Saturday, January 2, 2010

What Got To Me Today? China

Every now and then I'll probably mention my Aunt Pat to you...she sends me the most awesome mail...clips from newspapers, articles from magazines and comics, and hand-written letters instead of emails---love it!.  Today I received an envelope full of goodies which did not disappoint.  One of the comics she sent was a Dennis The Menace one by Hank Ketcham.  In the illustration Dennis is sitting in his jammies, and it looks like Dad is about to read him a story.  Dennis says to his dad "If God made everything, He must live in China."

Well, first reaction, pretty funny.  It's true, "Made in China" stickers are on just about everything.  PAUSE.  Say again.."Made in China" stickers are on just about EVERYTHING!  Not too funny, when you think about it.  So this is what got to me today and what has gotten to me for many days.

When are we going to insist, as consumers, that enough is enough?  We've already had our children endangered by lead poisoning on toys coming from China (if that doesn't do it, not sure what will!), we've lost millions of American jobs outsourced to China, and we continue to borrow from China, because they are wealthy, and why are they wealthy?  Because we are buying American products from Chinese factories.  What??  Is this ludicrous to anyone else? ( I won't even go into why it's cheaper to make products there, how employees are mistreated and paid dollars per week, and have no human rights, let alone Codes of Business conduct.)

  When are we going to resist buying cheap and buy local instead? Now I know, there are some things you just can't get locally---your kid's favorite toy, your husbands game system...I get it. And then there is the argument that local is more expensive.  Well, it's only more expensive because enough people aren't buying locally.  Increase the demand and prices will go down.  I'm not saying I don't have things in my house made in China. Guilty as charged.  But I am trying to make some different choices these days. And if half the country can get their head around buying Freedom fries instead of French fries...I'd like to think we can get our heads around buying American. 

Many towns and cities are implementing campaigns to help consumers keep their dollars local, if not in your city, then your state, your country. Check your local City websites, Chambers of Commerce and Merchant's Associations.  Go to your state websites and look under their business tabs. Put "buy local campaigns" into your search engine and you'll be amazed at all the tips and resources. When you can, support your local businesses before heading to the "We've- got -everything -you -need -under-one -roof -and -we- have- it -for- cheap -because -we -are-harming -American- business- Mart".   If you love love love department stores, many of them have "Made In the USA" sections now. Lastly, vote in leaders who support local commerce. 

We the people have A LOT of power, baby.  Let's use it to put our country back to work, make China think about regulations and how to treat their own people, and get the "Made in China" stickers off of our kid's toys.

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