Made In USA

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Made In U.S.A.

I cannot escape the notion that Americanism is adrift in a swamp of quicksand. Its legs weighted, its movements labored, measured and consequential. Now don’t get all freaked out, I’m not talking about building a red white and blue wall around the Nation’s border or any other fascist ideal. I’m referring to the lost pride in ownership that we once had in this nation that seems to have yielded to an overwhelming tone of self-indulgence.

Community and I’ll say it again Americanism seems to be racing up the endangered species list fast on the heels of Company Loyalty, original television programming and captive wild animal shows. As a nation it seems we are chipping away at our long fought for and long cultivated identity.

We are a nation built by pioneers of creative thought and adventurous trail-blazers. Not forsaking Democracy, the American spirit is embodied in the marriage of Capitalism and philanthropy. It is personified by men like John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt and by characters like Forest Gump, Rocky Balboa and George Bailey. America is the place where hard work was not only rewarded but lauded. That hard work bestowed a sense of pride and a knowing that we were an important and integral part in something larger than ourselves.

The boon of the 80’s that survived until the current economic crash set the tone for the rebirth of the “Me first” generation. The late 80’s saw everyone jumping on the “I’m gonna get mine” bandwagon that recently gave way to the “Holy Shit, how can I keep mine” generation. Which coincidentally is the same generation as the first only with a giant slap in the face from the hand of reality.

As a result we (from the industry leaders on down to the consumers) have taken an opportunistic shortsighted approach to stabilizing our individual economies. Companies do this by outsourcing for cheaper labor and materials. Individuals contribute to the mess by only measuring the cost of foreign goods against domestic counterparts at the point of sale. The workforce has adopted a do only what is necessary and no more practice. The long term repercussion and cost to the overall economic health and growth of our nation be damned, “Is it 5 o’clock yet? and I need affordable tires.”

All of this leads me to my point and the genesis of this rant. I ask you:

  • “Would it truly hurt you to pay an extra percentage or so to keep another US tax payer working?”
  • “What is the true cost of an imported good when factoring in the human cost of foreign slave labor?”
  • “What are the ecological costs of shipping goods across the globe?”
  • “How many earned dollars will you have to forfeit to support a nation of unemployed factory workers?”
  • “How long before your job is outsourced to “Region 10” (code for India)?”
  • “Are you comfortable knowing that the cheaper auto part installed in your car may fail you and cost you more than money could ever buy?”
  • “Can’t we as Americans rise up and out-engineer, out-manufacture, and out-work any of our competitors?”

I’m just sayin’

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