Monthly Archives: March 2012

Why Buy American Made When It’s Cheaper If It’s Made Overseas?

Now we’re getting to the meat of it folks! I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “you get what you pay for” and oftentimes this is exactly the case. In certain business circles the term planned obsolescence is used to describe a planned limited life for a manufactured item – typically a durable good. i.e. appliance, tv, computer, etc.. Did you ever notice that things like I’ve mentioned don’t last as long as they once did. Heck my Mother had a GE refrigerator (made in the USA) that lasted 25 years and was still going when she got good and sick of it and bought a new one. My GE refrigerator (made in Mexico) purchased in 2001 had problems from the outset and barely made it to 10 years before I was forced to replace it. Planned obsolescence makes sure you’re replacing these items regularly, to the benefit of the manufacturer, not you. I’m not suggesting planned obsolescence is germane to foreign companies only, because it’s not.

As to the question of quality I will always sway towards an American made item. Did you ever wonder how an item can come from halfway across the world, with all the supply chain logistics, transportation, warehousing, distribution, middle men, and still be on American soil in our stores for cheaper than our domestically made versions of the same? Cheap labor abroad is only part of it folks. In my opinion quality control hasn’t reached the level of professionalism and expertise that it is in this country. Or maybe the quality motivation is just not there and it’s all about money for the overseas producers. This goes for the quality of the raw materials in the item, assembled components that comprise the item and the finished good as well. The quality of all these in the value-added chain is sacrificed to make the item cheap – cheaper than American made by design. This is how so many foreign made items can undercut our domestically produced items. In any event I’d take an American made alternative any day of the week, even if it costs me a little more money. Unfortunately finding these American made items is becoming increasingly difficult. I continue to ask for American made where I shop and maybe if enough of us do this we can turn the tide.

Why would you do this you say? Quality for one. Goods produced here are made by the best workforce in the world. Many would argue that that’s slipping away, but we’re still a democracy and people can choose the vocations they want, get paid to do it and advance to their full capabilities. People can even start their own businesses doing what they have passion and talent to do. Of the goods that are produced here, some will stay in the domestic market, others will be exported, but rest assured the quality is the same stay or go. I’m not suggesting our American companies that manufacture here are not motivated by profits, but I will suggest they will not sacrifice quality or safety like I’ve seen with goods made overseas. My suggestion to you is – pay attention to this more closely, and I think you’ll agree.  Unlike in a communist country our workers aren’t forced to work 12+ hour days, 6 days a week, and live at the factory like what happens at Foxconn a major manufacturer in China that makes a lot of Apple’s products.

(to be continued)

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