Stop buying crap from China

Kathryn - posted on 01/13/2013 ( 58 moms have responded )

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The saying goes "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem".
I've been reading an interesting story, which comes with 1000+ reader comments, about the importance of buying in America.
http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/what-...
I've spent the past 2 days reading the comments, and probably have another day's worth to go. Along the way you get some interesting facts to search, which is also quite interesting.

Anyways, I have decided to make an effort to stop buying anything that is not made in Canada (I'm Canadian) If it can't be made in Canada, then it will be USA, then Mexico. At least trying to keep it in North America....afterall we are neighbours.

I'm especially going to try to stop buying anything from China. There may be times when I don't have a choice. Buying second hand will always be a priority, since that product is already here.

We can't expect to keep our factories going, if we won't buy from them. They may be a bit more expensive, but even if we spend a bit more in our own country, it will help.

Tariffs need to be brought back to oversea imports. These cheap wages are what took our manufacturers away. Either entice them back, or tax the hell out of their products. We cannot compete with other countries who have low wages, and not the regulations our countries impose.

I came across this clothing website, where everything is made in USA. It also has the ability for you to trace back to the farmer, where the material was obtained. Their products are nice looking and reasonably priced. I have been in email contact with them, and told them I liked their website so much, I was going to mention whenever possible.
http://www.allamericanclothing.com

Since reading this above story, I have started looking at lables. Almost everything is made in China!!! It is cheap crap, and basically considered disposable. All we are doing is supporting their citizens.
Time to look after our own...and possibly our neighbours :)

Are you willing to buy made in "your country" and stop with the cheap overseas junk? Maybe buy secondhand instead..or go without, if that is an option?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 03/07/2013

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"Hope everyone who couldn't care less about where products are made, start learning a foreign language."

Just because people don't go out of their way to buy things made in their own country doesn't mean they couldn't care less, they may just have to juggle their priorities. I think you are over-reacting.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/29/2013

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First of all, you seem to be offended by what I wrote and seem to require some sort of response from me, though I can't really see why. Not only do I not know you personally and my opinion of you doesn't matter one way or the other (neither does anyone's opinion on the internet or off), but never was there any sort of insult on a personal level. There was only a response to the exact words you posted as fact, though you chose to attach emotion to the scenarios (i.e. "wanting to scream") while only describing your personal experiences about "high prices" and buying things anyway. If reading it in line with the other posts before it and the way you presented it, it's not too far fetched that anyone would happen to interpret it as you not understanding where to find the best deals.Your original post began with you enticing others to agree with you, stating that you expected MANY other posts to "echo" yours (i.e. seeking validation and acknowledgement) without actually stating what your scenario was. You said nothing about income, reasoning or anything like that. Only that you were "blown away" by prices and how you "rub pennies together" while describing still choosing to buy the expensive products with a hint of martyrdom.

Now you post, insulted, in an aggressive manner and use the word "tout" repeatedly in an attempt to achieve dominance while also attempting to belittle my intelligence and validity of my argument based in fact. So, clearly, you require an explanation and fact based retort in order to move onward with your life and internet experience. (Sorry in advance if the vocabulary seems insulting or otherwise demeaning, but my brain came up with the words as I typed, which is the vocabulary I usually use.)

Many people are on the same boat as you, laid off, living off "barely anything." Some folks handle it better than others. Some living in poverty (based on American standards) are actually happy, despite lack of funds, while others tend to see themselves as victims (i.e. blaming their situation on outside sources and not their own shortcomings) and also suffer from depression. The picture painted by most folks who post on the internet, including the post you most recently left, is one with a tinge of martyrdom and feeling that conditions are really, truly terrible. That you (i.e. the population that posts in this fashion, not you alone) have been victimized and have no choice and yearn for the world to have compassion and understanding. Again, this is because of the standards we have become accustomed to in this country and our views of what things "should" be.

I didn't ask you or anyone for any information about WHY you don't buy exclusively American, nor am I a proponent or dedicated protester against all the corporations who outsource. Clearly you are a supporter of buying ALL American and seem to either truly seek an arrangement to uphold your beliefs you hold so dearly or you are trying to "show me" and it's not a true passion of yours. Either way, I am going to assume you actually want a real way to go about it and are actually open minded about what it means to achieve it.

I posted about the reasons WHY we manufacture in China, HOW we treat the Chinese and an explanation due to some of the comments that were being produced in this thread from people who were urging others to buy all American while using phrases like "I try to buy American when I can" rather than being dedicated activists while preaching complete activism from others. I posted from a primarily business outlook. There is a huge difference between leading the charge by example WHILE encouraging others to do so and claiming everyone should while not doing it ourselves.

This is not a contest as to who knows more about living a "hard life.: And truth be told- I don't care more than to write back now and definitely don't care to lose myself in emotion to prove anything. Has it ever dawned on you that maybe it's "not the words of someone who never scraped pennies together", but that you're creating an explanation to make yourself feel better? That someone who really did go through the same or worse than you could very legitimately have the ability to tell you that you are, indeed, doing something inefficiently because they did pull themselves out of it?

No one should treat it like a contest if they want an actual discussion. I don't really feel like describing my life or my experience being homeless, not having a family, being a kid who grew up with less than nothing and survived a childhood of serious abuse after "falling through the cracks", having no choice but to rely on assistance in the past, working since 15 to support myself and still choosing to get a degree, having an extremely rare genetic medical condition (that I have forever) and medical emergency in the past that put me personally into debt I can never repay and living paycheck to paycheck other than this sentence I just typed. I don't care if my life "wins" over your sad story because it's my life and what would I "win" anyway? It happened and I moved on. And I learned that I had the same beliefs as you and used to get offended when people who knew what they were saying told me I was in fact not shopping as optimally as I could. I can tell you that I do truly understand what it's like and by making less money than you do currently while upholding personal beliefs and dealing with the mental anguish associated with it because of notions of how things are "supposed" to be. You don't think you can buy all American products? That's cool. You think you can and it's important to you? Even better. Great story.

