Buy American? Sure, If You Can Afford It

Is it possible today to buy U.S.-made goods in mainstream, reasonably-priced stores? The answer, ABC’s John Donvan learned while reporting a “Nightline” story to be broadcast tonight, is a rather emphatic “no” when it comes to clothing, and otherwise “maybe.”

[Former La-Z-Boy factory employee] Christensen and his former colleagues are facing a central irony of the U.S. market. Unable to afford American goods, they end up buying foreign — in effect, paying the very workers who took over their jobs.

In a 2004 Associated Press poll, 93 percent said they prefer to buy American if the prices are the same; 54 percent said they’d prefer to buy American even if it cost more. How much more was not specified.

ABC had the best results shopping for tools at Lowe’s, finding most of the items on their list made in the U.S. – though often from foreign components.

Made in the U.S.A.; Sold … Nowhere? [ABC News]

(Photo: fauxpress)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Snarkysnake says:

    Slowly,but with mathematical certainty,our standard of living is declining. We have no choices other than cheap,junky foreign goods of low quality for some items (even though they are sold at a premium under a recognizable brand name,at a brand name store). Where did the difference in manufacturing cost go ?

    • nakedscience says:

      @Snarkysnake: Spaces after commas!

      • bluewyvern says:

        @nakedscience: A superficial complaint, perhaps, but it is very distracting. I had to read that comment about four times before the sense sunk in.

        I notice you put extra spaces before some punctuation, too, like question marks. Is it some issue with using a non-standard keyboard, like on a phone, or what?

    • newdetroit says:

      @Snarkysnake: No joke. I recently was looking for a replacement microwave to take the place of a crappy $30 Emerson which had begun taking upwards of 10 minutes to cook TV dinners.

      I went to Sears to take a look, and saw a nice small Kenmore that would fit perfectly. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the entire keypad was the exact same as the one on the Emerson I had already. A flip through the instruction booklet revealed the exact same details as well.

      I went to take a look at Best Buy’s offerings, and discovered that the GE, Oster, and Emerson microwaves all had the same graphics on the buttons, and some of them had the exact same wording and button layout as well.

      I’m not sure what incentive I am supposed to have to buy a brand name product (ie GE or Kenmore) vs a cheap budget brand (ie Emerson), when they both not only come out of the same factory, but are identically the same aside from some minor cosmetic differences.

      • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

        @newdetroit: That reminds me of all those off brand foods that are made in the same factor a the name brand ones.

        But if it’s all the same factory for the microwave, all manufactures should have fairly comparable production and materal costs. In that case, those charging more are just charging more because of their name. If that company complains about lost sales, then they should following the pricing model of other companies making the exact same product in the exact same factory.

        • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

          @AlteredBeast: there may also be variations in the warranty. also, different brands have sales at different times, give discounts to different groups of people, and have different rebates.

      • Mecharine says:

        @newdetroit: I work in process automation. It shouldnt be a surprise that many devices use the same components. Does that mean that the product is completely made of cheap items. No. It just means that the keypad you saw was a model popular with manufacturers.

    • William Brinkman says:

      @Snarkysnake: Please cite your sources on this ‘mathematical certainty.’ If you want to cite trends in quality of life in regards to manufactured goods, let’s talk about how someone lived 20 years ago to today. My econobox handles better than a luxury car made 20 years ago, my computer is astronomically more powerful, and my workout clothes are wick and insulate better than wool.

      • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

        @William Brinkman: Not taking either side (as I’m not knowledgable to do so), but I think while technology advancements have made your car/computer/clothes better, I think the point was that the build quality is lower…that a car made 20 years ago would be more durable and last longer than one made today.

        Hell, I’d think it’d be worse to ones wallet to get used to a standard of living filled with GPSs, MP3s, Blu-Ray, etc…then have low build quality items crap out on you, then having to buy the product again to maintain your standard of living.

        Did most turntables last longer than DVD players?

        • sponica says:

          @AlteredBeast: i don’t know…but I do know that my sister has gone through 3 DVD players in the past 5 years. The DVD player on her DVD/VCR doesn’t work, so she bought a cheapo DVD player which no longer works, and then she stole the mid range DVD player I had bought for the 3rd floor entertainment room. That still works.
          The TV my parents bought in 1984, while weighing a million pounds, was still operational in 2003. The TV I bought in 2002 was dead by 2009. Sure it lived long for it’s cohort but still, it didn’t live for 20 years.

          • dvdchris says:

            @sponica: My Toshiba DVD player I bought in 1997 still works and my Samsung player I bought in 2002 still works perfectly.

        • Tim Russell says:

          @AlteredBeast: I’d say that for the most part build quality on many products has gotten worse. Cars are the one exception. 20 years ago I remember cars being used up at 10 years while now the median age of the vehicle fleet in the US is 9.4 years.

        • bohemian says:

          @AlteredBeast: Buying something more expensive, supposedly better or made in the US isn’t a guarantee either. We have more than a few major purchases that we thought we had researched enough to make an educated purchase only to have them crap out just as fast as cheap ones would have.

        • The Porkchop Express says:

          @AlteredBeast: Probably. My friend has some of his original turntables from the 60’s and they still work. needles are a bit more than they used to be though.

      • TheFlamingoKing says:

        @William Brinkman: Agreed. I’d need to see some facts.

        For example, this study showed that there is a small but statistically significant reduction in obesity rates in towns that have a Walmart vs ones that don’t.


        In this case, the availability of cheap products, specifically fruits and vegetables is potentially increasing the standard of living for people.

        However, I’m convinced someone could find a study that backs up the original claim with “mathematical certainty” because usually that’s just some statistics, and we all know statistics can be manipulated. Basically, my study, your study, it’s all propaganda.

        • TheFlamingoKing says:

          @Lance Peeples: I am a capitalist, and my wet dream is a free market where there are no barriers to starting a company to sell American made products in markets where you can only find a Chinese choice. The reason there isn’t one is because it’s not economically viable to sell the same product for 250% more just because it’s made in one place or another. There’s your free market – and it has spoken loudly.

          I find anti-Capitalist rhetoric like yours both confusing and hilarious, because right now you either:
          a) work for a private industry, which pays you money thanks to a free market.
          b) work for the government, in which case the taxes taken from private companies and workers pays your salary.
          c) don’t work, in which case either your mooching off the government or mooching off someone else.

