Dec 27, 2009

There was a time when I was a boy when America set the standard for manufacturing excellence. "Made in Japan" was synonymous with cheaply made trinkets. Now Japan is synonymous with manufacturing excellence and American manufacturing, with the Dodo bird. Made in China, made in Mexico, made in Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam...have replaced made in America. And along the way, millions of good-paying American jobs have been turned into Chinese ones. All in the name of lower prices and bigger profits. Americans are addicted to low prices. We are like crack addicts, struggling in crappy jobs or with no jobs, lured by the high of affordable stuff. But like all crack addicts our high comes at the expense of our health and well-being. Oh, and Happy New Year. Today would have been my mom's 86th birthday. Mom died in 1988 after a long series of medical problems. She was just 64. Happy Birthday, Mom. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

15 comments:

Coffee Messiah said...

Nicely put and beautiful Mom!

The Bug said...

Yep - there was a time when I boycotted Walmart just on principal. But now I'm trying to save a buck like the next person. I think I should look at what I'm consuming - do I REALLY need it? Can I alter my spending so that I'm able to afford products that meet my ethical standards? Hmm - stuff to think about!

Barbara said...

My mother died at 70 after a botched pathology 10 years before. It sounds so young, yes?

We're cruising on borrowed time in this country. At some point the greed and unwillingness to do the things we outsource is going to catch up with us. If a natural disaster doesn't get us first...

Oh, and yeah, Happy New Year to you too!

Megan said...

Oh, your mom was lovely. 64 is way too young.

I just took a gander at all the stuff on my desk here at work., and I'm sure you'll be happy to know that the paperclips were made right here in the U.S.A.!

Happy New Year, Clan Sneed!

tut-tut said...

Upsetting to see so many jobs leaving the South in the past 10 years I've been here: textiles were a major employer. After WWII, Japan was manufacturing junk. Now, as you point out, the opposite is true.

Argh.

Reya Mellicker said...

My mother died young, too. Such a shame.

As for our addiction to cheap crap, oh yeah. There is no such thing as a free lunch. But I think we're starting to get it. I do.

Happy new year, friend!

Kurt said...

Americans are weird about money. Much of it is cultural. They want their DVD player at the absolute lowest price, but they'll think nothing of ordering wine in a restaurant with a 400% markup.

Annie Ha said...

Pretty lady, your mama. Yes, I still exist...

Julia said...

She was beautiful.

alphabet soup said...

Amen to all that Merle....

And a Happy New year and all the best for 2010 to those at Casa Sneed.
Ms Soup

Bella Rum said...

Lovely "Mom" photo.

Happy New Year, Merle!

Anonymous said...

Your mom was beautiful, similar looking to my mom, who passed away in her 40's. sadly. And they say the 40's are the prime of life. My mom never bought cheap crap, she taught us to live as simply as we could, get lots of fresh air and exercise, we learned the joy of saving up for things, to do without until we'd earned it, and to avoid the credit trap. No one gives better advice than moms. They are full of wisdom, nurturing and tough. Moms don't get enough tributes.
(squirrel of Nyack)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kurt on the restaurant thing-- people here are addicted to dining out as often as possible at the priciest places they can find. It's a big topic of conversation around town--where you've dined. Pricey bakeries are worshipped too.

Steve said...

You are so right -- we've sold our souls for cheap plastic objects!

seven of seven said...

Just today I was wondering what a store that sold just stuff made in America would look like. Imagine a store like a Walmart or Costco, but everything was made in America. I'm not quite sure what would be in the store. Probably no electronics.