If I had all the time (and cared enough to) I could probably write an ebook on the subject of how one could only buy American, but that's not my objective for the evening, so I hope you'll forgive me. Do I think we could all buy American with no budget, etc, yadda yadda? No. No, I don't. Why? Because Americans "need" birthday candles and shampoo from stores. Again, no one is attacking you. I could say "carbonated drinks" or "pencils." Any product could be substituted. But the bottom line is that most people aren't willing to die for their beliefs or live uncomfortably at the very least. Have I bought "only American" in the past just to see what it was like? Yeah, actually I have for a little over a year as an experiment. And I'll tell you, it can be hard if you are looking for non-essentials or "don't have the time" to make it yourself. It's a lot of research, work and understanding of one's own beliefs. It's a LOT of effort and dedication. There is no app for that (none that I know of). Anything outside food and clothing is non-essential. And most people do have the time, but prioritize differently or don't optimize time most efficiently to only spend money on American products.

It really goes without saying- if you have an extremely low budget, you simply do not buy as much, regardless of where you live. You always have a choice to spend money or not. You have a choice to spend money to support China or not. If you truly have no choice and are accepting donations from a food shelter, you are receiving essentials to survive and cannot control what is given to you, but you are still not buying those products supporting outsourcing, regardless of the person who bought it to provide it to you. You can choose to save every penny by living as cheaply as humanly possible and then using those pennies to buy an American product you don't truly NEED like toys, electronics, etc. or use that money to invest in learning to make products yourself or on American made essentials.

No one is knocking you, criticizing your decisions or saying bad things about you because you have a low income. Many are living with family an extended family- not uncommon. But, if you truly DID want to buy American, you could do things like buy exclusively from local farmers and producers and forego items that are not made in America, make your own, etc.

You could skip pouring more money into companies like Walmart and accept hand me downs or items off craigslist or other sources to avoid supporting Chinese made garments. You could put out feelers for local growers, get your eggs from anyone with chickens, buy things from people who have craft hobbies, etc. If it were a passion for you, like anything else someone can have a passion for, you would find a way to make it work. Not because it's "the right thing" to do, but because it is so important to you that you make it happen and there is opportunity even if you have to be creative. Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) is a choice. I'm a strong believer in that and learned that the hard way. You make your own luck and you are the only one to blame for your success.

You want quick advice? Most can be googled and compared to see what works for you (i.e. you'll find way more advice that may even be better than anything I can type). Skip everything non-essential, despite how "scarring" it would be to deprive your family of it or how you might deserve it, skip caring what other people say about you when you don't have what they do, re-use birthday candles, make your own products, grow your own vegetables, take free classes at libraries or online for hobby and education, expand your skills, don't own a smartphone or technology that you can use at a library at an inconvenience, coupon or extreme coupon, make money from home by using smart websites to rake in extra cash, save that "extra" money or use it to pay down debt, call up all your providers, insurance carriers, etc and find out if you really are saving the most you could (most people don't know they are eligible for more discounts or are overpaying), eliminate internet, cable or other "extras" from your home, sell candy bars at train stations (you don't have to claim it's a charity or claim anything at all), make your home goods like candles and soaps and get good at it to where you can sell it to others, temporarily use assistance to get on your feet and come back strong, especially if you claim you make $14k a year with a 5 person household (yeah, the uncle counts)....the list really goes on and on. The main idea: You reduce expenses (even beyond what you think they're reduced to) and you increase income (and there are many ways to do so, even if you think you've heard them all) to have enough capital to invest it more wisely and either afford more or pay off debts.

I have a bachelor's degree, impressive resume with over a decade of work experience, am tri-lingual, have years of managerial experience, proven track record and still can't find a job that covers child care. Everyone has a Bachelor's degree and that no longer impresses employers. That's the way it is right now. Instead, I do cheap little jobs at night as unpleasant as they might be on a website called fiverr.com and save all I earn. Right now I have several hundred dollars saved up from the past 3 months. I lower my expectations while having to stay at home because childcare is non-existant and accept less than what my work is worth or I find services to sell that I can do in minutes but are essential. I sell things on eBay for a guy who can't use the internet. I do odd jobs and research studies. I do whatever I need to and don't rely on just my husband having the main job that pays the bills, but I don't do anything beyond my means, transportation or stress levels. I don't have TV, new clothes, niceties or what most Americans do but I realize it's a part of spending my money on what I believe in and paving a path to a better future. Then I re-invest that cash flow into something else that will make money and I keep going from there. You could do that too and then "afford" whatever you want. It's a choice. And that's a fact. Not an insult.

Kathryn - posted on 01/29/2013

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Tracy,
Please don't feel bad if you can't buy everything American. There is still much you can do, and save you money along the way.
When my kids had birthday candles, after they were blown out, the candles were removed, washed off the icing, and packed away for the next birthday.
Buying second hand from any country is better than buying new from a country that isn't yours.( even if it is local, you are recycling)
Just being aware is a start. Instead of buying a can of fruit you usually do, check the lables and see which one is domestic.
Did you know you can make your own laundry detergent very cheap? Do a google. The ingredients may not be local, but it will cut down on the detergent you were buying, that wasn't local.It will cost about 1-2 cents for a load. of laundry.

If you ever want suggestions of how to reduce your grocery budget, or frugal ideas for other areas..we are all here to help.

Tracy - posted on 01/29/2013

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My scraping by to get pennies isn't about not knowing where to shop for what. I was simply offering a comparison as to why I will not buy from my local stores (for the most part) because the prices are so much higher. I can't blame the store, they have to make their own ends meet. But OUR scraping by isn't from my inability to recognize when and where to buy - it's from my husband being laid off at his $18/hr job and now supporting a family of four on less than $14,000/yr. I bought the candles at my local store because I forgot to get them at Wal-Mart when I was there. I figured the cost of gas to bet BACK to Wal-Mart would equal whatever I would pay at the local grocer. Shampoo is something I just happened to look at the price difference to see which would be better. I use coupons when/where I can, I shop at various places as I can without running all over town because that wastes gas that we can't afford, I look for deals and sales. Everyone touted the greatness of WinCo when it came here. I tried it once but didn't save enough money to pay for the gas that it took to get to it (it's about 20 miles away).