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @TheFlamingoKing: Slave and child labor is cheaper than paying a working wage. Manufactured goods dumping toxins into the ground as we did 100 years ago have cheaper inputs than ones that must capture their externalities.
            Under your scenario, would it be ethical to purchase products so made?

            • TheFlamingoKing says:

              @Trai_Dep: Hey Trai, we tend to get into it every time, huh?

              I think what’s scary to people about capitalism is freedom. In essence, I don’t believe anything you said is ethical, but I believe even less in the state’s authority to use threat of physical violence to prevent it under all circumstances.

              For example, child labor. We can both agree exploitation of children is ethically wrong, and that a corporation should not be allowed to get away with ethical violations that people would not. But what is exploitation? If the government sets a concrete limit of 20 hrs, does that automatically mean that a child that works more than 20 is being exploited? Does that authorize the government to enact force upon the business owner, seizing property and restricting liberty? What if the child is a day under 18? What about a parent that makes their kids do housework more than 20 hrs a week? Inherently, laws create artificial limits that sometimes don’t make sense for every situation, but the law is the law.

              In other words, I don’t believe that the role of government is to enforce ethics or morals. Just because a governmental leader passes a law calling something unethical or immoral and making it illegal does not make it so for every case. And whenever they do attempt to legislate morality, trouble will follow (see Roe v. Wade).

              (Also, totally agree on toxins – the cost of any pollution should be part of the total cost. That’s why I support carbon taxes and not cap-and-trade.)

          • cerbie says:

            @TheFlamingoKing: it’s only confusing with a distorted view of the argument.
            a) we can not thank a free market, because it has never existed. The market we might thank (or curse) is not in the least bit free, in the sense of offering equality nor in the sense of of being free of controls.
            b) likeiwse, the taxes from working for the government also pay your, and other salaries. Not only that, but point b here exists as a rhetorical device to put down protectionism, socialism, etc., rather than having actual use for any arguments put forth. A job is a job; wages are wages.
            c) or using what you have saved. However, whilst mooching off someone else (my current situation, having exhausted what I’d saved), it is imperative to be working towards future goals (mooching financially does not mean doing nothing). A shitty attack tactic, here at c.

        • cerbie says:

          @TheFlamingoKing: it’s not just food, but also that Walmart has many items you may want or need on the cheap, twenty four hours a day. So, more money for food; and more time, since you can get everything you need at one store. Also, they carry just enough quality stuff (Anchor Hocking, Pyrex, Lodge Logic, etc.) that you don’t have to be stuck entirely with Chinese crap. I can see it not needing to be altered for an agenda, honestly.

      • Snarkysnake says:

        @William Brinkman:

        Okay , I’ll cite some trends , you elitist fool. How about the poor homeowners that have houses that smell like rotten egg because some accountant figured that their company could save a fucking nickel a slab by bringing it in from China. How about the many honest hardworking stiffs that have been poisoned by the unsafe consumables that are being shipped here from the PRC ? Or maybe we can talk about the third world standard that applies to most of the sawdust furniture that is being sold (and disguised to look like real wood) for a kings fucking ransom. Do you see a problem with tires that are made in China that fly apart at highway speeds , killing and maiming unsuspecting passengers while the “trading company” that imported them is untouchable and judgement proof under our laws ?

        The fact is , we have allowed businesses to sell us substandard goods by playing on our trust of their brand names that have been built up over the years in pursuit of the quick buck to be made by whoring those brand names to low quality pestholes like China.

        Po folks don’t deserve quality , do they ?

        • LafinJack says:

          @Snarkysnake: Uh, dude, tainted tomatoes, tainted spinach, tainted peanut butter, tainted Fords, tainted Oldsmobile-Cadillacs, ad nauseum. There’s no inherent ‘betterness’ to American versus Chinese/Japanese/Laotian products, and if you think so you’re not paying good enough attention.

          • Tim Russell says:

            @LafinJack: Can you explain tainted Fords and tainted Cadilacs (Oldsmobile doesn’t exist any more).

          • MikeGrenade says:

            @LafinJack: There is one inherent “betterness” to American-made products in that the manufacturers would be bound to US labor and environmental laws which follow much higher standards than China. That’s why its so cheap to do things over there.

            • econobiker says:

              @MikeGrenade: Don’t worry, the Chinese will eventually petition the UN for environmental fix up funds and point their fingers to the US and other 1st world Western Countries as the culprits for the toxification of their environment.

              By then Walmart etc will be sourcing their goods in the Sudan or Somalia…

        • William Brinkman says:

          @Snarkysnake: That’s all anecdotal evidence. You’re very bad at this.

          Also, while a TV may turn on after 10 years of use, I doubt the quality of the picture/sound. Also, in reference to “tires made in China,” let’s talk about the Firestone 500.

          • Snarkysnake says:

            @William Brinkman:

            You made my point for me. The owners ,management and workers at Firestone paid for their defective tires in a COURT OF LAW. You try suing a shell company when you are hurt or killed by dangerous/defective goods brought here from China or other slave labor countries.

            My point,which you so obviously missed , is that we Americans pay top dollar for our goods and are being cheated by the purveyors of those goods when they are farmed out to slave labor countries where there are no standards other than make a buck and move on. We deserve better. We invented or improved a lot of these goods and we’re forced into accepting inferior quality because it makes Wall Street happy. Take your blinders off and wake up.

            • William Brinkman says:

              @Snarkysnake: Let’s take TVs. The best TV screens come from Asia, more specifically Korea. I think you’re confused that just because you spend some arbitrary amount of money that you’ve bought “the best.” Some people don’t buy the best and buy something else. The idea that only America can make something is pretty ignorant.

              I don’t understand where you’re “being cheated.” The lower castes of these states are being cheated by being exploited. We’re the exploiter. We’re benefiting on the fact that China has a whole lot of idle hands and we’re willing to pay for those hands.

              Nobody has to accept anything of inferior quality. We live in a world where you can buy a fucking titanium spork. Just because you’re bad at buying things doesn’t mean the rest of us are.

