Many of us have issues that are extremely important to us. For some, it is the desire to bring jobs back to the U. S. that have been moved to other countries, and for others, it is to remove genetically modified organisms from the food we consume. I could spend pages listing possible issues, yet the venues often used to advocate for or against certain actions are the same: using words, spoken or written, or donating to like-minded groups. There is a much stronger weapon at the disposal of those who wish to impact the direction of our society. It is the way we spend our money. Thoughtful spending can and will bring about change.
You may have read about my effort to buy American made products when possible. When it comes to manufactured goods, this is a preference, and when it comes to food products, it is not only a preference but a health necessity from my point of view.
Recently, our youngest son and his wife were visiting with us, and the three of us went to a local store. While looking at dog treats, I was showing them how many of the dog treats are made in China. They, as many of you, are well aware of the deaths of pets attributed to tainted treats imported from China. As a part of our conversation I said something to the effect that since those things were manufactured in China, there is no way I am going to buy them. I try not to buy anything made in China if I can avoid it. A man in a nearby aisle looked at me as if I had two heads. I thought it was funny. I don’t know if he thought I was crazy or if he was shocked that I would state my opinion as I did, but it does not matter. I vote with every dollar I spend, and I think my votes are being counted.
Over the last few months I have read several articles about the trend (and hope) that manufacturing jobs relocated to other countries are finally making a slow return to the U. S. In Black Enterprise there is an article titled “Will Manufacturing Jobs Return to the US?” It states, “The outsourcing trend that has cost millions of manufacturing jobs in the US is expected to end, according to a global management consulting firm.” The article goes on to identify reasons why this may be true; other articles I have read over the past few months also support my belief that businesses are impacted by spending.
Businesses are in business to make money. If the product being produced is not a making profit (or sufficient profit), then the business is going to seek to find out what changes need to be made in order to make a profit (or greater profit). If Americans refuse to buy a product, in this example products made in China, then eventually businesses will come to understand that if they wish to make a product that will sell, then something must change. In this case, people want quality products made in America.
While visiting with our oldest daughter and her family, we did a bit of shopping. Her comment was that as a military family their finances are too tight to worry about the source of a product; they just have to buy the most economical option. What is my response to this? First, our military should be paid more. (Don’t even get me started on the cuts just passed for our retired veterans.) Second, this is America, and we should be able to create quality products made in this country that are also affordable. In the past, our American ancestors have shown that almost anything is possible in this country when we put our minds to it and unite. It can be done, and this change, as well as other changes, can begin with the way you thoughtfully spend each dollar.
For me, I buy American made products when possible. There are many wonderful products made or grown in other countries that we just can’t get here, and I have no qualms about making those purchases. My issues are with products outside of the U. S. that lack quality and safety and could (and should) still be manufactured or grown and processed in the U. S. Why should I purchase a chicken that was grown and killed in the U. S. and then shipped to China for processing before being returned to the U. S. to enter our food chain? That is ridiculous! When I am aware of other issues such as genetically modified foods or animal cruelty issues, I avoid buying from such companies. As I become a better educated consumer, I tell companies what I think about the products and their manufacturing process and their priorities by voting with the money I spend, or don’t spend, on their products. I challenge you to do the same.