A Day with Joe Smith
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
January 4, 2002 - for the American Reformation Project
After receiving several copies of the "Joe Smith" email, instead of simply replying to the senders saying "thank you, but I have seen this before," I decided to respond in a way that would tell people just where we stand in our manufacturing capability for the items listed below. I wasn't able to answer every item completely (I am still not sure about those electric skillets) but here is the email, and my response.
Regarding job layoffs in the U.S.: Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 a.m. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA). After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB. At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day, Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in.....AMERICA!
Alarm Clocks - All made elsewhere as far as I know.
Coffee Pots - Some are made in USA.
Electric Razors - I believe Remingtons are still made in USA. Most of the Wahl Electric Clippers/Trimmers are made in USA.
Dress Shirts - Harder to find, but some made in USA. Of course the imported ones from Sri Lanka go for the same price. I bought some new dress shirts made in USA last week (December 2001) at The Men's Wearhouse, but you have to look pretty hard for made in USA in this area.
Jeans - Definitely many are still made in USA. The Arizona Jeans (JC Penney brand) I bought last week (December 2001) were made in USA. Some Wrangler's, Lee's and Levi's are also made in USA although Levi's closed 9 domestic factories a couple of years ago.
Tennis Shoes - About 30% of New Balance shoes are made in USA. Again, comparable imports from China and Indonesia are the same price.
Electric Skillets - Not sure, need to research this one!
Calculators - Not aware of any made in USA.
Watches - American Time (a union company) is made in USA. Pocket watches, too.
Radios - All overseas as far as I know.
Sandals - Probably 90% come from Brazil.
Wine - California wines are getting the reputation as being every bit as good as French wines.
TV's - Believe it or not, some still made in USA. The General Electric I bought in 2000 was made in Indiana.
Cars - Plenty of cars are made in USA. Ford and GM alone make of 60 models in the U.S.