    • tankertodd says:

      @Snarkysnake: How can anyone possibly believe that our standard of living is declining??? The price of everything is dropping. Poor people have flat screen TVs. No one is starving in this country – in fact our poor are too FAT due to poor diet. Our quality of life have improved immensely – a lot of that due to free trade. You want a lesson in quality of life? Go find an East German.

      • cerbie says:

        @tankertodd: “in fact our poor are too FAT due to poor diet.” …uh, that’s actually one of the several reasons we say standards of living are declining. For some of us, quality, availability, and cost (relative to leftover wages) of food, water, building materials, and tools are of far more importance than the size of our TVs or how close we live to a McDonald’s.

        East Germany is quite strawmanish, with hints of appeals to emotion.

    • Mari Walker says:

      @Snarkysnake: Americans are plenty capable of making crappy stuff, too. Foreign made != badly made.

    • johnusaf says:

      In my opinion the difference in manufacturing cost is made up by that fact that the countries where these companies move to have little to no regulation which in turn they can use sub-standard and often hazardous materials in their products. Also the massive tax-dodge that is presently allowed to these companies is an incentive to move overseas. The company where I work just jumped ship recently and for the life of me I couldn’t see how they would profit from the move until I looked at the tax breaks and the freedom to manufacture whatever they want.

      To put it simply we have over-regulated and taxed our businesses to a point where they have no choice to move to a low-cost environment. While I disagree with some regulations (sarbannes-oxley is ofter counter-intuitive and unwieldy) I understand the need for most of them. The tax thing is the biggest clincher IMHO, but that is a result of our goverments greed.

  2. Darrone says:

    Still summed up perfectly by the action crap fest: Armageddon. “American spaceship, Russian spaceship, ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!”

  3. dohtem says:

    I gladly pay a premium and forgo buying American when it comes to beer.

    • balthisar says:

      @dohtem: Hey, surely you mean mass-market American beer. Americans can make some damned good beer! Try a local brew.

    • flamincheney says:



      Seriously man. I used to be the same way, but for at least the last 5 (maybe longer) years the US has been making the best brews in the world. From Brooklyn and Dogfish out east to Stone and Anchor out west, and then coming around to Bells and Great Lakes in the midwest.

      It is really a golden age for American breweries. I like my trappes and other Euro beers as much (or maybe too much) as anyone, but in 100% honesty I think the US is brewing the best beer in the world- hands down. My Euro friends and relatives have been in agreement too once I steer them past Millers and A-B.

      • philipbarrett says:

        @flamincheney: Agreed, originally from the UK I used to bemoan the lack of a decent pint in the US, now I find myself comparing the British beers unfavorably against their US micro-brew equivalents.

        flamin – Brooklyn is, IMHO, the best of the best

    • justsomeotherguy says:

      @dohtem: Heh, American microbrews are some of the best beers in the world. Get you facts straight.

    • triscuitbiscuit says:

      Magic Hat, Dogfish Head…
      NOTHING like the mass market beers

    • frank64 says:

      @dohtem: The thing about foreign is even great beer is old by the time we get it. I try ot only buy beer with bottled on dates that are less than a month old.

      Most every beer I have that is less than a month old is delicious. The think is very few breweries date their beers.

      • m4ximusprim3 says:

        @frank64: Hooray for stone and pizza port. I couldn’t have managed the depression if both of them weren’t 5 minutes from my house.

      • MerryLifeAndaShortOne says:


        Actually, some of the microbrews can be aged, because they are more like wine-ish. The Vertical Epic series from Stone is a good example, as is the Imperial Russian Stout from the same company. Dogfish head 120 minute IPA on the bottle says it ages well.

        Micro’s can be hit or miss. I’m not a big fan of Steamworks Brewery Third Eye Pale Ale, but their Steamengine Lager is acceptable. Beeradvocate is a great tool for research. Don’t stick to fizzy yellow liquid, although some can be refreshing on a hot summers day, and try some different ones. i recommend a couple times, because the flavoUrs can be so complex that one bottle doesn’t give you the full picture.

    • varro says:

      @dohtem: Widmer’s Drifter IPA and Drop Top are very good, and Full Sail’s Session Lager is a good take on the standard lager.

    • lvhotrain says:

      @dohtem: Beer snobs unite! Find a couple of people you know that like beer. Buy cases and divy them up. That way you get to try different beers and find out what you like. IMHO, Riverhorse Summer Blonde is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

      • pop top says:

        @lvhotrain: You can also go to World Market (if you have one near you) and create your own six pack. Some of the bottles are expensive, but they have crazy stuff from whatever is local to the area and places all over the world, so you can get a really varied pack.

    • cerbie says:

      @dohtem: say what? Oh, well. More Sam Adams Black Lager and Terrapin Golden Ale for me!

  4. lockers says:

    Shiner, Rogue, Pyramid and New Belgium… Why on earth would you want to avoid them? If your talking about budweiser, miller or coors, none of them are american.

  5. csdiego says:

    I always choose American-made goods when the quality is at all comparable (usually it is better). I’ll pay double the price, or more in the case of little kitchen tools.

    The one sad exception is with cars, only because it’s so hard to buy American if you’re not interested in a truck or SUV (and then there’s the fact that a lot of foreign brands are built here in the USA). I’m hoping the new mileage standards will mean more small, efficient, US-made cars from which to choose.

    • balthisar says:

      @csdiego: Taurus, Focus, Fusion, and now that I think of it, anything modern from Ford. Ahead of Honda on latest quality metrics (current model year), and tied with Toyota. Wonder if that has anything to do with being the one American company not taking government money or in bankruptcy (or damned close to it)?

      • jamar0303 says:

        @balthisar: But none of them are aesthetically pleasing. Not in my opinion, at least. I like boxy-ish, like the AE86.

      • Tim Russell says:

        @balthisar: Due to a minor car accident I have a 2009 Ford Fusion loaner car and it’s really nice. It drives better and seems to be built as good or better as my Honda Accord. I did see a news article that said they they have picked up market share and the Fusion has been a big part of that. That’s one of the reasons they are the only American car co. that’s not bankrupt (GM has to file, bondholders forced it.)

        • econobiker says:

          @Tim Russell: But will the Fusion be worth money even as a 150,000mile car?

          My family has a friend who buys Hondas (Civics or Accords) at about 150,000 and runs them out to 300,000 before getting a ~new~ one. He travels for his profession exclusively by car so the miles rack up in 3-5 years.

