Made in America: Not So Easy to Find
By Nancy Wurtzel on December 14, 2011
Recently, I wrote a post about shopping at Walmart and buying American-made products, I didn't know that ABC News has been airing quite a few segments on this very subject.
In fact, World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer had a three-part piece that ran back in March which profiled the Usry family in Dallas. The Usry's believed they were proudly buying many "Made in America" products -- because they purchased U.S. name-brand products. However, they were shocked to learn that 99% of their purchases were actually made in other countries.
To emphasize the point, ABC dramatically emptied three rooms of their home -- kitchen, living room and master bedroom -- carting away all of the foreign goods. What was left were three empty rooms. Then, they refurnished them with domestic-produced goods, everything from rugs, to furniture, to appliances, to bedding to coffee makers and accessories. Click here to see the final segment which gives you an overview of the Usry's story and then the final result.
The bottom line is that buying items that are USA sourced and manufactured is challenging (and often more expensive). Basically, you need a television network news team of researchers, producers, reporters and more to help you make it happen.
Is it worth it? Sadly, I'd say it is probably not practical for many purchases. However, if we all made some buying adjustments, we could really make a difference.
Diane Sawyer is following up with a challenge this holiday season asking people to think before they buy and commit to purchasing domestic and even better, local, whenever possible. Here are a few links you might find of interest. The second link will take you to an ABC website page so you can locate manufacturers in your state.
According to the ABC news site, if residents of the U.S. each spent just $64 on American-made goods during our holiday shopping this year, the result would be 200,000 new jobs. That's a lot of jobs, when you consider that for every new job created, there could be three or four jobs that follow as a result.
In my research, I also came across a short article in Reader's Digest about some name-brand products that are still made here in the USA.
Take Airstream, for example. You know, the silver streamline trailers that have made such a cool comeback. Kohler, the fixture people in Wisconsin, make great stuff and nearly all of it is created from recycled and reclaimed iron. Love that. Wisconsin also boasts Regal Ware, a cookware company. Up in New York, Steinway & Sons are still making beautiful music by producing wonderful piano's.
In my old stomping grounds in sunny Los Angeles, the Merle Norman company, first launched in 1920, still makes cosmetics. Good ole Merle even invented the "before-and-after-makeover," which has since become a bothersome thorn in the self esteem of women around the globe.
Thanks a lot Merle.
This is all just food-for-thought when you are making holiday selections. And, if you need something in which to store that food-for-thought, then please consider buying kitchen containers from Anchor Hocking, which manufactures in the U.S. and employees 1,700 people.
For myself, I'll be turning over products more frequently to find out where they were made, and hoping that many are domestically produced. Masochist that I am, I'll even be doing it at Walmart.
*image courtesy of dribble.com
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