Have you ever walked into a Home Depot, OfficeMax, JC Penney, or other major retail chain and thought, "I wish I had a list of products that are made in USA for this store?" Over the many years of heading up the Buy American cause, I know I have.
I've received countless emails asking which stores carry different types of American-made products, too. Various polls over the years have provided extra proof that the demand exists for a clear, concise, systematic, and accessible list like an American-made e-guide.
However, corporate America would rather not be bothered with providing important American-made information that patriotic consumers want. They'd rather fill their store shelves with imported goods, made available by outsourced jobs. Because of this, I've decided to take on the task of creating such a list, but I need your help to do it.
I'm looking for volunteers. I'm reaching out to find people willing to visit various retail stores throughout America to compile a list of which products in each store are made in USA. I've already started the process, making my own small list of American made products at various stores. Soon after starting, I realized something...I cannot do it alone, thus my shout out to you today. All it takes is a pen, some paper, and good old-fashioned American dedication.
Here is a sample of my list so far, which you can view here on my website:
||Stream Machine water launcher
|Arts & Crafts
||Strathmore water color paper
||Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft
|Arts & Crafts
||Various Art Frames and Photo Frames
||Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft
|Health and Beauty Aids
||Oral-B toothbrushes (10 pack)
||OfficeMax printer paper
You'll see that I've listed prices, too. Since some products are available at multiple stores, identifying which store carries the same American-made product for less will help Americans save money while padding the pockets of fellow American workers at the same time. After all, consumer shopping comes down to "whose pockets are we lining?" Why not line our own?
One retail chain, Wal-Mart, will be omitted from the list since I have always discouraged consumers from shopping there. If the various economic crises, bailouts, bankruptcies, and bubbles have taught us anything as a nation, it's that we shouldn't put all of our economic eggs in one basket.
In my opinion, the same strategy should apply to shopping. Our nation is too big and too diverse to be concentrating too many consumer dollars in one retail chain, and Wal-Mart already has more than their fair share. It is my hope the "American-made e-guide" will be so big and so far reaching, that consumers will be able to find American-made products at competitive prices elsewhere.
Everyone who makes a significant contribution in creating the new "American-made e-guide" will have access to the entire list at no charge, and of course you'll be credited in the acknowledgements section of the e-guide for your contribution. If you're not able to help compile the "American-made e-guide," it will be available for purchase for $4.95.
This "American-made e-guide" will be a supplemental resource designed to complement the print edition or e-book edition of How Americans Can Buy American. It is not intended to replace it. How Americans Can Buy American already has 508 pages without the American-made e-guide!
The advantages to the e-guide are many.
- It can be updated fast to keep it fresh
- It can never get too big
- Its low price gives more Americans more access to information
- It's downloadable in various electronic formats
- No shipping charges - no trees to cut down - no wasted paper
- Anyone can contribute
If you are interested in helping to build the biggest American-made e-guide on the Internet, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with "e-guide" in the subject line. Within a few days, you'll receive a return email with more specific information on how you take part in helping to inform American consumers how to find and buy American-made products.
Thanks for your help in this exciting undertaking that holds such potential to prosper the American economy.
Roger Simmermaker is the author of How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism. He also writes "Buy American Mention of the Week" articles for his website www.howtobuyamerican.com and is a member of the Machinists Union and National Writers Union. Roger has been a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, has been quoted in the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report among many other publications, and is now a weekly contributor to WorldNetDaily.