          The (probable illegal) immigrant employees at a company I contracted with in 2007 loved Hondas with 150,000 miles or so as they were “still reliable cars”.

      • sicknick says:

        @balthisar: Except they all look like crap. American made cars have gone up in quality to be even with or better then foreign in a lot of cases, but they aren’t nice to look at. The Ford Fusion has lines on it. Oooh. The Focus looks like a sorta smooshed egg.

        I like futuristic looking cars that have a lot of space. I currently drive a 2001 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback that gets mistaken for a Saab 9-3 hatchback a lot. Currently, I love the Compass/Caliber from Chrystler, the new SOUL from Kia is amazing, the boxy “truck” from Scion and the Mazda 3. I don’t want to drive something boring. A buddy of mine just got a slightly older diesel volkswagon hatchback that he’s running on biodiesel, and that’s very interesting.

        Basically, if it looks like something annoying white kids from the suburbs would drive, I really don’t want it. If it looks like something an old man would drive, I don’t want it. American car manufacturers have to stop making cars for old white men. I want them to go above and beyond, and not just in the Caddy or Corvette RnD. Honda, Volkswagon, Kia, Mazda, Toyota and even Volvo (with a higher end version) all have fantastic, well thought out, entry level cars.

        GM gave us the boring Cobalt after years of a boring Cavalier. Ford gave us the Focus, which was a step in the right direction but the car actually sucks. Chrysler (with the Daimler design department) got us the Caliber, which is awesome. Decent sized, a bit off the ground, hatchback, fold flat seats (including the front in higher trim levels so you can carry something 6 feet long, inside, flat), decent stereo with hook-ups for an Ipod coming standard. It’s a great entry level car.

        Why are good entry level cars so easy for other auto manufactures to come up with, but the Us sucks so hard at it?

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        @balthisar: I guess I’m weird because I’d like to buy one of those cards. I just can’t afford to right now.

  6. Bao Quy Phan says:

    I think the thing about buying American is a lot of people are unaware of the options out there and are generally unwilling to pay the premium.

    The best example I can think of is American Apparel.
    A 7 pack of plain white Jersey T-shirts from American Apparel is $91 while a 5 pack of Hanes White T-shirts are $11.50. Obviously the choice for the lower middle-class is simple at $2.30 per shirt or $13 a shirt plus you can pick up the Hanes at your local Wal-Mart versus ordering online from American Apparel.

    The Hanes T-shirt however will probably wear after one wash. That’s why I have friends who buy t-shirts on a near 3 month basis. However I own many American Apparel Shirts(Mostly though band merchandise and and the fabric still stays strong and color does not fade.

    People do not care about American quality(or lack thereof). They would rather go with the quick and easy choice. Also American Apparel is only “for the hip young kids” so there is always that.

    • William Brinkman says:

      @Bao Quy Phan: I don’t buy American Apparel because the owner is an asshat and I’m not some hipster retard.

    • Crim Law Geek says:

      @Bao Quy Phan:

      Also American Apparel is only “for the hip young kids” so there is always that.

      That and sexually harrasive douchebags!

    • floraposte says:

      @Bao Quy Phan: Plus you’re supporting Dov Charney. I’m not sure that’s an improvement.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Bao Quy Phan: Sorry but $91 for a pack of tshirts is ridiculous. Mr. Pi’s Hanes shirts have lasted many, many washings. At $2 a shirt I don’t think we can squabble. It’s also the matter of not spending $91 on tshirts.

      • XTC46 says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Agreed. I love my Hanes Tagless Ts from walmart. I pay 4-5 dollars per, and have about 10 plain black ones. Some are grey now, but I wear them as under shirts or to work out in, and have had many for over a year.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      @Bao Quy Phan: I’ll buy American Apparel when their douchebag owner is out of the picture and the ads stop looking like something out of ‘Barely Legal Unwashed Babes Volume 7’.

    • negitoro says:

      @Bao Quy Phan: That’s an awful example.

      Even if I wore it as a normal shirt (because I wouldn’t care if I used them as undershirts), I could afford to buy like 40 Hanes shirts for the same price as a pack of American Apparel shirts.

      Does it really matter if they wear after one wash if I can afford to swap out 40 of them before I even have to wash the first one?

  7. flamincheney says:

    I know that late last year I searched for a pair of American made sneakers, and not only could I not find expensive ones I couldn’t find any at all. I was surprised that no matter the price point there was nothing. I thought that if Nike could justify $150+ shoes made in China that I could find something with less bells and whistles for a similar price, but nothing.

    • Anonymous says:

      @flamincheney: Super shoe tip: Starter, the brand at Walmart is owned by Nike. If you have not been to the Walmart shoe department lately you will be shocked. The Starter shoes look exactly like Nike shoes and they feel great too. I bought a pair for the gym and I take my shoes seriously when it comes to working out, because they make a huge difference. The top of the line Nike shoes with fancy bubbles or shox on the bottom that are 150 are re-branded as Starter and sell at the Mart of Walls for a maximum of 28 dollars. Check it out if you stop by Walmart, you will be shocked like I was.

      Note: I am not a shoe expert, so I will go ahead and post the inevitable reply of a self proclaimed shoe expert: if you buy shoes from Walmart, your feet will fall off.

    • YashicaBen says:


      Try New Balance. I believe they are the only domestic sneaker maker left. Not all of their shoes are U.S. made, but with a little looking you can find the ones made in USA.

    • canuckistani says:

      @flamincheney: new balance!

    • oneandone says:

      @flamincheney: @YashicaBen: @canuckistani: I was also going to say New Balance, and add Saucony, which seem to get a lot of props from distance runners (I’m not a distance runner – I got them because they fit and seem well made). I always thought they were made in the US, but I just looked it up and it turns out that’s kind of a vague claim (for NB and Saucony both):

      From [] citing a Boston Globe article:

      More unwelcome publicity emerged in the mid-1990s, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged that Hyde and New Balance Athletic Shoes, another New England manufacturer, had falsely claimed in their advertising that their products were made in the United States. The FTC maintained that although the shoes were assembled domestically, most of their parts were produced overseas. New Balance fought the ruling, claiming the FTC’s guidelines were hopelessly outdated. Hyde, on the other hand, to avoid the costs of fighting a court battle, entered into a settlement with the agency. Under its terms, the company would be allowed to sell what stock it had that bore ‘Made in U.S.A.’ labels. It also agreed to affix the label only to products made entirely or virtually entirely in the United States. Hyde and New Balance were the first high-profile cases brought against companies for violation of the FTC’s ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ standards. Some observers noted that the agency seemed to be going after small fish and ignoring much larger, more egregious offenders. Others believed it was looking to set precedents that would give it ammunition in larger cases. In the end, after an administrative review of its guidelines that lasted more than three years, the FTC decided to retain the strict standards it had enforced for nearly 50 years.

