Speaking down in Hawaii this week, President Obama stated that he wants to see more people overseas buying goods with “three words stamped on them: made in America.” Hopefully the powers that be do all they can to push this objective. We want to see policies that help promote American made goods.
What we need, however, is more people here in America buying goods that are stamped with “Made in America.” We can’t control foreign demand for our products, but we can definitely control our own demand. We expect people overseas to buy our products, but we sit here with homes full of Chinese made products.
I was looking at a chef knife. Naturally I was looking at the Lamson Sharp chef knife (their products are made here in America) but I was comparing it to some foreign made alternatives. It was cheaper than some European rivals, more expensive than others. Would one of the cheaper ones work for me? Sure. Could I buy the expensive German knife to try to impress my friends? Yes. “Hey look at me, I bought the most expensive knife on the shelf.” It’s a better statement than “look at my cheap Chinese dollar-store knives” but I can think of a better statement still. It’s the statement that we care about our country and our neighbors.
“Hey look at my American-made knife. It’s neither the cheapest nor most expensive, but it’s a good quality knife that will last, and one of our own worked hard to make this knife.”
That’s right. We’re going to make American made products into status symbols.
Here’s something you may not realize. Our global influence may not be what it once was, but American tastes are still imitated all over the world. What’s “in” in America tends to spread across the globe. If we all placed high value on things that were made in the USA, we’d be setting the right example not just for ourselves but for everyone.
This is capitalism, after all. It’s competition. We can’t let ourselves be beaten by a willful lowering of standards and safety. That’s what the savings represent when you choose “Made in China” over “Made in America.” Let’s stop shopping from the bottom of the barrel. Let’s make a difference with our money and Spend on America.