrestrial United States(depending on which part of the US you live in) and make it competitively priced with the American-made product? The answer is simple, they pay the worker a sub-standard wage to produce it and they use poor-quality ingredients to reduce cost. Otherwise, there is no way their product could be competitively priced.
Also, put your standard on quality, not price. This is an arguement that, after 33 years on this earth, I am finally starting to win with my mother. For years I could not get her to purchase a quality weedeater. We would buy the cheapest electric one she could find, it would break and we would buy another. This replacement philospohy is a major problem with American consumers. I finally, convinced her to purchase a gas-powered weedeater; we live on an acre. After buying two more of the cheapest models available, I finally broke through. Two years ago, we purchased a Stihl weedeater(made in the USA) and it has not been replaced, yet. Did we spend more on it? Yes. It cost about $250 with the service plan but when you consider all of the money we wasted on broken, Chinese weedeaters, we would have been better off going with the Stihl to begin with. Now all of those junk weedeaters are in a landfill somewhere and the Chinese are laughing about it, while they make and sell more.
Keep up with my blog as I will give you tips for re-claiming our manufacturing, and our pride.