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How You Can Create More Jobs for Americans

Shopping for products made in America can help produce jobs for Americans.

Now that Halloween has passed, it's just about time for folks to start shopping for Christmas decorations and gifts.  Over the last year I've been acutely aware of the lack of products made in the U.S.A., but most recently have begun furtively searching the labels of EVERYTHING I buy to see where it was manufactured (not distributed). 

It's no surprise to any of us that almost everything is made in China.   Especially all of the plastic "crap" that is polluting our environment and ending up in our landfills.  These are things we never needed to begin with.  They clutter our lives and our homes.  It empties our wallets of money that could be much better spent to give ourselves and others a better life.  

When I shop (for anything) the first thing I do is search the label.  If it says "distributed by" , I won't buy it.   That's a red flag for NOT made in America.  If I absolutely need something and can't find American made, then, and only then, will I purchase the item. 

While watching the evening news last week, I heard that about $70 Billion was spent on Halloween.  They said it averaged out to $70 per person!   A large percentage of that was spent on things made in China.    I know, there will be those of you who tell me that also creates jobs and revenue, and I won't dispute it.  But, for the most part, the jobs created are part-time, low-paying, no-benefits sales clerks jobs.  Some jobs are generated by the transportation of those goods, and yes, there is the tax revenue that is created. 

Think about this.  If more Americans had jobs that actually allowed them to earn a real living and not just skimp along, the tax revenues needed would be significantly less because people wouldn't need government assistance.  

My point is, when you're in the store next time, why not take the time to really think about ALL of your purchases.  Ask yourself:  Do I need this item?  Is it made in America?  What will happen to this item when I am done with it?  Can my money be better spent on something that will actually enhance my life or the lives of others?  I'm not saying not to buy anything made in China....it's not possible anyway. 

There's much talk throughout our nation and in Washington about ways to create jobs.  Well, here's a news flash........you, the consumer, are the creator of jobs!  You hold the key, the power, with your consumer dollars.   How you spend those dollars can create jobs for Americans, or we can keep building other countries up with our insatiable appetites for more unnecessary "stuff"  to put in our homes.  

Remember, millions of Americans can begin working when we spend our money wisely.  It's the simple equation of supply and demand. 

With Christmas coming, there's never been a better time to shop with care and buy things manufactured in America.   I know that isn't easy.  Almost all of the Christmas decorations, trees, ornaments, etc. are made in China.  However, there are a few things made in America, and we might want to think about the actual quantity of things we buy.   American companies can grow larger, hire more employees, and produce more revenue if we all do our part. 

When you shop, talk to the store managers, write to their corporate offices, email their headquarters.   Let them know you want more American made goods.  If they hear it often enough, they will respond. 

We don't really need the government to supply jobs....they're the one's who have made it difficult for companies to produce here in America.  We simply need to exercise our "people power".   Every single person who buys something is a consumer.  Are you going to be a patriotic consumer?   The choice is yours!  If you change your buying habits just a little, it can make a big difference.  You've worked hard for your money, so think about spending it wisely.

A good example for me is when I buy food and treats for my dog, Lola.   I only buy things produced in America.   If I can't find anything on the label regarding the origin of the product, it goes back on the shelf.  There are very few dog treats, etc. made here, but I find them and then look for that brand in the future.  And, believe me, I'm not talking about expensive, gourmet products.

Recently, when I was at Jewel buying some fall paper products, I was thrilled to find really cute plates and napkins that were not only made in the USA, but of recycled paper!   Now, I'm careful to look for those because it's good to know that manufacturer.  I made a point of telling the Manager how happy I was to find this.

And, if you have any good tips for me in that regard, I'd love to hear about them. 

