The next time you’re shopping at Wal-Mart, take a second to inspect the products. How many things in your cart are made in America? While I haven’t shopped at the Great Wall-Mart in years, it’s my impression that most of their stuff is made in China. Maybe I’m full of shit, maybe not, but I’m not going into that place to find out.
But I do buy stuff from other stores, and I do often look at where it comes from, out of curiosity. Usually it’s China, but there’s also a fair amount from India, Brazil, and my bed sheets are Egyptian cotton (elitist!).
I don’t point this out to suggest you stop going to Wal-Mart (it’s your choice if you want to hand over your money to those censorship Nazis), because I don’t think they’re particularly egregious when it comes to buying imported products. Rather, Wal-Mart is indicative of a general trend in America.
Americans love cheap shit. We want our products inexpensive and of poor quality. We buy things that break in a few weeks and then buy another, because we are a disposable society. It’s not an efficient way to live, it’s hell on the environment, and it means we settle for using worthless trash, but hey, it’s the American way, right?
This mentality is putting America out of work.
The average American says they feel that outsourcing is a major problem. Americans claim to not be happy about jobs going overseas. Yet their actions speak louder than their words. Despite a brief post-9/11 resurgence among the Republican base to “Buy American,” American made products continue to be an endangered species on retail shelves.
“Statists,” like myself, would point out there are many ways the US government can change this, but as anyone paying attention can tell you, that’s won’t happen so long as the corporations who profit from this economic model are funding the campaigns of our politicians. It may also change as the cost to ship products from overseas increases as oil runs out, but America’s industries are already at a breaking point.
In my opinion, if we wait for the invisible hand to correct this, we’re going to end up bitch-slapped.
So I ask you guys: Why are people passionately against exporting our work, yet apathetic about it when it comes time to make a purchase?