If you have a way for me, on my budget/income, to buy all American - as you tout that we all can if we just apply ourselves - please educate me the same way you have recommended that I educate others. If you help me figure it out, I promise to pass it along to all that will listen. Meanwhile, please don't associate my lack of income with a lack of willingness and effort to shop "correctly" nor associate my frustration with our situation to that of a child just throwing their arms up and saying "I can't do it". I have a bachelors degree and can't find work that will pay enough to cover daycare AND provide a paycheck. My husband was laid off when the company he worked a decade for closed its doors. We lost any savings and retirement we did have. We now live with my uncle just to survive (which works out because he has medical needs that we help with). My husband is nearly 48 years old and, so far (for the last 3 years), no company paying a damn wants to hire him because he's older. So he gets up each and every day to work a $12/hr job knowing that he will NEVER be able to retire. He tries so hard. I try so hard to make every penny count and, though I never meant this post to be an attack or even a major defense against your post, I really do take offense when you say that it's simply a lack of effort on my side to learn how to shop cheaply and that we won't have to scrape pennies if I would just learn how and where to shop properly. That's the words of a person who has never TRULY had to scrape pennies. My mother and I have the same argument. She says she lives paycheck to paycheck just like I do. I explained to her that she and my father have - easily - stuff they could sell that are just TOYS that would put over $100k in their pocket in a month (giant RV, boat, basement full of stuff they haven't used in a decade). I try to explain to her that HER living paycheck to paycheck includes paying for her toys. MY living paycheck to paycheck literally means no food in our bellies or gas to get to work for what little money we DO make.

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I buy American made products whenever it is economically feasible, but I have no objection to buying foreign born products. In fact, I feel it is very healthy for a country to participate in a global economy.

Most of my furniture was built by craftsmen in Hickory NC, with a few pieces created in GA and SC. Most of my family's clothing is made in the US (Try Etsy.com for lots of VERY affordable pieces made by small business owners, also Steven Alan has adorable dresses and great menswear, and Hanky Panky for women's lingerie). That said, most of my family's electronics, appliances, J's toys, small kitchen tools, etc. are made in another country. I'm okay with that because I know that those countries help our economy too. I also buy local produce and meat, but I have no problem with my non perishable foods, like rice, pastas, dried beans, etc. coming from a country which thrives on those industries.

I like to support small businesses because I am a small business owner and I know how difficult it is to survive in an economy that caters to large corporations. We NEED small business to balance out the large corporations, so we need to support them. That said, we need these big companies too.

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Momma - posted on 03/07/2013

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I have a family to worry about BEFORE others. It is how it works and how it goes. I need to feed and clothe my children. If I cannot do that buying Canadian, than so be it. ;)

~MeMe

Kathryn - posted on 03/07/2013

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and if they start paying us the same as china, that would be fair?
That would make the wages the same.


Hope everyone who couldn't care less about where products are made, start learning a foreign language.

Momma - posted on 03/07/2013

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And then there is me.... I buy according to price, options and preference. If it is made in Canada, perfect but highly unlikely. If it is made in Tim Buck Two and fits what I am looking for, perfect. I cannot nor will I sit there contemplating whether to buy it because of where it is made. I have 3 kids. Price is a big factor and then quality. I love my Country but until they start making more and keeping it at fare market value, I will buy abroad.

~MeMe

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Cecilia makes a good point--too much production here would ruin our environment and there is no way to produce as much as we use as cheaply as China does it with regulations strong enough to keep our environment healthy in place.

We do need to look more into recycling and reducing our footprint on our planet. Personally, I cannot sew at all, but I can buy clothing not made in factories. I cannot grow all of my own food, but I grow a lot of it, and I buy a lot of it locally--which reduces the amount of oil and energy used for shipping and processing. I buy raw, unprocessed food, again, cutting out the waste from all of the industrial machining we put our food through just to get something as simple as bread. It is a small step, but if everyone takes it, we can make a big difference, not only in our dependence on China, but in our fight to keep our environment healthy as well.

As I said before, I buy locally when I can, I don't have a problem supporting a global economy. I know why we have trade sanctions with China, and I'm not willing to go to war in order to end them, but I will only buy products made there if I feel there is no other viable option--I am not going to give up hours of time with my son just to search for American grown rice, and I'm not going to criticize anyone else for the corners they choose to cut. As long as they are making an effort, I'll support them.

Cecilia - posted on 03/04/2013

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to produce as much as they do, we would have to alter our standards. We can't produce fast enough and worry about recycling.

Even with standards in place I guess you've never lived in a industry city. Pittsburgh ruined it's 3 rivers producing steel. The water in Texas is undrinkable out of the faucet because of land mining for oil.( I know these two from experience and have lived in both states) I can not imagine what we would do to ourselves if we had to do much more to ourselves.

Kathryn - posted on 03/04/2013

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China have ruined their environment, because they will not abide by the regulations, first world countries must abide.
If we became more self sufficient and produced here, we have guidelines to follow.

It's hard to compete with another country when they put no value on lives.

Cecilia - posted on 03/04/2013

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I agree. Men's Hawaiin shirts make the cutest girls summer dresses.

The truth is China has ruined their environment making things for us. If we make it all ourselves, we will do the same. They have what are called cancer cities. The pollution is so high that the cancer rate is outrageous. I say let them do that. I personally prefer it there.

Kathryn - posted on 03/04/2013

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Cecilia,
Even though the material might not be from here, it is 'made' here, if you are sewing your own clothes. Sometimes compromises need to be considered.

Thrift stores are also a great place to look for material, and a great price.
Buying second hand clothes, from anywhere, is recycling. You can get some amazing clothes ..many times, still new, from consignments/thrift stores.
Garage sales are usually even cheaper.

Many canned foods are from China.
Even though I stated to stop buying crap from China..I also include all the other 'overseas' countries. If our country was to stop importing so much from them, another country would pop up to take over their share of the market.

