Still made in the USA

12 thoughts on “Still made in the USA”

  1. That’s a great listing PT. I can’t think of any reason why those products are still made here other than a sense of pride. Recognition for that is indeed due! 😀

  2. Manufacturing is a weird thing… the American consumer has been the worldwide hyper-force behind driving prices down on everything from toilet paper to airplanes, to the point where the manufacturer has to decide between keeping profits high enough to satisfy their American bond holders — which means outsourcing manufacturing jobs to China / Mexico / Wherever — and subsistence level production inside the US, which means layoffs / purges / union busting / lowered minimum wages. And now, just when 48 rolls of toilet paper can be bought for $0.46, the American consumer decides it wants their high paying jobs back… plus they only want to spend $0.46 for 48 rolls of toilet paper.

    [insert sigh here]. There will always be a manufacturing sector in the United States. But US foreign policy for the past forty / fifty years has been to create economic buffer zones around the world — the buffers being used to keep distance between the US and its enemies. Essentially colonizing without all the messy Empire bits that killed the UK, Spaniards, French and Romans. Those economic colonies rely so heavily on the American economy that they have to remain at peace, and have to keep the country’s around themselves at peace… and in order to maintain those ‘buffer colonies’ it requires free trade.

    As a policy it’s fairly radical — empire building without the Empire — and it actually works better. It’s actually the one major historical lesson the US has paid attention to. India, for example, will have far more success as an economic protectorate of the US, then it had as part of the UK empire.

    It’s not perfect. But most of the problems the US are having today (refusing to raise taxes on the highest earners by a fraction of a percent; dumping 100’s of thousands of public-sector jobs in the middle of a ‘great recession’; deregulating the banking sector; credit swap default whatevers) have very little to do with outsourcing of manufacturing. Just saying…

    /mini rant.

    1. I’d happily pay more for some products just to get back US-made quality and consistency. I’m sick of foreign made clothing, for example, where sizing, fit, quality, etc. can’t be counted on from one purchase to the next, much less one year to the next. I’m sick of adulterated everything from China. I’m sick of cheap plastic appliances that used to be long-lasting metal (thinking particularly of my new Hoover vacuum cleaner). Even on my fixed income, I’d squeeze out a bit more in taxes if everyone else did, too — especially the tax-dodging 1% who pay less in taxes than their hired help. I’d slap the regs back on the banks in a heartbeat; of course, I’d have never deregulated them in the first place.

      Ah yes, if I ran the zoo …

      1. You have to look, but there are products made in the USA. (and I order some of that stuff on line and sometimes pay a bit more – but it fits and holds up longer – so a savings in the long run…and their people are so nice on the phone – you can actually talk with a person!)
        Made in USA is beginning to be a niche marketing tool for small stores – a new store opened up locally and only sells domestic clothing (Settlement Goods and Design) – it’s small but a beginning. (I have decided to do with less and be picky about what I buy)
        (Story in Houston Chronicle today: “American made: Designers rising to consumer-driven challenge to produce apparel in the U.S.” by Joy Sewing/Michael Quintanilla in San Antonio)

      2. Talking with a person! Talk about a quaint, old-fashioned concept. In addition to high quality products, I’m heavily influenced by great customer service. I want a real person to answer the phone, be helpful and cheerful, answer my questions, redirect my call if necessary, etc. Don’t run me through 10 voice-mail options that might or might not get me to the right person, depending on whether I guessed right on the quiz. And don’t direct me to a person who just reads stock answers off a script and has absolutely no idea how to address my particularly issue. (Currently topping my list of organizations with notably great customer service are Zappos and Rocky Mountain Health Plans.)

  3. You know, each and every one of these products are quality made as well. Well, Duraflame isn’t my thing, but it does what it’s made to do. Some cheaper knockoffs don’t. Need a flamethrower for those. Some are higher in price than their competitors, but they’re worth it. When I built my computer, I would NOT settle for anything less than my Intel i7 Processor. Even through there are comparative ones, this one still beats the others and I do not regret spending an extra $200.

    Harley’s are, well, Harley’s. Quality and you get what you pay for. Same with Oreck. Speaking of Oreck, when Katrina hit NOLA, Oreck took care of all their employees at that location. I don’t recall the details now, but they made sure that each and every employee had a place to stay and food to eat, and I believe they still kept paying them. But I wouldn’t swear to that.

    These are the companies we should be proud of in America. And an excellent role model for other companies to follow.

    1. Yeah, well, all those other companies are too busy following each other out of the country.

      I’ve always believed “you get what you pay for” and it’s generally true. For products that are important to me, I’m willing to pay for the best if at all possible. And if the best is still American-made, even better. I’ve been an advocate of brand names for a long time too, but these days, far too often, those good ‘ol reliable brand names are no longer the manufacturers; they’re just the U.S. distributors.

      I don’t recall hearing the Oreck story, but that’s exactly what I’d expect from a good company.

      1. I don’t doubt your list, but in most cases “Made In America” doesn’t always mean the whole thing was actually made in America… a lot (I’d say most, but I’m not sure of the exact numbers) of the parts for your car, for example, are made in Canada, then the car is assembled in Michigan.

        If you want to see how connected the industry is, how reliant the US portion is to the Canadian portion, whenever we strike, Michigan runs out of parts two days later.

        In Canada the label rules are totally messed up. I can buy honey that says “all Canadian”, but in reality most of the honey in the jar comes from Australia. The ‘all Canadian’ bit can relate to the jar, not necessarily to the honey. Or a tiny percentage of Canadian honey is put into the Australian stuff, and we get “made with real Canadian honey”.

        The labels don’t require percentages. Like, 90% of the parts of a Hummer are / were made in Oshawa, Ontario, but assembled in Detroit. So the company can say “100% American Made”. In reality, an American car hasn’t been 100% American since 1965, when the Canada / US Auto Pact was signed.

        In a weird twist, because our economy / dollar is doing better than the US, the auto plants are shutting down / losing shifts here and moving South… to the US. We’re outsourcing manufacturing jobs to the lower dollar / insanely lower minimum wages of America. It’s almost like the US is our Mexico…. sorry, bad joke, but it was too hard to resist.

        Crazy world.

      2. Despite my little rant about buying American, my cars have been Japanese since the ’70s. I started buying Japanese because they were beating the socks off American manufacturers on quality and reliability and because friends kept talking about how great they were. I was so pleased with the cars that it became a “brand loyalty” sort of thing. I kept buying Japanese because I was so happy with the cars. Even that picture became muddied, though. The Mazda I kept for 17 years and dearly loved was assembled at the Ford plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if even Harley uses some foreign-made parts (blasphemy?). It’s pretty hard to define American-made these days, no matter what the product.

  4. In a related note, I am incensed that the U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms will be made in China. Whoever made that decision, or allowed it to be made, should be shot.

    (Okay, that was a little strong. But you get the idea.)

... and that's my two cents