We are in trouble. Deep trouble. Trouble with a capital T, right here in River City.
The United States has become almost totally dependent on other countries for everything. Clothing. Shoes. Computers and other electronics. Automobiles. Toys. Illegal immigrant workers. To a growing extent, even food. (I guess we should he happy that at least a large portion of the Japanese cars we buy are assembled in U.S. facilities, albeit by non-union workers.)
God help us if we ever go to war with China. They might have the largest army on the planet, but they wouldn’t have to fire a single shot. All China has to do is turn off the flow of goods they are flooding the United States with. We would starve to death. If you think the melamine flavored pet food or the lead-tainted toys from China are a problem, you ain’t seen nothing yet. It seems that even most of the products that still carry the “Made In USA” label contain at least some ingredients or components from China or other countries. I don’t mean to sound anti-China. I would be just as concerned if everything in America was coming from Russia, Argentina or Australia. I don’t think we would even be able to continue manufacturing the few things we still make in the USA if the supply of foreign components was cut off. We have very little manufacturing capacity left in the United States. Without our ability to manufacture things during World War II, America would have lost the war.
It looks like most automobile parts sold here are now coming from China. Silly me. I was worried that if they cut off the supply of auto parts, we would all be using bicycles to get around. Not to worry, since I think the bicycles are all made in China now also. Since the same holds true for our shoes, I guess we’ll be running around barefoot. Read our related article about the questionable claims of “Made in USA” and how companies like the New Balance Shoe Company take advantage of the rules regarding what constitutes “Made In USA”. We empathize with this fellow blogger after reading their post about the frustrating experience they had trying to buy a pair of New Balance shoes that were “Made In USA”.
Even without a war, could our military buy all the material it needs if a strict “buy American” rule was enforced? (And could someone please tell me why, when material is for military use, is it spelled materiel …or materiele, and pronounced “mah-tear-ree-elle”? Don’t they have a spell checker?) …but I digress.
I still seek out products that say MADE IN USA, but they are becoming scarcer and scarcer. Even things you assume are made or grown here often are not. I’m all for a law that would require product labels to identify the country of origin of every component in a product, and on every ingredient in food items sold in America.
I should have known trouble was brewing back in the early 1990’s. I bought a Dell computer that came in a carton that proudly proclaimed “MADE IN U.S.A”. I think it even had an American flag printed on the box. Michael Dell, shame on you. I’ve always admired people like Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and the other icons of the American computer industry, but I feel that Dell Computer lied to me. I love to take things apart, put them back together again, and void the warranty in the process. The first thing I did with that Dell computer was to open it up and take it apart. I couldn’t find anything inside that was made in the USA. It was assembled from parts made in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, and elsewhere. I couldn’t find a single component made in the USA. I think that carton should have said “ASSEMBLED in USA”, not “MADE in USA”. Of course, Dell is no different than any other computer company. Nobody makes computers in America. They once did, though; IBM, Univac, Burroughs, Control Data, Digital Equipment, and on and on. Most of them are gone, and those that survive are different companies now. No more American “big iron”.
Go visit the Home Depot, and check out the plumbing aisle. Nearly everything is labeled “Made In China”. We won’t even be able to flush our toilets if they cut off the flow of merchandise.
Wake up, America. It may be cheap, but you’re not getting a bargain.