Made in USA Articles June 2012

6/27/12

As we near the fourth of July, it was 236 years ago that a very special document was signed. After all these years, the second sentence is still as moving today as it was then:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Many take our freedom for granted today, yet history is full of violence and tyrants. There had been brief glimpses of freedom before, but this was something new and special – A people actually creating a nation by the people for the people! Wow!

How rare is that even today? There is no freedom in China. People there can’t read a bible or even have a second child without worrying about doors breaking down. Dictators in every guise fear even those most basic rights that we take for granted.

Nevertheless, freedom is not free. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those that have and continue to serve and protect us to this day!

And I thank you for standing with us to protect American manufacturing and jobs! Apathy and short-term greed are destroying our industrial base and threatening our future.

In spite of the challenges, I am optimistic today because of you! When this started there were a few dozen of us, but it has grown like wildfire since! Now tens of thousands of Americans from every corner of our nation from every kind of background are standing with us and making a real difference!

Even if we were to fail, is it not better to take a stand for our nation and way of life then to quietly watch something so special fade into history?

We are making a difference. Millions of our citizens are sympathetic, but asleep. I know just the folks to wake them up!

Have a great holiday, enjoy, and be safe!

6/21/12

USA Cheated on USA/Korea Free Trade Deal

We had pushed hard against the Korea/USA Free Trade treaty since it was obviously bad for USA manufacturers and employees. There is zero evidence that deals such as this one help our nation. In fact, like NAFTA, the net effect of these so called "free trade" deals equates to fewer jobs here in the USA. Plus, we lose good, middle class manufacturing jobs in exchange for lowing paying jobs, such as picking fruit. This means the true net effect for the USA is fewer jobs and reduced pay – a bad deal.

We managed to help in delaying the deal with Korea, but were eventually overwhelmed by lobbying from wily Korean (government and businesses, like Samsung, Hyundai, LG, and Kia) and various domestic USA groups that put their profit ahead of the needs of their own customers. Faithless Wal-Mart in particular was very active lobbying for this deal, both on their own and via funding the Chamber of Commerce.

To try to sell this nonsense, the lobbyists and many of our representatives pitched that this would open a massive new market for our goods. The figures they threw around were not even mathematically possible, yet sadly these lies gave them enough of a smokescreen to push it through.

Facts speak for themselves -- We have had a full month of data since the deal went active and it is even worse than expected. Per AP (



http://tinyurl.com/7xveaoo), our trade deficit with Korea tripled. Far from a massive new market for our products, shipments from the USA to Korea actually dropped over 12%!

We are being slammed! Ignorance and avarice of our business and government leadership has opened the gate to our nation’s decline.

This must stop! No other nation’s interest is more important than our people!

We must hold our leadership accountable! We must also be astute in our own purchases – for instance, buying a Samsung product at Wal-Mart does not help at all. Buying American-Made products really does add value and create jobs here not just at the maker, but also for dozens of suppliers from the ground up.

It is time to take a stand and make things happen! God Bless The United States of America!

New Items:

Our awesome tableware supplier Emerson Creek Pottery has added some gorgeous new styles, including Blue Crab, American Blue, and Copper Clay. Check them out! Dishwasher and microwave safe! Not only beautiful and made here, but no chemicals leaching out, like lead potentially in some imports.

Stan Ray, and great American maker of pants and shorts has awesome styles for real work, the office, or play! I actually have their awesome chinos on right now and love them! No added fees for big sizes. A great Khaki pant for casual day at the office for under $40, plus free hemming of the inseam length on this and other pants!!!

Just in time for July 4th, we have added the board game Constitution Quest. Fun and educational for teens through grandparents! Learn about the constitution while enjoying family time together!

6/13/12

Child Labor in Asia Part of USA Low Retail Prices

Ever wonder how those big retail chain stores can get those “low, low prices” on their imports? I worked in Asia seven years. Where labor cost is a factor, many factory employees are treated in ways that we consider so terrible they are illegal.

Blights like Child factory labor we rightly consider insidious, but are just part of the supply chain that makes that toy, etc. at Mega-Mart cheaper.

AP recently had an article about seizures of child workers at factories working in terrible conditions, even directly with dangerous chemicals (link to article:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gv8Y53JvTc777l9Pvr11-pUx4Oww?docId=80e88ef1d9994097ac63689f3e995c01).

What was supposedly wiped out was found endemic even in their capital! The extent in the rest of the country is no doubt huge.

Apple reported several months ago audits of their mostly Chinese suppliers found five instances of child labor and those of scary “forced labor”, and this was at their prime, direct suppliers! Had they gone to the subcontractors that actually make stuff, they would have seen much, much worse conditions. At least Apple admitted to their findings, as these concerns won’t be on the list at Samsung.

These children should be at school and having time to play and be kids, not working in dangerous factories.