      So it seems like you are right – no US-made sneakers.

  8. cherveny says:

    One thing a lot of people don’t realize, “Made in USA” can also mean made in US territories or outlying islands, like American Samoa, etc. Almost all these territories do NOT fall under the standard worker protection laws that we’ve come to expect in the US, such as minimum wage, etc.

    Thus, even “buying American” doesn’t always really mean supporting “American” jobs.

    • theodicey says:

      @cherveny: The “Northern Mariana = USA” exception basically applies to the small number of items that can be manufactured on Pacific islands. That’s cheap clothing and a small number of food items (like canned tuna).

      The whole system is very shady (see the stories about Tom DeLay taking gifts to support the Mariana slavery lobby) so I try to avoid thos items if I can.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @cherveny: Wouldn’t it be great if, for those regions, they had to use a “Made in the USA (with forced abortions!)” on them?

    • gravitus says:


      It can also mean “Assembled in America”. Just because some guy in Spokane put a product together that doesn’t mean it’s made in America. 100% foreign parts, 100% assembled in America= Foreign product to me.

  9. MissPiss says:

    Wanna know something scary? I work at a hospital, and lots instruments and pre-sterilized packaged needles and “tools” needed for invasive procedures are made in China! I thought it was scary… They cant even make drywall that wont kill us, but we are using their manufactured medical instruments to stick and cut into our bodies!

    • William Brinkman says:

      @MissPiss: You’re extremely irrational if you’re actually scared instead of just posting some FUD junk.

    • Jacob Morgan says:


      The fact that the instruments trace their origins back to China isn’t too scary to me. If there were no oversight, then I would be worried. (I know, being made in China suggests a lack of oversight, but being made in China != unconditionally low quality.)

    • khiltd says:


      China’s a pretty darn big place. Odds are good there’s at least one or two people there who aren’t criminally retarded and actually care about what they make.

    • negitoro says:

      @MissPiss: How is that scary?

      Chances are there are FAR more important things that you use on day-to-day basis that are made in China, Taiwan or whatever other foreign country.

      Just because it’s Chinese doesn’t necessarily mean it’s shoddy. The Chinese people makes those surgical tools with the same equipment and technology Western manufacturers likely use.

  10. lancepeeples says:

    Want American made sneakers? My last 2 pairs of New Balance were made in the US, in the Northeast as I was told by the CSR when I called to inquire and thank them. And, they were a third of the cost of those Nikes.

  11. lancepeeples says:

    The headline of this post is misleading. It shouldn’t be “If you can afford it.” It should be “If you can find it.” More often than not there isn’t a non-Chinese choice. Welcome to the race to the bottom, the capitalist’s wet dream.

  12. Skaperen says:

    Part of the problem is that too many American manufacturers have been driven out of business by the foreign competition. Had Americans been buying American all along, this would not have happened, and there would be plenty of American-made goods. They would still be more expensive than goods made by exploited foreign manufacturers (or American manufacturers that go overseas and exploit foreign workers), not by so much.

    Exploitation is one reason foreign goods are cheaper. Lower economic standards of living are another. And one big one is the lopsided exchange rate (one dollar exchanged into rupee can buy several dollars equivalent of consumer goods like food and shelter in India).

    Some products will always be manufacturable cheaper and/or better in other countries, while other products will still be cheaper and/or better made in America. We do not actually need a “Buy American” buying philosophy. Instead, what we need is a strict trading balance that is vigorously enforced. It needs to ensure that as much money that goes out also comes back in the form of exporting an equal sale value of products to foreign markets. One possible approach to ensure that is a marketable/transferable export credit system used to apply to imported products.

    “Buy American” is isolationist and limits our ability to participate in long term global economic growth. The answer is global balance. It can still mean shifts in what gets manufactured here and what gets manufactured over there. The government still needs to be involved to ensure stability in industry sectors experiencing changes to ensure that both businesses and workers can migrate to other businesses that will grow and prosper.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @Skaperen: so, you support quotas but not tariffs? how are quotas any less isolationist?

      personally, i don’t care where my crap is made, but i’ve come to expect a certain level of comfort as a worker & citizen of this country & i believe companies trading products to the US should be held accountable to similar standards. ideally, factories abroad would have to comply with the same laws as factories here or face a penalty charged on items sourced from violating operations. call it an “exploit tax” or tariff if you want. use the money for our goodwill operations in those sections of the world.

      & just for the record, i’m not talking about wages here – i’m talking about dumping toxins, violating human rights, unsafe work environments & exploitation of children. these acts are deplorable & they offer unfair advantages in the marketplace.

  13. theodicey says:

    Hardware stores are still good places to buy American, if you avoid big, formerly good brands like Stanley.

    Not only did Stanley’s management close all their American factories, they moved the company to a tax shelter on Cayman. And now their products suck — no surprise.

    It’s surprising how often you find that the store brand (Ace or True Value) is US made. Or you’ll find a product made by a Midwestern mom+pop company.

  14. balthisar says:

    I’d settle for “North America” — Canada and Mexico are huge trade partners, and unlike with China, it’s not all unidirectional. I’d gladly purchase from them if the opportunity were to arise. Similarly, goods from most of Europe are acceptable in my book, too, because it’s not unilateral trade.

  15. downwithmonstercable says:

    I’m surprised nobody has brought up unions in this? I wonder why it costs so much to buy American…

    • MooseOfReason says:

      @downwithmonstercable: Although true, there are other reasons in addition to unions that make it more expensive to manufacture things here.

      My Honda Civic was made here, so I’m happy.

    • Skaperen says:

      @downwithmonstercable: Because unions are trying to keep American workers from being victims of exploitation?

