Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tis the season to help the Chinese build its economy . . . . .

Chuck Woodbury, the editor over at posted a fantastic editorical comment in his Saturday morning newsletter today.  I am posting here (with his permission) for all you RVers to enjoy over a cup of coffee or a cold beer.  It is time for Americans to stop sending our money and jobs to China.  Please buy AMERICAN this holiday season, and every time you go shopping look at the bottom of the package.  If it came from China, put it back on the shelf.

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Editor's corner
With Chuck Woodbury

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Tis the season to help the Chinese build its economy! Yes, that's what our holiday shopping is doing. While millions of Americans sit unemployed, a half a world away Chinese workers report to factories each day, spewing out the necessities of life to Americans.
Between 2001 and 2009 the United States lost 42,400 factories. Put another way, that's 32 percent of all manufacturing jobs. Where did they go? China! No wonder so many Americans are unemployed. Put those people back to work and they'll pay taxes; our country's economic woes will vanish! But, no, we balance our budgets by cutting back on everything-- social programs, education, our rapidly eroding infrastructure and defense. We RVers lose campgrounds, endure pot holes in our highways, and watch our National Park facilities fall apart. Oh, yes, our legislators raise taxes, too, leaving us a bit poorer, which, of course, makes those cheap Chinese goods more popular. . .

It's time to "Buy American." Really! It's time to quit buying as much as we can that's made half a world away. I bet if you took every product made in China off the shelves at Wal-Mart or Toys R Us, you'd basically have empty stores.
Did you know that 88 percent of all the shoes sold in America are made in China? We can't even make a Barbie doll -- they're made in China and Indonesia! Most American flags are made in China! Does that seem wrong to you?

I WAS IN A SUPERMARKET-SIZED HOBBY STORE the other day. Virtually every item was made in China. There was an entire row of Americana merchandise. I liked a wooden sign with a Route 66 theme. I thought about buying it. But guess what? "Made in China." No way! What is wrong with us that we can't even make a simple wooden sign?

Yesterday, I bought five calendars illustrated and sold by an entrepreneur artist friend of mine in Olympia, Washington. Four will be Christmas gifts! I'm happy that money will stay in America. Buy one of Paula McHugh's terrific calendars for your special someone.

It occurred to me recently that 99 percent of products we sell at are produced in the USA. If you buy a DVD from Mark Polk, you are supporting his family in North Carolina. If you buy the popular "Wal-Mart Atlas" you are supporting brothers Tim and David Cattelino in rural Kansas. Buy the "Big Rigs Best Bets Campground Directory" and you support Texans Ken and Ellie Hamill as well as their book's printer in New York. Sure, my company makes money from the sales, too. But my staff lives and works in America and we don't outsource our phone operations to India! Our bloggers, all Americans, get a monthly paycheck from us based largely on proceeds from our store.
I visited England last summer. One clothing company, Jack Wills, proudly proclaims on its labels "Fabulously British." But look closer, in tiny print: "Made in China." We Americans are not the only ones being duped by the Chinese!

Here is a suggestion: Examine packaging and labels for everything you buy this holiday season. Try your best to buy "American." Or buy goods made by our friends in Canada. Shop at local craft shows: these people live and work in your area instead of in China -- a country whose government does not even like us, restricts human rights, pollutes its air and water, and is probably laughing as it observes us self-destructing our economy, and, ultimately, perhaps our country as well.

I love the story of Wisconsin's Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp., which makes high end shoes. It's now preparing to open stores in China where it will sell its American-made products. Its 330 workers make 2,000 pairs of shoes a day. The company could earn more by making its products in China. Its president and CEO Paul Grangaard won't do that. "If we started making shoes in China, we'd be just like any other company," he said. Right on! If you're looking for quality footware buy from Allen Edmonds Shoes. Support a company that puts the good of its workers and its country above squeezing its fellow citizens for every last penny!

This holiday season, stay out of the mall, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us unless you can find a product made in your own country. Good luck!

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