As always, live an inspired and patriotic life!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jane Enviere November 07, 2011 at 03:42 PM
Interesting post! As a budget-minded shopper, I admit that I am mainly looking at price when I make my purchases. It's somewhat short-sighted, but with bills to pay, it is what it is. Harnessing the power of the consumer is an important thought, though. And I agree with your sentiments. I will look more closely the next time I need to shop. I definitely agree with looking at what we buy and whether it's actually needed. As the mother of young kids who are on the birthday party circuit, let me tell you -- the amount of plastic junk that I toss out every month is shameful. It's a waste of the parents' money and it just piles up in our landfills. I cringe when I see another goody bag in my child's hand or backpack. Holiday decorations are another issue. Most of the little things I put out we have purchased at craft fairs, and those are things I will use for as long as I choose to decorate. Outside of that, my kids love to make things to hang inside the house, on windows, etc. No, they aren't as "stylish" as what I could buy, but they can be recycled and there will come a time (too soon, I'm sure) where no one will want to color me pumpkins and tape them on my mantle. I'll take it while I can get it!
Tia Brooks November 07, 2011 at 04:01 PM
I agree with excercising our people power! Shopping local and buying locally produced goods also means buying american. The two go hand in hand! Thanks for this post Pat!
Grace Mary Perez November 07, 2011 at 06:39 PM
A portion of the Occupy Movement is promoting a follow up to "Move your Money". It is called "Shift Your Shopping." It's goal is exactly as you stated above - support American businesses when you shop. Buy from local independent retailers whenever possible. You can google the name to get more information.
Pickled Egg November 07, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Excellent input, Grace! I also use many online resources to find items that are "Made in the U.S.A.". : ) And I'm teaching my sons to "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" as much as possible. Before we purchase, we ask ourselves if we really NEED it. And before we get rid of anything, we will give it away before we throw it away. There's always someone with fewer means than us, who could use it when we no longer need it.
Amy E November 08, 2011 at 02:12 PM
I have been reading labels for many years in order to buy American made. Some examples of things are: a throw rug, a pedestal fan, scotch tape. I needed pens, so one day I read every pen label at Office Max but couldn't find one made in the U.S., so I bought ones made in France. I did get a clipboard made in the U.S. Yes, it takes more time but it's worth it to save an American job, and no it doesn't always cost more money. Pat - at Go Dog Go in downtown Oswego ALL of the dog treats and food are made in the U.S., with some made in Canada, and many are priced lower than PetCo. Go Dog Go is locally owned and staffed, and everyone there is knowledgeable in dog nutrition & health.
Katherine Manola November 08, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Locally owned businesses also pave the way in new ideas and new products. I have found that once the local businesses "prove" a product, the manufacturers take it to the box stores where quality takes a hit. It is unfortunate that manufacturers feel the need to take their product to the "next" level (box stores) and hence sacrifice the quality of their products. I was in manufacturing for a long time, and we made bags smaller, used less good ingredients, etc etc so we could make it cheaper and make more to satisfy the need of the BIG box stores. Local businesses are more knowledgeable, more helpful and contribute more to the local economy.. Just saying .....
Kelly November 08, 2011 at 03:47 PM
"If it says 'distributed by' , I won't buy it. That's a red flag for NOT made in America." Pat - I've made this comment before and will make it again. Just because it says "distributed By" DOES NOT MEAN it wasn't made in the U.S. Private label manufacturers abound in the U.S., making things for companies (like Walmart, Aldi, etc.) who then put their own labels on them. It's important to look for the words "made in the U.S.A." in this case. It's the only way you'll actually know if it was made here. Don't write something off simply because it says "distributed by" - do your homework. Otherwise, we will certainly lose more jobs. I do agree, wholeheartedly, with your message, but please do your research before making sweeping statements like you did above.
Pat Gavros November 09, 2011 at 12:38 AM
Kelli, when I see "distributed by" I really look all over the label to see if there is somewhere that says "Made in USA". I'm surprised that anything produced here in the USA isn't noted on the label. Many people want American made products. I suggest that these people who repackage goods made in the USA are missing the boat when they don't put that on the package. I encourage consumers who know of a product made here, but doesn't indicate it on the label, to contact that distributor to let them know, they're missing a bet. In fact, as much as I hate the government continually mandating things, this is a case where every single product should display the country where it was produced "prominently" on the label. We have a right to know where the products we buy are coming from. EVERYTHING made in America SHOULD SAY "Made in America". I'll keep searching the labels and I'm really glad to see the comments from all of you regarding what you do to buy American. Every single dollar spent on American goods helps an American Household, an American family! Please tell everyone you know to be aware and to support OUR country.
Kelly November 11, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Patt - As long as you look for the "Made in the USA" wording, you're good. I just wanted to make the point not to assume that just because the words "Distributed by" appear on the label doesn't mean it wasn't made here. As you said, keep looking for "Made in the USA." :) Thanks!
Tia Brooks November 11, 2011 at 03:39 PM
Found a great necklace at the Emerson Creek Pottery Holiday preview sale last night! It's a necklace made from a Monster Energy Drink can cool, yet elegant! It was made in the USA and sold by a local company out of Newark, IL. You can check out their Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pop-Can-Jewelry/127662920643350?sk=wall&filter=12 These would make great unique holiday gifts! They're Green AND you're shopping local AND made in the USA!

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