      • Anonymous says:

        @Skaperen: uhh no. at one point that’s what they were for. now the unions are there to make a buck and stay in power and to push their own policies to those in political power.

        When I’m doing work at my house I never solicit bids from union shops, and I refuse to buy any automobile assembled by union employees.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @downwithmonstercable: compliance with laws that have provided us all with a better workplace, a better environment, & a better lifestyle. i dunno about you, but i like the fact that i will most likely not lose a limb (or my life) at work, that i can drink water without dropping water sanitizer tabs in it, that i’m not chained to my desk or passing out at my station b/c i’ve worked 30 hours straight. i like that i was able to go to school as a kid instead of starting work at the age of 8, like my great-grandfather did roughly a century ago.

      • RodAox says:

        @mac-phisto: you are making this out to be a tad dramatic…

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          @RodAox: Do you know much about the history of workers’ rights in America? If not, you might be surprised to find that mac-phisto really isn’t all that far off the mark. Here’s a little taste of the past: []

          • RodAox says:

            @JulesNoctambule: @mac-phisto: I did not deny it bud, but you have to wear the shoe on the other foot. When I was working at the fayetteville tire plant a tire maker who was a high school dropout would make enough money to trick out a F-350 special edition truck etc due to overtime agreements (which they were the cause of, slowing down production so they would have to be called in for triple overtime on sundays) and ridiculous stuff like “hazard pay” which was climbing a two step ladder and changing a light bulb.

            By the way I love walmart and cheap foreign made goods because I CANNOT AFFORD AMERICAN, EVEN IF I COULD I COULDNT FIND IT. It is economics regardless…

        • mac-phisto says:

          @RodAox: that’s not even the worst of it. my family immigrated to coal country – one company towns where the coal barons owned the mine, the store & all the houses. they paid you in scrip & let you buy essentials from them at high prices, or trade in your scrip for real cash at abusive exchange rates. you rented their houses at a premium & if the miner in your family died, they’d drop him off in your front yard. that was your eviction notice – you either sent an able-bodied man back to replace him the next day, or moved out.

          & this is how many of your cheap foreign-made goods are being produced today. believe what you want, but that’s the truth. denying it happens doesn’t make it go away.

  16. frank64 says:

    Also, unions have gone way too far. They act as if it a moral right to make $20 an hour with free health care without a degree or experience.

    • sinfonian94 says:

      @frank64: They don’t act as if it is a moral right. also, you usually need to rack up some experience before you get to $20 or more an hour.
      People forget that, without unions, we would still be working 16 hour days 6 days a week for about $200 a week (in today’s dollars). Without unions, there would be no sizable middle class, no 40 hour workweek, no overtime, no paid holidays, no paid vacations, no health insurance or other benefits.
      Those unions sure do suck.

      • frank64 says:

        @sinfonian94: Your right, but now I think they overplay their hand.

        If you listen to their statements they do make it sound whatever raise they are looking for is their moral right, when in reality it should be looked upon as just negation. Also when my my health care costs go up, I have to pay more for it. If that happens to a union, they want the employer to pay for all of the increase, and again they make it sound like the only morally correct recourse.

      • kenposan says:

        @sinfonian94: Unions had a purpose once. Their time has past. Unions are archaic and corrupt and only truly serve their leadership, not their constituents.

        • bravo369 says:

          @kenposan: i agree with you. they don’t serve a purpose anymore. we have laws now that regulate safety and work conditions. high turnover can actually be more expensive so companies will pay to retain qualified and well-performing individuals. that’s where i think unions are hurting things because of the mandatory pay increases for lazy incompetent workers who a company can’t fire because the union will sue.

          • Anonymous says:


            Actually, it’s not that unions have “gone too far” it’s more that the rest of the country has not joined them. Someone above stated “we’d still be working 16 hour days, 6 days a week and making $200 if it weren’t for unions….”
            The fact of the matter is that there are PLENTY of people (who are either non-union or prohibited from being in unions) that still work 40-50 hours a week and only bring home a little over $200 a week (have you ever worked retail?)

            As for education, I know many retail managers that have BA or higher degrees yet end up working 65-90 hour weeks and their wage comes out to around $6.50 an hour (less than minimum wage). Want to know why they have to tolerate this? Because they are the only ones who consistently hire and there is virtually NO retail union anywhere.

            So, before you go and bash unions, take a look around at what happens to actual American workers who have some of the crappiest jobs, get paid the worst, and frequently have no benefits (WalMart anyone?) because the corporation controls their wages/benefits, not a unionized group.

            • bravo369 says:

              @InezWaffles: actually i have worked retail and had a union. it stunk. they took more money out than i got back. but to address you point, my answer is…’it’s retail’. do you really expect to make enough money to buy a house and a car and raise a family working retail? i won’t deny that people work very hard and bring home very little but that’s the nature of the game in retail type jobs. they just don’t pay. you need a career…not just a job.

            • the_wiggle says:

              @InezWaffles: pick a call center, any call center & feel free to add it to the list of craptastic, benefits = joke, what raise?, family – you don’t need no family! job.

              seems to be all that’s left anymore.

              as far as an education – no guarantee it’ll get you a job that will even let you maintain the loan payments – forget paying’m off.

              soon we’ll be serfs & elites.

      • Mari Walker says:

        @sinfonian94: I think that Americans would have found another way to achieve all of that without unions. Besides, unions seem to have changed quite a bit since their inception – like union employees lying to non-union workers to get their personal information.

    • Skaperen says:

      @frank64: The health care part of that has a simple solution: take it out of the hands of business (that doesn’t want it). Universal health care won’t be much more, if even any more at all, because the current system is already full of abuse and waste, and still has everyone covering the costs of those that can’t afford it. With universal health care, people that can’t afford it will get medical care before their conditions cause the costs to go up and they become unable to work and contribute to the tax base.

  17. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    In my opinion buying American is only sustainable for so long. Let’s say a company that only produces it’s pants in the US charges $200 for them (in comparison a place like Ann Taylor, whose clothes are not American made, charges $100.

    I, being a middle class professional can’t fathom spending $100 on dress pants and wait for them to go on sale. What of the $200 American pants? How long do I wait and what are re chances I’ll ever see that sale?

