made in China

by Jason Alan

note: I am currently living in France but I was born, raised and spent most of my adult life in America, and I wrote this when I was living there.

When is the good ol’ US of A going to wake up and smell the coffee that’s brewing in a pot that’s made in China, sifting through a filter that’s made in China, poured into a cup that’s made in china and stirred with a straw that’s made, well, guess where…

It pisses me off that so many products we buy here in America are made in China. Don’t get me wrong. The Chinese need to make money and I don’t have a problem with that, but it’s really ridiculous how much shit we import from them. You name it, they make it, and we buy it by the truckload and the boatload. I even saw the infamous ‘made in China’ stamp on an American flag. Seriously? Are we so entrenched into our quest for the almighty dollar that we can’t even make our own fucking flags? Betsy Ross would be stabbing people in the neck with her needle if she were alive today, and rightly so.

In fact, it happens so infrequently that there is a store that sells and uses only American made products, and that store made international news. Really? Has really come down to that? Unfortunately, it has.

From a pure business standpoint, I can understand why many companies choose to import rather than make things here. I’m not blind to reality. It’s just cheaper to do it that way. But we need to step back for a moment and look at the bigger picture.

Let’s put aside the fact that we are aiding in the exploitation of the Chinese worker, who receives an abysmal pay rate and incredibly long hours. Not to mention supporting Communism, which we claim to despise so much. Let’s say that, for the sake of argument, that they make a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. Let’s also assume that even if they were paid fairly, it would still be cheaper to import from China. Just suspend disbelief for a moment.

Given these caveats, there are two main reasons that the US should make more products and consume less from China.

Example:

Now keep in mind this is not based on hard numbers, it’s just an example.

Product A comes from China. To the US consumer it costs $20. Product B is made in the US and costs $35. If we stop importing the Chinese brand, we have to pay more, right? Correct. But, as a general rule, the made in U.S.A label is held to a higher standard, so 1: it will last longer, therefore the extra cost won’t matter because you won’t have to buy another product B for a longer time; and 2: a household will be more likely to afford product B because if more things are made here, more Americans will have jobs to be able to absorb that extra cost.

Makes sense, right? Of course it does. I’m a genius who has the solution to everything. Don’t you know this already?

So when is America going to wake up? Never. Because the rich care more about their bottom line than providing a better life for their own countrymen and their families. But fuckit. I’m done. I’m getting off my soapbox now, which was made in the good ol’ US of A (from materials that were made in China). And I’m going to tweet inappropriate jokes on my iPod, which is designed by Apple in California and assembled in, uh…

Damnit.