Cecilia - posted on 03/04/2013

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Kelly, better than Etsy is make it yourself. I do this for many many of my babies clothes. All you need is a sewing machine, fabric and the internet. TONS of free tutorials and patterns to be found online. Although, side note- most fabric is not produced in America so there went that american made product....

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Erin, Clothing is the one area I actually find it very easy to purchase American made products. Check out Etsy.com. It is a website that brings thousands of craftsmen and women together in one place. There are sellers from many countries, so you can find small business owners in your own country. They have tons of beautiful clothing for both adults and children, and much of it is VERY affordable. Plus, most of it is handmade, so if you are having trouble fitting a child, you can message the seller and have something made to your child's measurements! It's fabulous--I use it all the time. Also, as I mentioned before all Steve Alan and Hanky Panky garments are made in the US. It is true, you're not going to find American made stuff in the mall boutiques or in big box stores, but that stuff is usually tacky and poorly constructed anyway--why waste the $$ on it when I can get something really cute, well made, and that will last 3 times longer for just a few dollars more, and in some cases, even less than I would pay for a crappy dress from Macy's or J Crew?

Erin - posted on 03/04/2013

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Sorry not trying to spam but I just noticed the "fresh" produce thing. Um you don't want to eat the dirty food from China. Have you even seen how horrible the food is coming from there? Don't eat it. These people have zero environmental laws. They literally dump poison into the water daily.

Erin - posted on 03/04/2013

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I agree with you but there just aren't any USA clothes to buy at a decent price. You should know that Mexico doesn't pay it's workers hardly anything and won't allow the women who make our goods to even go to the bathroom. Many of the electronics that appear to be made in Japan are actually made in Mexico. I don't recommend supporting Mexican goods. I have to totally agree that free trade agreements have totally ruined our economy too and I want heavy taxes on all foreign imports but good luck getting the greedy politicians to agree. I'm tired of the cheap junk! Even the expensive jeans are cheap junk made in China just maybe a littler nicer looking. All my kids' clothes are too small I have to buy kids' clothes one or two sizes larger than I should because the Chinese think our kids are tooth picks. My kids are normal sized seriously not overweight, it's annoying the sleeves are too thin too. I'm sick of our government placing us in a no-win situation, a conundrum. None of use can get good jobs because they all left so all the pay is sucky and low so we have to buy cheap junk to afford stuff we need. You can't make it because they can make it in China cheaper than we can make it by hand! China is a fake republic run by a dictator it's still Red China period. It sickens me that we even trade with people like that. They don't pay their employees anything, they use and abuse them and the government and owners keep all the money off their tears and sweat.

Jenny - posted on 03/03/2013

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Elizabeth thank you for bothering to describe your situation and how you are dealing with it. Its really inspiring. Maybe its real stories that people need.
For me it was a reminder of re-thinking what I think I need and getting my priorities straight. I really got a lot from reading your thoughts on this.

Angela - posted on 01/29/2013

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@ Tracy Stuart - I agree with your post on so many levels!

When your own financial circumstances are dire, you're going to buy essentials only from a price-orientated perspective - regardless of country of origin.

I've been there and truthfully speaking, I was only able to "shop around" and get the desired purchase from the cheapest outlet because I walked everywhere and didn't possess a car. I was happy to walk 30 minutes into my town centre because I'd run out of some commodity that would be available at my corner grocery store 2 minutes away but at least 50% more expensive.

I also "get" what you mean about "toys" as well. A lot of people plead poverty because they're bent double in debt - debt they went into happily in order to possess the latest must-have gimmicky bit of technology or whatever!

People do not understand true poverty and "going short". Have you heard of this expression:

"Poor? 'can only afford one vacation a year poor'? Or 'can't pay the rent poor'?" Yes, there's a difference!

You cut your coat according to your cloth. That applies to being able to buy produce of your own country (if you're able to afford it) and whether your obsession with having "stuff" overrides sensible economics for the necessities of life. Fail to get your priorities right and you'll always be poor - regardless of your income.

Angela - posted on 01/29/2013

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I am British. Most of the time I avoid buying anything (apart from essentials like food). I DO buy British but will also buy Chinese and indeed from anywhere for the few bits and pieces I wish to purchase.

Many Chinese items are bulk-bought by traders in other countries who then sell on at a much higher price. I'd sooner buy them directly from the Chinese and save some cash!

Lots of British sole traders on "Folky", "Etsy" and even "e-Bay" are selling goods that they bought from China (often via e-Bay) - they hike the price up, they might embellish the original slightly (usually with some other Chinese decoration etc ....) but essentially they're selling a Chinese product - with a high, UK price tag.

I totally agree with buying 2nd hand, by the way. Wherever the country of origin, if the goods are clean and fit for their designated purpose, then why overspend?

Kathryn - posted on 01/24/2013

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What a great post Elizabeth. Thank you.
It does take time to source products that are made in our country, which is an absolute shame.
They should be readily available in our big box stores.

We need to talk about "buying in our country" to all our friends and family.
The more people are aware, the faster we can make changes.

From news reports, it seems China's wages will be increasing a quite a bit in the near future. All that means, there is another country waiting in line to be the next 'cheap importer'.

If you can't buy from your own country, reduce, reuse, recycle or maybe go without.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/24/2013

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What's important to understand is what drives the need and demand for products from China or outsourced labor from Bangladesh or India. This issue goes way beyond supporting one's local economy and "helping" one's own country because of beliefs.

Business owners in local economies (i.e. not China) cannot afford to do business and still maintain the American (or Canadian or Australian or any other 1st world nation) living standards of today if they cannot minimize cost to a ridiculous level. The value of plastic in our country is a lot higher than the value of plastic in China, for example.

To give a better picture: the average Chinese family in MIDDLE CLASS conditions (i.e. maybe a 4 room (not 4 bedroom) dwelling) receives US $1 or less a day in pay. They live in shacks. They go without food. They eat potatoes and maybe rice in many cases. An engineer, who has to have higher education and training, can take home $315 on average a month for his work. In the cities, this is barely enough to pay for an apartment for a family of 3 and that's where he HAS to live to make that money.

