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general question: why does "made in the USA" matter to you?

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    general question: why does "made in the USA" matter to you?



    other posts, here, and across the interwebs, have had me wondering about this.


    you can email me the answer to this, if you want to, or post here. of course, nobody's obligated in any way, and I'm not going to judge, criticize, or even respond in any way, unless someone has a clarification question; I'm just curious--this isn't going to be some back and forth argument.


    Tell me why "made in the USA" is important to you. it doesn't need to be (in fact, I don't want it to be) a huge tome on the subject...just a "dude on the street" answer--as in, dude on the street asks you, this is what you say. someone else referred to this as an "elevator answer"; explain it during an elevator ride--done when you get off. email is this username at gmail.


    thanks, dudes.


    #2


    Here are my reasons, in no particular order:


    -Buying American-made goods helps American workers and, by extension, our national economy. Well-paid manufacturing jobs are on the decline in Western countries as things get outsourced to cheaper labor markets. Buying American-made goods helps to support those few manufacturing jobs that remain, and that money in turn gets pumped back into the local economy when that worker buys goods and services here in the US.


    -Buying American-made is also a form of NOT buying goods made in countries that do not protect workers' rights and safety. The reason so much labor has been outsourced to third-world countries is because manufacturers can afford to pay those laborers dirt-cheap wages and often offer little in terms of on-the-job safety, work benefits, child labor laws, etc. Not all foreign manufacturing sites are like this, of course, but many of them are.


    -Buying local is buying green. It takes a lot of fossil fuels to ship raw products around the globe so that they can be refined and manufactured, only to have them sent back to their destination markets. If you buy locally made products with locally sourced materials, you are cutting out a lot of unnecessary transportation waste. Plus Western countries tend to have more stringent environmental regulations for manufacturers, which means there are generally fewer toxic byproducts entering the environment.


    -American-made goods tend to have better quality control, better overall quality, etc. This is a generalization but one that is fairly true. Workers with better working conditions and wages put out better products, plus manufacturers have more hands-on control of the manufacturing process than those who simply contract with foreign factories to produce their products. Plus American-made products are simply held to a higher standard as the result of their higher price.


    Those are the big ones, for me. And of course, they apply (to varying degrees) to products made in other Western countries, like Canada, the UK, western Europe, etc. They are, of course, broad generalizations that do not hold true 100% of the time. There are factories in China, for example, that are wholly owned and operated by high-end Western manufacturers, which produce not only high quality products, but retain workers with better wages and benefits due to the skilled nature of the work. But, as generalizations, I think they are fairly accurate.


    [Edit] Another one I just thought of - tax loopholes. Companies like GE can get away with paying $0 in federal income tax because they do much of their business overseas. Businesses that keep things local in the US are more directly subject to US taxes and thus, they actually pay their fair share to keep our country running.

    Ben

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      #3


      To me Made in USA suggests good quality and supports local businesses (for those of us in US).

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        #4


        In addition to what BenR said, many American made products know the quality of their product. They also recognize that people are going to have to pay a premium for more expensive labor and better materials. Thus, many American-made products (almost all that I own) stand behind their goods with amazing warranties or guarantees. I don't have a huge budget, but I like to buy a high quality product once that will last for years, as opposed to several cheap items. These guarantees are helpful for me.

        "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano

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          #5


          Historically, USA products from cloth, leather, and wood seem to be very high quality imo. But buying American isn't that important to me. It's about buying the best product available, if it happens to be USA then great, but if not I don't fret to much about it.


          I'd argue that much of the higher costs of American made goods is not always due to quality but burecratic regulations, of which some are unhelpful and unnecessary and thus creates a moral hazard to ship production overseas.

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            #6


            Ben; that's a long elevator ride.

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              #7


              I agree with Ben... Also, manufacturers in the US are usually competing on quality. They can't usually compete on the lowest price with things made in 3rd world countries, so they try to make better products with better materials, craftsmanship, etc. The same goes for "Made in Italy" clothing, Swiss & Japanese watches, British clothing and goods, etc.

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                #8


                @ OnlyShawn - Well, for elevator brevity, I could simply sum up: Local economy, workers' rights, environment, product quality, and tax loopholes.


                But like any good law student, I feel the need to qualify and elaborate my arguments (and can keep going until the professor or judge asks me to stop...). :-)

                Ben

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                  #9


                  Agree with BenR. Plus, I think in this day and age, it seems that companies that strive to keep their products in the hands of skilled workers in their own economy have a bit more integrity and ambition. They don't want to stomp on their overseas workers to just get the price low, they pay what it costs to make sure it is good and made under the fairer laws of the Western economic systems. Western Europe and the US generally have higher standards for what gets made in their own territory, thus we as consumers benefit and the companies are encouraged to keep up the quality and show that they are worth their prices.

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                    #10


                    Very well stated BenR.

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