With the media endlessly trumpeting the decline in American manufacturing, you’d think there was absolutely nothing made in the United States anymore. Nothing could be further from the truth. Though the number has shrunk due to technology advancements and cheap labor overseas, there are still plenty of things manufactured in the US from appliances to yard tools.
What IS “American Made?”
One reason we don’t buy American more often is that we don’t know what is and isn’t manufactured in the USA. When 70 percent of a GM, or Ford vehicle is made from parts manufactured overseas, is it any wonder that we question what is and isn’t American? Honda (Japan), Mercedes (Germany), and Hyundai (Korea) all have manufacturing plants in Alabama, Michelin (France) has one in South Carolina. Are their products American made? Their US employees certainly think so. If 80 percent of your car is manufactured in other countries, is it really American? It’s hard to say with certainty. Sure, legislators assign a certain percentage of parts that must be American made to claim the Made In The USA label, but what is so miraculous about going from 59 percent to 60 percent?
Some would say that a product is “American” if it’s headquarters is in the US and the money stays in the USA. What about Chrysler? Formerly owned by Daimler Benz (Germany), but now owned by Fiat (Italy), do you really know which country receives their money? Regardless of any country’s public partnerships, do we really know whether those dollars are converted to Euros, or Yen, or Yuan as a hedge against the declining Dollar?
We’re disconnected from manufacturing
Not too many decades ago, you knew who manufactured your tires. You knew who wove your carpet yarn. You knew who operated the sewing machines, the presses, the giant machines of manufacturing. They were your friends, your cousins, your neighbors. Today, we’ve lost touch with people who make things.