I was on a flight to Hong Kong some years ago and happen to be sitting next to a buyer from Lands’ End. She was going on and on about the deal they were getting on clothing. I asked if they understood what was really going on in the factory they were contracting with, and she said yes. In short, they were auditing it maybe twice a year, and giving the Chinese notice of when the auditor was coming. That might have been enough to make them feel OK with it, but is NOT enough to understand what is really going on there. Had their auditor gone for a surprise audit, they would have found many issues.

Mattel, Levi’s, and hundreds of other American companies have sold out our own country to move production to China. Maybe they tour a factory occasionally, enough to give them the feeling they can talk righteously about their concerns for those employees, while actually taking advantage of the worst. Not Lands’ End, not Mattel, not Apple, I have seen zero evidence any of them are getting out to check the conditions at the subcontractors where much of the work is really done.

This might make things seem cheaper here, but it is also an unfair cost advantage. Our factories close and unemployment rises, when we have to trade against countries willing to exploit their own children. We need to hold them accountable.

We cannot assume that items have been made to a standard we believe acceptable unless it is from here or countries that actually hold to our standards, like Canada, Germany, Australia, etc.

It is a vote for a better world when insist on a higher standard. With each purchase we make that choice. Buying items made here not only helps our economy and puts our people back to work, but you can also feel good about insisting on a higher standard for employees, especially children. For instance, American-Made toys are made for kids, not by them (link to Toys on MadeinUSAForever.com: http://madeinusaforever.com/toys.html)

New Items: I am so excited we have added the only source of stainless steel flatware in the country! Liberty Tabletop made in upstate NY with a 25 year warranty! They have taken over and re-opened a factory that sat idle. No need to buy chintzy imports! The ChopStir is an innovative cooking tool that substantially decreases the time in many recipes. Ground means cook in almost half the time and frozen concentrates are ready to drink in seconds. The Parti-Bowl is a blast! It is the only adjustable chip bowl on the market. Super easy to use and adjust. We have added a wide array of folding oak tables. Nine sizes available from snack table through card table! These are not only beautiful, but hold up to 300 pounds! Made from solid Pennsylvania Red Oak. No assembly required. The SNAPI is a fun single handed server, great for salad, pasta, fruit, etc. Easier than big spoons for many items, and easily used without putting your plates down. The talk of the party!

6/6/2012

When I founded www.MadeinUSAForever.com my plan was to create the resource for Made in USA products. To create jobs, help our economy, protect our nation’s future, and many other great reasons to empower USA customers.

All of those factors are true, but a really cool effect that was beyond my expectations – Though I have never limited large companies, the vast majority of the suppliers that joined are small, family owned businesses. Finding ways to keep it real right here in our nation in spite of intense, unfair competition from abroad. Withstanding all odds to create something, I am often at awe of these true Americans!

Naturally, these are the type of folks that could never sell out our people, so they make it here. Yet another awesome reason to feel good about buying American-Made!

There is more good news – Small and Medium size businesses create 85% of new jobs. Government and big business combined create the rest. Small business drives economic recovery, so helping them helps ourselves!

Note on Father’s Day: There is still time to get a great gift for Dad shipped, but please also consider our gift certificates if you are unsure about his size, etc. They do not expire, and you have my promise we will take special care of Dad: http://madeinusaforever.com/gice.html

New Items:

Stan Ray work pants are built rock solid. Double layered front, lots of rivets on stress points, etc. These pants are built to last years of hard work. Made in Texas.

Klogs has added two lighter weight styles to their popular line of flexible polyurethane Clog shoes, the Kennett and Sedalia. They are cheaper too. This maker’s other leather shoes are not here because they are imported, but we support their lines that are fully made here. Made in Missouri.

The “Hang It Perfect” wall hanging tool was created to solve a problem that we all have – hanging pictures straight! This not only takes the guesswork and stress out of it, hanging pictures takes a fraction of the time. Invented and made in Illinois.

The Toothpick Dispenser has been made by MPC here in the USA for generations. You probably have seen it on dozens of restaurant counters over the years. They last decades! Have one at home to keep your toothpicks clean and handy.

Texas Jeans has launched two new styles of guy’s shorts just in time for Summer! Cargo shorts in denim or camo with all the trimmings for under $25!

The YOU QUBE! Personalized Organizer is an awesome way to not just stay organized, but include precious photo’s on your desk! Great a gift with your photo’s, and so simple to do! Great for Father’s Day.

How did Great Shot get that golf ball into that paperweight/décor wood encasing? Take a look and tell me, because I have no idea! It also makes a fun Father’s Day Gift!

Footskins is an awesome maker of footwear, even using USA produced leather! Their sheepskin slippers are now available in wide through size 11! (Bigger sizes still available in regular) Dad might like that too!