The news leading up to Labor Day has been filled with stories about continuing job losses due to offshoring and the phenomenal rise of the Chinese and Indian economies.
Even if you didn’t read Thomas Friedman’s invaluable book The World is Flat, you know that U. S. workers can’t possibly compete with Third World workers IF the only consideration is price. If you must have the absolute lowest price and that’s all you care about, nine times out of ten you will buy from China, Thailand, and other places where $5 a week seems like a fine paycheck. Wal-Mart is full of such low-cost gear.
If, on the other hand, you have enough discretionary income to consider other factors besides rock-bottom price, and you’d like to do something to keep some kind of manufacturing base alive in America, consider buying American the next time you need something. (It’s not easy, I know, as this recent book makes clear).
If you’re heading out today for some Labor Day shopping, you might check these links for tips on buying. Here is a long list of American-made toys and toy sellers, and here is a link to a Dallas-based t-shirt company that offers thought-provoking takes on issues like immigration, race, and Iraq.
You’ll probably pay a bit more for these products–but you may feel better about your next shopping trip.