    I can’t afford the $100 pants let alone the $200. I need the quality and the difference cannot be $100 worth.

    • sinfonian94 says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Anyone who pays $100 for a pair of pants is wasting their money. I grew up in Korea. When I was a kid, you could buy a $40 pair of levis (which was a lot of money in the 80s) in Korea for $5. The difference in pricing is almost always pure profit. It has little to do with actual labor cost.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @sinfonian94: I agree at that point it’s all profit…but there’s a stark difference in quality between the $30 dress pants at Wal-Mart and the $100 pants I get for sale for $30. It just takes patience.

    • khiltd says:

      @pecan 3.14159265:

      I bet you can take a sewing class for less than $200.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @khiltd: That’s like telling a person who drives to the grocery store, “I bet you could get really good running shoes for less than that car.”

        I don’t care that I could take a sewing class. I don’t want to make my own clothes. I don’t care to. My time is worth more, and I like shopping.

      • the_wiggle says:

        @khiltd: possibly. however, who has the time to sew their or their family’s clothes?

  18. mdoublej says:

    My girlfriend asked me to get something out of her Coach purse (not a knock off, but bought at their outlet) when I saw the label on the inside. MADE IN CHINA.

    The $200 she paid for that purse probably was what the person who made it earned in a month or more.


    • theodicey says:

      @mdoublej: Many factory outlet items are authorized knock-offs. The company knocks off its own items and produces them cheaply, to get customers who can’t afford the real thing and would otherwise go fake or downmarket.

    • TWSS says:

      @mdoublej: I’m constantly pissed off by how many “upscale” labels are MiC. $350 Rebecca Taylor dress? Made in freakin China. If you’re going to get your product for slave wages, at least charge a reasonable price for it.

      This is why I buy vintage, frankly.

  19. frank64 says:

    Well, even if we buy American produce it is made with foreign workers. How much would our apples cost if picked my the UAW? Imagine the apples stuck in warehouses because we were importing cheaper ones from China!

    • sinfonian94 says:

      @frank64: Not nearly as much as you think.

    • cerbie says:

      @frank64: actually, domestic foods are often cheaper, apples especially. The trouble is finding them, now that even more uppity stores (Publix, FI) are importing basically everything. It disgusts me to see Mexican sweet onions during the height of Vidalia season.

  20. YashicaBen says:

    I’m kind of obsessive about he country of origin on my stuff, and in my experience you can find reasonably priced domestically made items with a little searching. Sure, the store brand batteries may be cheaper but they’re made in China. Name brands like Energizer are made here with far better environmental controls.

    Even Wal-Mart carries socks made in the USA if you look hard enough. Many times you can’t find a domestic alternative, but at the very least you can track down something made in North America or even Europe. The 10 pack of toothbrushes I got at Costco were made in Switzerland and my Dupont landscape fabric is made in Luxembourg.

  21. SheelaHelios says:

    I am proud to say that I just purchased a treadmill made in the USA (NJ). I had narrowed my choice down to Landice and True. Both are great companies that make good treadmills, however Landice offered the lifetime warrenty on parts. Sure, the True treadmill (made in Tawain) offered more bells and whistles on their treadmill and was $500 cheaper,(the Landice model was bare bones basic) but you cannot beat a lifetime warrenty. Plus it felt good knowing I was supporting american workers. I will try to do that with as many purchases as I can.

  22. hometheaterlvr says:

    For me and my wife, one of the benefits of trying to be “green” has been looking out for products that we use a lot that were made in the USA or even North America. For us, that means personal hygiene/toiletries. I use Preserve toothbrushes/razors, which are recycled and made in America. Dr. Bronner’s soaps are made here, as well, and I use body products by Lily of the Desert, which are made here in Texas so I reduce the impact of the distribution. Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and shaving cream, cotton towels from a local store. We shop at Central Market and Whole Foods, two Texas stores, and try to buy products with the “Go Texan” brand/logo on ’em, even coffee and wine. As for other stuff, well, you’re right: it IS very difficult to find USA products like shoes (try Simple), clothes (vintage). I just realized I probably seem like an insufferable douchey hipster, but I swear we’re not. We’re just two teachers living in the burbs. Nothing special.

  23. humphrmi says:

    Several years ago when our oldest son was about two years old, we took a trip to London, and while we were spelunking around Oxford street ran across a “Lego Wear Store”, which we soon learned sold Lego-branded clothes made by Kabuki. We thought it was overpriced, but our son loved Lego’s so we bought him a few shirts and pants.

    He’s 11 now, and those are the only original clothes of his that remain. They’ve been through two younger siblings. They’re still without holes, wear, or even loss of color. After learning what durable clothes these were, we would hold off on purchasing him new clothes until I had a business trip to London, then I would go and buy a year’s apparel for him.

    I can tell you having tried every American brand of boys pants, not one survived the knees, except his Lego pants.

    Pish to American clothes. Garbage.

  24. DaleM says:

    My wife and I have taken to purchasing used whenever reasonable, not only to save money but it also to keeps our money within our community as we often purchase from local sellers.

    I figure, even if some of the used items originated over seas, by buying it used we keep the funds local.

    • negitoro says:

      @DaleM: Does that really work?

      After all, the person who owns the used goods store likely then spends the money on foreign made goods anyway.

      Any local store still contributes to the local economy, doesn’t it?

      Besides, by buying used you also cut out the money that maybe earned by other people locally (like truck drivers, warehouse workers, people working at distribution centers etc).

  25. Judge_Smails says:

    One of the strangest things I’ve seen is the hardware encryption module that is used in some Cisco routers.

    There are warnings all over the documentation and in the software about exporting it to foreign countries because of the encryption technology, but guess what the sticker on the encryption module itself says? Made in China.

  26. Featherstonehaugh says:

    Buying American is dumb. How about buying the best products for the best price?

  27. negitoro says:

    This is exactly what I think when I hear about all the people who protest about loss of jobs to other countries.

    None of them are willing to put their money where their mouth is.

  28. TheBursar says:

    While these are mostly manufactured in China, these are 99% American brands, which means that people here are still making money in management, shipping, advertising, designing and probably other fields. And these people are probably paid more since their products have better margins, which in turn make them better consumers.
    Sometimes it feels like buying American is better for our country but its not that simple. There are too many variables in my opinion.

