Made in USA Articles April 2013


Urgent on Ability to Sell Made in USA Items

Per The Wall Street Journal, at Wal-Mart’s urging the Senate is ignoring its own committee rules and suddenly moving the out-of-state Internet sales tax bill to a vote THIS WEEK. If made law, this will seriously hamper our ability to sell Made in USA items from our 600+ mostly small, family-owned suppliers. Let me explain more -

Presently, out of state mail order, phone and Internet retailers do not have to collect sales tax for the nearly 9600 different local and state tax districts outside the state where they have a physical location. Bill S.743 would force Internet retailers (yet ignores phone and mail retailers) to collect and file those taxes, creating an incredible filing nightmare for small businesses.

I already have some experience on this issue in California, where we are based. In total, I spend much, much more time filing California sales tax forms than on our federal income taxes. As Wal-Mart knows, most Internet retailers cannot handle the national filing nightmare they are working so hard to create. They are spending vast sums lobbying for a law that will kill competition and diversity.

The bill may end up including a waiver for businesses with under $1 million in revenue, but considering returns and many other costs of doing business, a profit margin of 2% can be very realistic. That means a business with profits of only $20,000 could be required to jump through these hoops. Clearly the cost of paying full-time staff to calculate and file so many sales tax documentation requirements would put that small company out of business. I may need five people just to deal with all the filing requirements. That means either a sharp price increase or oblivion.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not going anywhere. This Made in USA effort of ours is too important. I would sell USA-Made products out of the back of a truck if it came to that, but Wal-Mart sure isn’t fighting fair…

PLEASE join me in lobbying your Senators against the out-of-state Internet sales tax bill S.743 in this extremely complex, unfair form. Below is an easy link to contact each Senator:

Link to Senate Contact Webpage

Featured Supplier – Stuffington

Do you have kids or grandkids, or know someone who does? Stuffington of Phoenix, Arizona is the last supplier I know of making a wide variety of stuffed animals here from USA-Made fabric and other materials. They make so many cool stuffed animals I cannot mention them here, but if that special kid needs a stuffed friend they are going to adore for many, many years, please keep Stuffington in mind.

New Items:

Best Standard makes neat kitchen tools from stainless steel right here in the USA. We have just added their handheld masher and French whip. One is great for mashing what needs smashing, and the other will get that sauce right into shape! Dishwasher safe.

Solar Powered Sun Tea Jar not only brews through the glass, but has a built in solar cell and “stirring action” motor. Enjoy sun tea year round! Made in Colorado.


Forget Those Dangerous Chinese Light Bulbs

It might not surprise you that I hate those imported, curly CFL light bulbs:

-They contain dangerous mercury. There are issues when they break, and just imagine millions in our landfills. Most communities do not yet have a disposal plan.

-They emit too much radiation.

-They were supposed to last ten years, but many stop working in a matter of weeks.

-Under the guise of being "green," our government is trying to force us to use them.

-They are all imported from the same massive Shanghai facility, nearly wiping out our lighting industry.

That is why I am so excited to introduce a real USA choice to you - Aero-Tech.

How about a real and safe Made in USA light bulb still made here of only USA components? Plus, they are positively rugged, lasting 20,000 hours! Because they are so solid, they were able to get a special "Rough Service" waiver from the government to continue production here (How sad that I have to say that!).

I know this light bulb situation has particularly troubled many of you as well, so I am thrilled to be able to provide a great alternative. Because of your help and support, is becoming a focal point of real change on these important issues for our nation. We do not have to accept lesser quality, and you can be sure our great nation can turn this economy around! If Washington won't do it, we will do it ourselves!

Featured Supplier: Reel Mowers by American Lawn Mower

American Lawn Mower has been making reel push mowers in Shelbyville, Indiana for nearly 100 years! I have one and really like that it is not only a quality product made here, but I can get some exercise while cutting the grass and not have to burn any foreign oil. Please note this maker has foreign made products too, but we only sell their USA models, so please be careful with other sources.

New Items:

Yes, we have these cool light bulbs and flood lights from Aero-Tech! Check them out at the link below!

