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The "Everything's Made in China" Myth
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
November 30, 2002

Everything is made in China these days, or at least that is what I keep hearing. I can formulate my response to this deceiving and tiring pessimism in one word - Globalony!

If we stop to think for a moment about the products we buy most often, and where we buy them, we'll remind ourselves that we visit the supermarket more than any other store. Now go take a peek inside your refrigerator and tell me how many items in there are made in China.

The items we buy that are made in China are usually the ones we buy least often. For example, the alarm clock I received as a Christmas gift in 1987 still works fine. How often do we buy alarm clocks, hair dryers, VCRs, calculators, or other goods where there are no domestically made alternatives? Not very often, and they aren't that expensive. You'll find that you or your family spends far more dollars in the supermarket, where almost everything is made, canned, packaged or processed in the USA. Yet we can't overcome the frustration when we buy a once-in-a-decade product without claiming "everything these days is made in China."

Such a reactionary statement could not be farther from the truth. I probably visit most of the same stores you do (unless you shop at Wal-Mart) and everything I wear every day is made in the USA. If I can do it, you can too.

Instead of throwing up our hands and saying "It's a global economy. What can I do? I can't do anything," we should say "What can I do? I've got to do something!" I even tend to question the validity of calling this a "global economy" since we have been trading with other nations for hundreds of years and have been erecting factories in foreign lands for decades.

The reality is that if everyone followed the principles in the second edition of "How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism," we would have a huge trade surplus with China instead of a huge trade deficit. Some may view the preceding statement as an attempt at self-promotion by this author, but it's a fact. And in today's world, how refreshing it is to be able to deal with reality based on facts rather than fantasy.


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