What we consider to be low quality, rodent infested unacceptable conditions for college students here in the U.S. are nicer condition than for people in China. Approximately 300 million people in more rural areas do not have access to safe drinking water. 800 million do not have access to medical care or anything else we have access to here (though we pay an arm and a leg for it, putting our own citizens in many same scenarios). Many live 12 to a house, which we consider an apartment, rats roam streets and people are more tolerant of nudity, sharing and being bumped and having no space/privacy.

So, by FoxConn (iPod workers) being paid pennies a day, cramped in dormitories that house 4-5 people in a closet and locked in buildings that have anti-suicide nets surrounding them because of such a high rate of suicide attempts from living standards, American companies can afford to produce products at a rate that Americans will buy them. Could they pay more to China? Yes, of course they could, but if they're paying average wages (i.e. what Chinese expect as "good money"), they can afford to continue business. If American companies had to up the prices, increase fees to import, etc., the people would not buy as many of the product and this would reduce the profit Apple has determined it requires. Could they take less profit? Of course, but they don't want to, otherwise they wouldn't charge $300 for an iPod.

What it really all boils down to:

1. Americans are not being paid what they need to "live" in their own country (insert your own country for "Americans" and the same will be true).
2. Our standards of living are MUCH higher than other countries because we "deserve it" and don't know any better.
3. If we really knew what living was like in the rest of the world, maybe we would consider that we have had it really good for a really long time and the world, the economy, the resources, the population, etc. was not meant to support such a strain on it with the demands we put on it from what we have grown used to and come to EXPECT. (i.e. we expect out of it like a spoiled rich child expects that EVERYONE should have video games and chefs in their home, along with a maid and is blown away when they see how the 'poor' live).
4. Producing within our own countries is MUCH harder than to gain product from other countries. Between being a small business, needing capital, having to pay farmers, paying wages Americans will accept, taxes, big business avoiding corporate taxes by moving to Reno, etc. it's not hard to see why businesses fail to begin or even continue if they aren't giants like Apple.

So, regardless of if you want to support China or not or you want to bring back the thousands of jobs being exported because we are slowly realizing either our expectations and standards have to be reduced because we've all become a little spoiled or that the rest of the world needs to catch up (impossible) to continue our trends, if American or Canadian or Australian or Whatever companies need to do business, they are going to get product where they can get it from. Even your own country is getting items from elsewhere because it HAS to in order to maintain the illusion we can continue this path. Don't blame China, blame your companies who are supplied from these countries.

Calling names, arguing and using non-Socratic arguments on this forum is in no way going to improve things, inspire others or cause a change. But, you can be influential if you really understand the causes and the actual way to fix it.

If you really truly believe in any cause, please do not ever say "we buy whenever at all possible" because it is truly ALWAYS possible to buy from your own country when you're determined unless you are unwilling to go without something. (i.e. you don't HAVE to have that fruit snack, juice or item, find another brand). And that isn't the highest level of dedication anyway. If you are TRULY dedicated to any cause, spend the extra money (though you "can't afford it", just like EVERY company who is outsourcing) and break the cycle, leading by example.

EVERYONE is "scraping pennies to get by." To the post about how candles and shampoo were so much more expensive in a grocery store than at Wal Mart and you 'wanted to scream': scraping by might be a result of not knowing where to shop for the best deals or not fully understanding the pricing structures of big chain stores. Of course it is going to be triple the price at a Stop N Shop. Go to a Shop Rite on the other hand and you have a store that is part of a Collective instead of a supply chain and because they do business differently, the product is therefore cheaper for you. The Bottom Line, again, isn't that you're buying at a "local store." You're still buying products made in another country which, again, is supporting the country not your own. And, not to sound like a broken record, AGAIN, the "I can't afford anything; hunker down and take cover" attitude is the SAME one companies have had that's trickled down to consumers. It is a state of mind. Just like a kid saying "I'm stupid I will NEVER be able to do math." But we all know this can be reversed if enough correct effort is made. Everyone CAN buy all American, but it requires effort and work.

Make a blog about how to do it. Tell everyone about it. Make it easier for others to do. Help others along and then you can really change things. Heck, start a business bringing business back to America by blogging, taping and photographing your experiences. I'm sure you can get ad revenue if you want to blog and write about HOW to bring business back to America/Your country. The reason more people aren't joining is because they don't actually understand how our countries differ, why big business operates how it does and views corporations as "evil" without understanding the deeper issues. If it were EASY for people to do (i.e. gift wrapped on a silver platter, much like couponing websites do to save them money), they would jump on board, tell friends and use networking and marketing to cause a change.

Tracy - posted on 01/23/2013

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I'm sure many other comments here will echo mine: I really don't care where it's made because it comes down to price for me. We scrape pennies to get by. If I buy American (live in the U.S.), I would likely pay $30+ (often even much higher than that) for a shirt whereas I can pay $10 (or even less) for something manufactured overseas. That makes a HUGE difference for us. I simply cannot afford to buy or shop at my local stores or for locally produced products. My local grocery store sells birthday candles (this is one major area I noticed cost difference) for $2.99 per package of 12. I bought them only to see the exact same brand and amount at Wal-mart for .99. I wanted to scream. Shampoo was the same scenario. Suave at the local store was around 3.15 while (at the time - not so much now) at Wal-Mart it was, again, .99.

When we can produce for comparable retail costs, then I can afford to buy American more often. But until we are willing to work for the low wages here and they are willing to work for overseas (which I do NOT think is the solution, mind you) then even with the added shipping costs, it's still a cheaper product to manufacture it overseas, and we cannot compete for manufacturing jobs.

Kathryn - posted on 01/22/2013

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Actually, it is $200 for the year (not month)
We really don't buy a lot of stuff, and when we do, it is usually second hand.

Where we do buy new stuff is for our rental properties, and office supplies.

I got the idea from a Diane Sawyer TV show. (I read it online) where she said if an American spent an extra $64 year on American products, it would create 200,000 jobs.

http://clothingmadeinusablog.wordpress.c...

