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Support businesses that support USA

Column: Something About Nothing

My Crock-Pot is made in China. My curling iron is made in China. My telephone is made in China. My stainless steel scissors are made in China. My bathrobes are made in China. My purses are made in China. My Tickle Me Elmo from Mattel is made in China. My humidifier was made in the USA.

It took me awhile in my search of my home to find something made in the United States. If I got rid of everything that I have that was not made in the United States, most of my clothes would be gone, most of my appliances, dishes, jewelry, etc., would be gone. My home would be empty.

Recently Hutchinson Technology laid off workers. It is restructuring. It plans to reduce its workforce by 30 to 40 percent over the next 12 months. In 2010 the company built a plant in Thailand to do the majority of assembly work for the new products. This was stated in an article in the Pioneer Press on March 9.

I like to keep my columns light and avoid the news. However, there are times where we must take notice and ask ourselves if our avoidance is apathy on our part. I must admit I am not a numbers person so I would not understand the financial moves of a company. However, I do know many people without employment. Many have lost their jobs because of jobs being outsourced overseas.

I look around my house and can find very few things made in the United States. I also must admit when I make a purchase I don’t often think to look for a made in America product. I look at the price, the cuteness or the need for replacing something in my home. I cannot tell you that a product made overseas is cheaper than a product made in the USA. I have never compared.

This week the news of another plant downsizing made me very sad. I feel we are all a part of the problem. Just as we need to support small businesses in our hometown before they go away we need to support businesses that invest in American workers.

We can wait for the government to solve our manufacturing problem, which is doubtful or we can be a part of the solution. I am no economist, and many people will dispute me on this. I feel if every American made an effort to buy American-made products the demand would go up and the American worker would be put back to work.

It would not be easy. These products are hard to find in our stores. We need to ask stores to stock more American-made products. It would take more time for us to look at labels. Aren’t we starting to do that now with regard to nutrition and health? Let’s add “Made in the USA” to our label reading.

There are websites such as stillmadeinusa.com and Americanworking.com that can help you find American-made products. I found a blog by Randy in Arlington, Va. It is called buyamericanchallenge.

He is challenging all of us to buy “Made in the USA” products. I am going to join his challenge. I will provide a link to his blog on my other blog, which is sprinklednotes.com, or you can Google the name and it will take you to his blog.

Let’s join together as Americans and make a commitment to our American workers. I have a lot of wacky dreams and maybe this is one of them. But I believe in the American people, and I believe if we stick together and support our workers we can effect a change.

Take the challenge. Challenge your friends and neighbors to do the same. And don’t give up. If it doesn’t work in a year, keep it going for two, three, four or however long it takes to be proud of “Made in America.” We’ll check back periodically to see how we are doing.

Aha! My Silk soy milk is made in the United States!

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at thecolumn@bevcomm.net. Her blog is www.thankfuljoy.com. Listen to KBEW AM radio 1:30 p.m. Sundays for “Something About Nothing.”