Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Made in China

Thursday I went to the library and picked up "A Year Without 'Made In China'", the book I had reserved quite some time ago. I finished reading it Sunday night. It was a quick read and I really liked it. Although I found myself questioning some of the shopping habits of the author, the book was humorous and eye-opening. I mean, in my opinion, it probably wasn't the best idea for the author and her husband to take their two small children to Target to go shopping for Halloween decorations, honestly thinking that it wasn't going to be a problem that they weren't buying anything "made in China".

My hubby and I started checking labels on some items we needed to purchase Saturday and almost 100% of the things we looked at were made in China. Even the Fiskars blade to my rotary cutter, which I needed to replace and figured was from some Scandinavian country, was made in China. When we got home, I checked out the labels on a couple of other purchases I had recently made for my granddaughter for her birthday and for Christmas. The result...one made in Hong Kong, one in the Philippines, and one in the good old U.S. of A.!

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against China or it's people. I admire the diligence and ingenuity that has brought them to the position in the business world they are at. However, I am becoming more aware of the way our country is becoming more and more dependent on foreign countries, of the U. S. jobs that are being lost to other countries, and of the impact on our environment that mass imports are causing, not to mention concern for the labor conditions in other countries that can enable goods to be manufactured, marketed and exported at such low prices. To be honest, it's an issue I've never thought of before now. I'm glad I found this book and read it and I can definitely say from now on I will be much more careful of what I'm purchasing. Although I don't intend to boycott China as the author, Sara Bongiorni, and her family did, I do intend to look more diligently for the "Made in USA" label. I realize I'm only one person, but I firmly believe that one person can make a difference in our world.


jeremy said...

War is on my mind today...

If my history is correct, one of the reasons the allies won WWII was the massive American industrial machine. America had, within the borders of the nation, all the means to build war hardware and still survive as a people - eat, have clothes, gas, etc.

Thinking of national security today, how much of our military hardware is made abroad? Could countries that are potential future opponents in a conflict have technical data to our weapons... and know how to exploit that? How about such a nation being the manufacturer of our weapons - even just parts of these weapons?

Just thinking out loud here; but what if we find ourselves someday at war with China? How long could we sustain our military?

Another thought... what does "Made in the USA" actually mean anymore? THe new Beoing jet is assembled domestically, but much (if not all) the part fabrication and sub assembly is done abroad. This is something the auto industry has been doing for decades.

Alice said...

man, i was just mildly concerned before, but jeremy has successfully freaked me right the heck out :-)