[deleted account]

That is a good plan Kathryn.

Also remember that buying from the US is not always more expensive. Local produce, for example, is often less expensive than imported produce (if you have access to it). When you purchase from those sellers, you can add your savings to your "American made" budget to make it go further.

That said, given your area and the products available, it might actually be hard to spend the full $200 every month on American made products. I don't buy clothing or furniture often, so all I really have access to in my area to buy on a regular basis is food, so I would be hard pressed to spend $200/month. But you could also dedicate a portion to locally owned businesses. They may sell products made in other countries, so you might be buying a spatula made in Spain, but the bulk of the money you spend in a locally owned store goes directly back into your local economy, as opposed to buying from a national chain where the bulk of profits are sent elsewhere (to the shareholders and corporate employees) and only a small portion of your money stays in the community (through paying the sales clerks & management). Even though the spatula is made in Spain, only a tiny percentage of the money you spend is going there. Most will stay local.

Kathryn - posted on 01/21/2013

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Kelli,

I agree sometimes it is not always possible to buy from our own country.
Sherri stated she is part of the problem, but I think otherwise. She is making an effort and does what she can.

For our family we have decided to put $200 towards buying from our country.
I think this money will go a long way, when buying everyday products...maybe not so far, if it was for appliances.
If an overseas product cost $3.00 and the local one cost $4.00..we only need to take $1.00 from our $200 budget.

Sherri - posted on 01/20/2013

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Yup I am a part of the problem. I can't afford the American made products. I do try and support local companies and stores. However, for appliances, cars, clothing I am going w/the cost. American made can't compete and I don't have the money to be choosy.

Kathryn - posted on 01/15/2013

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Jodi,
I agree with you, that some profits are still trickled back to America.This is where they are now,but average person does not own these shares, or any other.If they do, they are not enough to live on.
I would suggest this is not enough. Wealthy corporations know how to pay little in taxes. The money shareholders would spend, would not be the equivalent to the cost of having employed people..or the cost to cover the welfare payments to unemployed.

In a town you have 10 factories, and they hired 500 employees each.
One make toasters at $35 each, and sell them at Walmart which employs 200 people.
McDonald's sell a hamburger to each employee at lunchtime @ 5000 a day.McDonalds hires 100 people.
Toaster Company decide they can relocate to China, and make 20% profit (I'm just picking a number)
The remaining 9 companies (4500 employees) still eat at McDonalds, but McDonald's had to lay off 20 people.
Walmart is still selling, but the ones who have lost their jobs (500+10) don't have any disposable income, so not as much staff is needed, so they also lay off 10 %, which is 20 employees.
Even if you only consider the service industries that can be impacted on because of this loss of income such as childcare, hair salons,yoga classes, dance classes etc. These people don't produce any products, but usually their services are first to go, or at least downsize, when someone loses their employment.

As fast as these things go away, they return when people have a paycheque.
A country needs to keep both production and sale of the product to maximise their profits.

We are seeing now what happens when this doesn't happen.
Jobs are lost, and governments get further and further into debt or services are cut.

Jodi - posted on 01/14/2013

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If an American company is running a business in China, the profits go to the shareholders who are probably mostly American. if it is a privately owned company, its shareholders will be American, and the money will, in one way or another, end up back in the economy. But the COMPANY also pays taxes, the company still employs Americans to manage the business, the company imports the products back in and sells the product in its American stores, where the employees are paid. Can you see how some of the profits still remain in America? It is one thing to purchase a product made and owned by a foreign entity, as opposed to a product made in a foreign country, but still owned by an American company and keeping the money in America.

Would you purchase a product made in America but by a foreign owned company, so all of the profit goes out of the country? Of course you would, because it creates jobs. Well, this is exactly the same concept in reverse. There is still money coming back into the American economy as a result of the company being American owned. Admittedly, not as much as if it was totally made and owned in America, but still an option that should be considered as beneficial to the country.

Just remember that the majority of companies (including manufacturers) are NOT public companies, but privately owned companies. I get where you are coming from with regard to shareholders, but the majority of shareholders in private american companies would be American. The public companies, not necessarily, but they are not the majority of companies.

Kathryn - posted on 01/14/2013

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Jodi,
For ease of example, let's use USA as the "country"
I think it is preferable if an American company owns the factory, that is manufacturing the product.That's just my personal opinion.
The employees are still being paid, so all is good.

If an American company is running a business in China, the Chinese employees are getting paid, and the profits go to the shareholders. What does American get out of it?

If an American company buys all its components in another country, but still assembles them, it is a compromise. I would hope they would eventually be able to produce the parts, or source the parts inside the country.
The problem is, when you can no longer get a component, or it takes too long to get, production is stopped.

The same would be the reverse, where America makes the parts, and ships them to another country for assembly. Its better than just shipping the material, because more jobs are created.

When you look at anything, chances are the product is made from many countries. Screws, plastic casing, packaging,lighbulbs, wires etc.

The more self reliant a country is, the better it is.


EDIT: Cecilia no one is going to fault you for your buying decisions. Just being more aware is a start.
I am certainly more aware. Last week, I never would have even looked.

Cecilia - posted on 01/14/2013

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I would think its just as important. By buying sesame street i'm helping out PBS ( it says so on the tag :-P) So i can feel somewhat okay. what kinda mommy doesn't want to support PBS.

Cecilia - posted on 01/14/2013

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i found two from the US. Both were in mens, one was t-shirts the other jeans, Arizona brand.. although the same brand said Turkey on women's. Mostly i was just digging through clothes waiting for my hubby to finish shopping so i figured i'd look around after the Elmo shirt.

Jodi - posted on 01/14/2013

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But isn't it just as important to be owned by a US company? There are a variety of things to look for - (1) Made in xxxxx country, (2) Owned by a xxxxx country company (3) Manufactured from products made or produced in xxxxx country. And then, of course, there are products that are all of these things. All three of these involve spending money in the country. Even if it is manufactured overseas, it may be made from local products or owned by a local company (in which case the money ultimately remains in the country in some way, which is a POSITIVE thing).