  29. dennis_k85 says:

    In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do
    affects someone else and perhaps even their job. So, after reading
    this email, I think this lady is on the right track. Let’s get
    behind her!!

    My grandson likes Hershey’s candy. It is marked made
    in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more. My favorite toothpaste
    Colgate is made in Mexico now. I have switched to Crest. You have to
    read the labels on everything.

    This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60W light bulbs and
    Bounce dryer sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle and right next to
    the GE brand I normally buy was an off brand labeled,
    “Everyday Value.” I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the
    stats – they were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs were
    more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that
    surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and
    the Everyday Value brand was made in – get ready for this –
    the USA in a company in Cleveland , Ohio .
    So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every
    day that are made right here.
    So on to another aisle – Bounce Dryer Sheets….yep, you guessed it,
    Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value
    brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday
    and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been
    using for years and at almost half the price!

    So my challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop
    for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in t
    he USA – the job you save may be your own or your neighbors!

    If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address
    book so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at
    a time! Stop buying from China …………

    (We should have awakened a decade ago……)

    Let’s get with the program…. help our fellow Americans keep their
    jobs and create more jobs here in the U.S.A. !!!

    • cerbie says:

      @dennis_k85: I’ll have to check out where they’re made (IE, is it made as in packaged, or really made here?). However, I have no failures of the Everyday Living bulbs, and very much love their warmth–I even confused one w/ an incan, one time! Being compact enough to fit into many lamps that standard size CFLs do not in icing.

  30. paco says:

    True story… We used to manufacture things in this country. We used to have extensive domestic clothing and shoe production, not to mention building materials, car parts, widgets, food, and all sorts of wonderful things. That all changed in the last 20+ years. In that time, for instance, our clothing industry has dropped to 1% of its former size.

    What this means is that we have not only lost a lot of regionally-made goods, but many, many people have lost their jobs and watched entire local economies destroyed as companies have gone from producing goods to working with “vendors.” We could fill a book with the names of companies and towns to whom this has happened. The battle was lost when companies stopped seeing themselves as part of the larger community.

    And for what? Shoes that cost $30 and last months rather than years. Clothes that are made to be disposable so we buy more sooner. The chance to stock shelves rather than make things.

    • econobiker says:

      @paco: You can thank Walmart’s retail strip mining for alot of what you describe. See my post below and the links.

      • cerbie says:

        @econobiker: Walmart wasn’t pulling this shit 20 years ago. In fact, all that long ago, Walmart was a fairly positive force for keeping it in the US, when possible.

        What you now know of as Walmart is just a symptom.

    • morlo says:

      @paco: I don’t think companies were ever that concerned about community. As soon as it became economically feasible to outsource (because of government tax/trade policies, falling cost of transportation, 3rd world development, etc.), they did.

      • paco says:

        @morlo: There are some good examples like L.L. Bean of companies that maintain a community mission. Unfortunately, even Bean has moved away from production of products, and even some of their traditionally made-in-Maine items.

        There are other good examples like Polartec, Hathaway and others. Unfortunately, you’re right that even they’ve had to change or close in the face of competition and rising costs.

      • the_wiggle says:

        @morlo: the companies look out for themselves alone – not they’re customers & not they’re employees.

        always have. always will.

  31. econobiker says:

    @Skaperen: “that too many American manufacturers have been driven out of business by the foreign competition.”

    Actually it was Walmart and the Walmart buyers who ran goods out of the country. Sam Walton died and it was see you later “Made in the USA”. Stories abound about Walmart telling vendors that the cost of an item better be less in 5 years than 1st year of contract. Virtually the only way to do that was going offshore. These guys didn’t care if it took jobs offshore as long as Walmart did ok.

    From 1997 through 2001 I worked for a retail store fixture/display company and the management made a conscious decision NOT to sell to Walmart since they were such animals about cost downs. The production volume was there but it would have required the company to sell its soul to the devil in cost downs and their meddling with/in the company’s financials…

    For a good read on this:



  32. Froggmann says:

    You gotta find the truly American-Made stuff before you can complain about the price. Around here it seems all I can find is usually a bunch of Chinese or Indian made crap.

  33. synergy says:
  34. meechybee says:

    Walmart has as much to do with the decline of US manufacturing as the greed of the unions (and I don’t deny that they’re corrupt and greedy). Walmart essentially forced Rubbermaid into a sale to a Chinese company (who bought all the dies and such outright) so that they could meet Walmart’s low price point. Given the choice, I would much rather had paid $2 to have a conscientious US-based company than a polluting Chinese one make my garbage can. (Notice that how, right after Sam Walton died, they dropped their buy American campaign and geared their profits off the margins on imported goods.)

    It definitely take more persistence to buy American — but it’s worth it. Some things I’ve recently bought:

    – Paint Products: Purdy has amazing equipment and worth every penny
    – Apparel: Very few items are still made in he US, but Target usually some — if you look (and look, and look…). Latest score, socks.
    – Mitchell Gold: One of many still making furniture in NC
    – Sub-Zero: Going to splurge this summer and get something that won’t break every two years
    – Sugar in the Raw: Tastes amazing and comes from plantations in Hawaii, which adhere to US worker safety rules
    – Carhartt Work Gear
    – Droll Yankee Bird Feeders: Surprising number of bird feeders made in the US — go figure!

    Share the following poster (link at top right) with a store you love:

  35. William Brinkman says:

    @Snarkysnake: Except you don’t pay top dollar for those goods. You pay the cheapest price possible. Supply does not create demand. If the demand is there for a higher quality jacket (like a Mountain Hardwear), a company pops up and makes it. Then the company is bought up by a larger company… but you get the point.

    Also, again, where’s your evidence? You told me a story, but you didn’t give any evidence.

  36. Anonymous says:

    It’s one thing to comment on how China and other foreign countries have no rights etc. for their workers, but it’s the exact opposite of the scale for us. our sense of entiltlement, has created unions, and ridiculous labor grievences. We’ve basically made it impossible for our own companies to do business in our own country.

    If we had a few less “human rights” (the term is often used to conceal the reality..that we’re spoiled brats who want to not work hard, and still take home a big paycheck), then our country, it’s workers, and products might actually sustain itself as a single entity.