Baltimore Boxers is selling a new boxer short for men, amazingly soft and comfortable. They have launched with the color black, but more colors will be available in the months to come.

DUS-T has long been a partner with us. They make t-shirts with built in mouth covers for work, weather, or outdoor sports. They just added a long sleeve version!


Good News on the Energy Deficit

We still have a long way to go, but we’re seeing real progress on the energy deficit. Along with the trade deficit for manufactured goods, the massive amount of energy we have been importing has been a huge drain on American wealth.

The energy deficit has not only been a massive economic problem, but a political one too, as our wealth has been transferred to hostile nations.

Firstly, conservation has taken hold. Using less not only keeps money in our economy, it also keeps money in your pocket! Just today the Energy Information Agency reported that we are using 555,000 barrels of oil less every day than just six years ago!

Secondly, rapidly increased domestic production has not only created tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs here, but has also kept tens of billions of dollars circulating right here at home.

How has this helped? Per The Wall Street Journal, imports of crude oil from unstable Nigeria have dropped by half in just one year!

We still wear the chains of imported energy, but day by day the cracks are growing!

Featured Supplier This Week: LoggerHead Tools

I am proud to work with LoggerHead tools. Their tools are not just of amazing quality, they’re innovative and are built right here in the USA to last for decades! They had a tough time last year when Sears copied them and introduced Chinese-Made versions under their once-vaulted “Craftsman” line. has since rallied to their support, promoting their struggle. Thanks to you, we have also bought a significant quantity of their products!

New Items:

Earth Creations clothing is not only fashionable, but is made of organic cotton and even clay-based dyes to make some very cool stuff! They just introduced quite a few beautiful tops for women and kids. We carry only their Made in USA items. Made in Alabama.

Maple Landmark, a wonderful maker of hardwood toys, has introduced some fun “Spinny” toys!

Kona’s Chips is relatively new to us, but their dog treats using only USA-produced chicken and beef have been a huge hit. We can hardly keep them in stock! New today: their 8 oz chicken jerky strips that will make your pooch ecstatically happy! Plus, no need to worry about Chinese chemicals in the dog treats.


Taking a "Made in USA" Stand

Having read a lot of history, I am frightened by the similarities between great nations of the past and what we see going on in our own nation today. It is not hard to see a common thread between Rome, the Spanish Empire and the challenges we face today. De-industrialization, the hollowing out of an economy, is not new or unpredictable. There is trouble here today and, if we do not act, a lot more coming before long.

However history may repeat itself, the future is not cut in stone. History never had a United States of America before--a nation of, for, and created by free men and women. I lived for years abroad and have seen great and low, but I have never seen anything like the shining light of freedom that is the USA. “Can do” folks from every corner of the globe came together to create something unique in history.

It is not up to big corporations. It is not up to Washington. Individuals have made our nation strong for more than 200 years, and individuals will heal our great nation. 70% of our economy is made up of individual spending, with government and business totaling just 30%. Beyond that, there is the cascading, exponentially growing effect of hundreds of thousands of motivated Americans making real change happen.

It is our nation. Our forefathers scrimped and sacrificed to create something greater, and now our generation faces a particularly insidious threat – apathy.

I know sometimes it seems like that mountain is too high: so high it cannot be climbed, much less moved. Yet, move it we shall. We won’t move it in one big load, but in millions of small ones!

Small ways like telling friends, forwarding this e-mail, mentioning that it’s cool to “create jobs here by buying what our people make” on Facebook, teaching the young why Made in USA is important, etc., etc., etc.

Soon those small steps start making a big change happen.

Featured Supplier – Bully Tools

Spring is in the air, and Bully Tools of Ohio makes a huge number of great lawn and garden tools, among others. You could buy a chintzy one at mega-mart for the short-term, or you can pay more for a real one made by real Americans that could very well be the last of those tools you ever need to buy.

New Items:

Flipped Out Educational Game is not only a fun, fast paced way to play with the kids, but also subtly teaches them math while they least expect it! Made in Florida from solid, 100% USA-grown wood to last for decades.