Kathryn - posted on 01/14/2013

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Cecilia,
Out of curiosity,
Did JC Penny have any clothing made in USA?

I didn't know until a few days ago, that no Levi jeans were made in USA now.
Someone on another site said all Martha Steward's products were made o/s.

When you actually start looking at stuff, it is amazing how little is produced in your own country.
Except for some food items in our Giant Tiger store, we rarely see anything made from USA.

Cecilia - posted on 01/14/2013

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on a side note.. I bought a new Elmo shirt today for my daughter, at JC penny's. Out of curiosity i looked to see where it was made, because after all sesame street is an american "product" Made in Pakistan. Bought my oldest son a shirt also.. Made in Egypt. I think we might think it's only China, but i looked at about 20 items and did not find one item from China.

Kathryn - posted on 01/14/2013

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Jodi,
As long as we can have a civil discussion, without any personal remarks, I do not have a problem answering any question.

As you can see from the links I provided in the OP, these are not my ideas. I am certainly no expert on this subject. For myself, I am going to try , whenever possible, to buy a new product that is made in the country I live in...in my case Canada and Australia. Second choice is USA, Mexico. When in Australia, it would be NZ.
China is that country I singled out because currently it seems everything is made there.
If you have the product available in your own country, why buy it from another, with "all things fairly equal".

Jodi, you are right, this is a simplistic view of the situation. Sometimes you need to break it down that way. If you are spending your money in another country, you are taking it away from your own country.
From the limited reading I have done, China DOES put extremely high tariffs on imports, including USA. Our countries CANNOT compete with their low wages, and lack of regulations.
Not only China, but others like India etc...Their population is just too great.

USA is 10X our population. It is not in our best interest to see them fail.
There is nothing wrong in saying we tried something and it didn't work, such as free trade.
We may need to look at history, and see what did work. Producing the majority of products that your country consumes is best, IMO. Growing most of your food too.

China is not going to be happy no matter what,whether tariffs are imposed, or people started to voluntarily stop buying.
Do I think I can make a difference? Not really, but at least I can say I tried.

I'd rather have fewer possession, lasting longer, and paying more for them, in my country.

EDIT- and keeping my country working

Jodi - posted on 01/14/2013

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Just a question, Kathryn. Should the same tariffs apply to the products that the US (or Canada or anywhere else) export and gets imported into another country? Just remember that a LOT of products we have here in Australia (as an example) AND many other countries are imported FROM the US. Economically, many countries that impose tariffs on imports from a particular country will have THEIR products imposed with a tariff in return, and this (on both ends) generally has the impact of reducing the importation. So if the US decides to impose heavy tariffs on items from China, China may charge heavy tariffs on products from the US in return.

On the surface, that may not seem significant. However I think you will find this WILL have an impact on the US economy as well because many Asian countries import from the US. So yes, you may end up keeping much of the manufacturing in the US, but you will lose many of your markets.

I think you are taking a far too simplistic view of the entire situation. While I agree with the sentiment that we should try to support local businesses, etc, I can also see that there is a far bigger picture here, and every action we take in one direction will have an impact in another area. Tariffs are not necessarily the answer for everything (or even most things), because it could actually backfire considerably (and yes, this IS the way trade works between countries, very tit for tat, but very much a real thing).

Kathryn - posted on 01/13/2013

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Buying a particular produce from another country, when you grow that produce in your own country is silly. However, buying bananas and coffee (which is a common theme in the news article in the OP) which is in limited supply, so you would want to import that.

Look at USA , Canada and Australia.(we don't want anyone to feel neglected) We are manufacturing less and less finished products. We ship off the raw goods, and bring them back all shiny and new.
The jobs they create are a lot less than if they made the parts for the product and assembled them, themselves.
When we finally have so many people out of work, because our factories have closed, we won't have the money to buy anything, no matter the price.
How will you and your country pay their debts then?


40% of all produce never makes it to the home. It is either too much, and farmers cannot get it harvested. It is not pretty, or too large or too small. This food is still edible.We are able to feed ourselves.

We have already seen the value decrease of the US dollar.
Everything is fine when countries are strong, but we are not strong. Our countries are in debt up to their eyeballs.

If it costs $1.00 for China to make a product, even when you consider the shipping charges, and $10 for us to make the same product, which business will be closing down? Now if you add tariffs for importing that product from China so it now costs $10, the choice is balanced.
China does not pay the same wages, or need to follow the same safety regulations as our countries.

When the depression of the 1930's hit, it didn't impact the farmer's nearly as much as the city folk. Why? Farmer's were generally self sufficent. Think of our countries in this way...we are quickly becoming the city folk.

EDIT;
you may also enjoy reading this, it is also very interesting. It is what happens if the stores stopped buying from China.
http://onecentatatime.com/what-if-americ...

Cecilia - posted on 01/13/2013

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i agree there is no way we can keep up with our own food consumption. We don't have the land left to do it. Nor can we even come close to being able to support our own oil consumption. Which is another discussion all together, but i know we have stretched our land to its limit. Relying on ourselves is no longer an option.

Cecilia - posted on 01/13/2013

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If you live in a large city yes its much harder to find things like organic grass fed meat. Where i live, not so much. Our large chain grocery store actually carries goods such as produce, chicken, beef and fish(although fish is limited due to only have a small lake) from within a 10 mile range.

The local groceries do cost more. And i know 98% of the store is still shipped in. It is an option. The local farmers will actually show up some times and hand out sample. OMG these tomatoes they gave me were the best i ever tasted. But at 3 times the price i couldn't reason with myself to buy them.

i can walk a 1/4 mile and buy fresh corn, squash, berries, apples, ect from stands set up on the street by the people who live there. Most are more reasonable than the grocery store. It's a nice set up.

