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Made in the USA


By Rick Bell Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Now is a great time to start a manufacturing company in America.

I bought two Flexible Flyer sleds recently to have some fun in Switzerland when I go there next week. Having used them as a kid as my personal vehicle in wintertime, I know every inch of the sled’s anatomy and how it performs even in extreme conditions. The sleds I received from my internet order were JUNK. Made to look like the real thing, with the same familiar logo. The metal parts were re-engineered to look like a sled but they were weak and even flimsy. The wooden slats that you lie on were the same quality wood as a pallet, not a craftsman-built sled like I used as a kid. The pins used to hold the steering mechanism together arrived with one snapped in two from shipping it. I wonder how it will hold up under my sledding on it! 200 pounds of me bumping up and down as I careen down a 600 foot hill in the mountains. The sleds were broken upon receipt, but I fixed them up with four bolts, duct tape and sandpaper. A sticker on the underneath side said MADE IN CHINA and DO NOT REMOVE THIS STICKER, but it was peeling off upon arrival and fell off during my repacking them for the trip to the Alps. Yes, I’m going to try them out, but I wish I had a sturdy ol’ Flexible Flyer, made in the USA like I had years ago.

I can’t tell you how many things I’ve purchased the past year that looked like the real thing, but almost immediately fell apart or rusted or broke or never worked out of the box.  All made in China. I’m sure you’re noticing the same thing. A toaster lasts a year, tops. My mother’s GE lasted my whole childhood. All of a sudden, we look around and we’re replacing everything all the time. The world calls us a consumerist society, because we have to buy everything new again every year or two because nothing lasts longer than that anymore.

Nothing, that is, except things still actually made in America. We’re still the best at manufacturing almost anything. But we can’t manufacture it cheaper than the Chinese can make it AND ship it to America. Free Trade, and the perception that the lower priced item is the one to buy, has forced most American manufacturers to produce in China or face extinction. We all know that.

What’s worse is GREAT American brands like Schwinn and Flexible Flyer have been bought up by the Chinese for peanuts and the products coming out under those brands are just plain junk.

“Made in America” is going to make a comeback. Sooner or later American consumers, now facing a loss of disposable income and only long-term prospects to return to affluence again, will choose to buy what lasts and they will turn back to American made goods. To find products still made in America look at http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/.

The world will react when this happens. The "American Consumer" is the most powerful group of individuals on the face of this Earth, in the whole history of this Earth, and it extends across all religious, political and ethnic groups. When American consumers begin to DEMAND products made in America the recession will take care of itself.

As long as we’re willing to buy the cheapest and keep China in business instead of our neighbors, we have no hope of real recovery from the deep financial reversal we’ve had thrust upon us over the past ten years by corrupt financial services companies and our needy, greedy, seedy Congress.

More By Rick Bell

 

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