*Status Update - Buying American or Going Without

Results from one week of not buying anything made overseas and a challenge for readers.

Well, I discovered something this week, almost as if by accident. Turns out when, you're poor, you don't buy much. When you don't buy much, it's pretty easy not to buy foreign-made products.

In the past week, I have bought nothing outside of groceries and gasoline. I did purchase a six pack of Costa-Rican Imperial beer but I'm not going to hold that against myself. Luckily, for me and for the sake of this blog, my father recently bought some tools as he embarks on a house-flipping operation.

So here we go.

Shovels: Now we're talking about a long-handled, fiberglass handle, pointed shovel. My dad was kind enough for me and conscious enough for this country to do a little shopping before he made the purchases. He found a shovel made by Ames, that not only had a 5 year limited warranty but Ames has been an American business since 1774; at least their label claims. They likely made trench shovels for our Revolutionary War soldiers; maybe.

Toolboxes: The second thing was a tool box, plastic. The Ace Hardware brand, not always made in USA, made this particular toolbox domestically. Two-for-two.

Trash cans: I love this one. Semco makes this 32 gallon trash can not only domestically but out of recycled materials. Apparently, they were on sale for $13. Three-for-three!

Spray nozzles: On this one he came up short; at least at first glance. Needing a spray nozzle for the garden hose, my dad scoured Home Depot, Lowes, then Ace Hardware before finally settling on a spray nozzle made by Dramm. The label did not say where the item was made, so I could only assume it was made overseas. Wrong! A little bit of digging revealed that Dramm not only makes nozzles here in the US, they have been doing it since 1940. Here is a link

Four-for-four! See what a little bit of shopping around can do for you and the country you live in? I challenge anyone who is reading this to embark on the same mission myself and my father just completed. Try to go one full week without buying anything made outside of this country.

Just read the news. Obama is finally calling out China for gouging our American-made cars on their way into China with massive tariffs. They are taxing up our goods while we let their cheap goods flood our markets, virtually tariff-free. Does anyone else see this as a recipe for disaster?

The bottom line is, we don't need anything that's imported from China or anywhere overseas for that matter. We live in a country that is self-sufficient in raw materials. There is nothing made overseas that we cannot make domestically. Sure we might save a few dollars buying a TV or an Iphone made in a Chinese sweatshop but in the end, who loses out? The foreign worker isn't getting a better shake based on how many Iphones they sell. Just the opposite. Turns out, they are taking students out of class and allegedly forcing them onto the production line. Just take a look at this article from the New York Times.

We have developed a culture in this country of, "let somebody do it for us" and I am on a mission to change that to a, "let's take care of it ourselves" culture. Too long we have waited for business and political leaders to do things for us. I'm about as fed up with that as I am with the bold-face lying political slander ads sweeping the airwaves right now.

We have the power people! Politicians have to be elected by us. Business owners have to sell their products to us. Through awareness and discretionary spending, we can take back the power that they seem to have wrested away from us.

Again, I challenge each of you to go one week without buying anything made overseas. If you don't find it, initially, look elsewhere, shop online. If you still don't find it, go without; it's just for one week.

Meanwhile, I will take the lead and I will go one full month without buying anything made overseas; again with the exception of gasoline. (Somebody buy me an electric car)

I want to hear all of your experiences and efforts in the comments section.

Power to the people!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ed Moore September 20, 2012 at 06:01 PM
One week - done. Our family is in!
Carty Dougherty September 20, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Andy, I just had a big win buying American. My girlfriend reminded me to pick up toothpaste on the way home from work, and a little voice told me to investigate my usual brand: Colgate. As it turns out, Colgate toothpaste is manufactured in China, and I found some news articles questioning the safety of the process. I called a dentist friend in California and asked him for a recommendation. 15 minutes later, I was at Vitamin Shoppe buying SPRY brand toothpaste with Xylitol - manufactured in Utah. I did some more digging, and compared ingredients with the multinational brand toothpastes, only to uncover more good news: SPRY is one of the only brands that uses Xylitol, a naturally ocurring sugar alcohol, that has been clinically proven to prevent the growth of the most common and destructive oral bacteria. My dentist recommended the brand based on the ingredients alone, and I have a new favorite toothpaste, made right here in the good, old USA. Keep up the good work, Andy!
Andy Warrener September 20, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Carty, that's great to hear. You are doing exactly what I hope anyone and everyone that follows this blog does, adopt a paradigm shift. This could make a big big difference if we all did it. I enjoyed reading that story. Anyone else have similar stories?


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