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2013

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When it comes down to it, if we all decide to to purchase imported goods, particularly those in a country like the US, not only would you all starve and be on rations (because your country cannot possibly keep up with your consumers on a producing level), but other economies would collapse. Now, if other economies collapse, guess what else collapses? Yep, the value of the US dollar. It's the first currency to feel the pain. Now, if the US dollar collapses, where does that leave everyone? That leaves every single US citizen worse off economically.

Unfortunately, the global economy is now so interdependent that a solution such as "buy only things made in your home country" (whatever that country might be - yes, Australia should be included in that) is no longer actually a viable option. Sure, we need to support our own countries where we can, but to totally believe that none of our manufacturing should be done in China, or that we should never purchase goods from overseas if local made or produced is an option could potentially do just as much harm to the economy as the alternative.

Cecilia - posted on 01/13/2013

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oh on another note, simply shopping and spending money. be it made in country or out helps support the economy right? I'm the last to understand this and don't even pretend. i just thought it helped :)

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2013

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Yes, we have those Cecilia. We also have grass fed beef, which I believe is a rarity in the US. Our land is not over-farmed like it is there. While there is still a lot of food imported (which is very sad for the local farming communities), we have many great options here for local produce, and I honestly do wish more people would use it because it is also the healthiest option.

I think, however, that you will find that many of the large supermarket/grocery chains in the US probably DO import supposedly fresh produce. A country the size of the US would struggle to fully self support with fresh produce without losing some of the quality too. So for that reason, I don't think it is quite as simple as saying you should always look for US grown or Australian grown, it comes down to the loss of nutrients through intense farming, and so on. I will go for quality over price and country of origin every time when it comes to what I put in my mouth. But I guarantee that some of that fruit and veg that is purchased off the shelves in larger markets is not locally produced.

Cecilia - posted on 01/13/2013

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Jodi, i think most do try to buy local foods. For one its just fresher :) But on that note does Australia have what we call farmer's markets? Farmers set up stands in a common area and sell their food and crafts every week. It's alot of fun to go to on top of buying from as local as it gets.

Local to my area is grape pies.. i had never heard of it. still havn't tried one (lived here 10 years now) but i think next year when they sell them i will.

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2013

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Oh, look here:

"Are you willing to buy made in "your country" and stop with the cheap overseas junk?"

And I answered. So don't try to tell me this only applies to Canada and the US when you CLEARLY invited comments from every country. As it stands, I am FAR more qualified to speak on behalf of Australians than you are, so I would appreciate it if you could please also refrain from trying to pretend you are something you are not (which includes being an expert on Australian economics).

Kathryn - posted on 01/13/2013

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Jodi,
I don't care what you believe about me. If you don't like this thread, there are plenty of others to view. This is basically about USA and Canada, atm. The news story I reference is about USA.
I have nothing to prove. It is a discussion..pure and simple.

Look at that other thread, on page 4..I state my husband and I retired 2 1/2 years ago and we spend the summer in both canada and australia.

This is the last reply I will bother with you or Dove.

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2013

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"We also live in Australia part time".

Hmmm, that's not what you said in the past.

"Australia hasn't been hit by the recession as much. It is coming, and as soon as you lose a few more jobs, you will also be wanting to buy in your 'own country'."

LOL, I see your economics *degree* is kicking in. Seriously, I think you are full of shit. I also don't believe for a moment you ever live here because you keep referring to it as "you", so I strongly suspect in the previous thread you just made a statement to try and prove you knew better, and it backfired.

However, having said that, I never said I don't buy Australian made wherever possible. I do. But I also don't feel guilty if I buy something from overseas, including from China. Food, in particular, i try my very best to ALWAYS go Australian grown and made because food standards vary internationally.

And just for the record, I don't think Australia is in denial. I think you don't know what you are talking about. We own businesses here too, you know. We know how it is. It's tough, but the country isn't going to break. If anything, the economy seems to be up on the same time last year, so PLEASE don't tell me how bad it is if you don't even live here.

Kathryn - posted on 01/13/2013

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Celcilla,
The other 2 posters like to stir the pot...and didn't appreciate/ agree with a thread I started a while ago.
Some say that by purchasing products from countries that allow expolitation of their workers, you are agreeing with it. Personally, I think charity must begin at home. It is in Canada's interest for the USA be a strong country too.

Jodi,
We run our businesses and have our our personal home is Canada. This is the country where we spend the majority of our money.
We also live in Australia part time, and actually buy very little here. Australia hasn't been hit by the recession as much. It is coming, and as soon as you lose a few more jobs, you will also be wanting to buy in your 'own country'. At the moment your wages are extreme in comparison to Canada and USA, and the majority of the country is still in denial.

Dove,
I was very specific with my thread. I am Canadian first.
You obviously have no clue how North American factories work.

Dove - posted on 01/13/2013

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Yep, Jodi.... And the 'government' can apparently help lower the costs of 'our' (since at this point I'm not sure which country the op is caring about) stuff by sticking single welfare moms into sweatshops and paying them pennies to do for 'us' what China does already... ;)

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2013

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Haha, I specifically remember it from another debate for good reason :)

Cecilia - posted on 01/13/2013

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lol Jodi just watching people. I assume you already knows where i'm from how many kids i have. I wish i had a memory like that!

Cecilia - posted on 01/13/2013

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I do consignment shops also. We have a wonderful one for children. She pays a decent price for trade in. (basically it almost works out that every outfit you give her, you can get a new one) She only takes high quality clothes. Some have tags on them and for $4.

Anyways, I do think the government can help while it makes money! Simply by raising the import tax it makes the items cost more ( to at least become more equal to our own prices) Then we have a fair advantage when it comes to buying at a fair price.

That can be a selfish solution though. Doing that might mean the workers in china get 5 cents an hour instead of 10 cents. We profit and they suffer. In some way aren't we all neighbors? Should we really push the issue?

If i had the resources, i would buy American. I do buy American cars, that's a start right? I also do it because of cost. I bought a brand new KIA 10 years ago. 18 months in the rotors were rusted. Each front rotor cost me $156!!! That is just crazy. The reason, they had to be imported and they are the only ones that fit. So after that I would never ever be screwed over by a non-american car. I know i can get parts quick and cheap.

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