A recent SILive.com poll was taken to discover whether Staten Islanders are willing to pay more for products manufactured in the United States.  Over 80% of the respondents agreed they would pay more for American-made products while over 19% said they could not afford the extra costs.  

Last year, I was in need of car mats.  A set at Walmart, sporting a little American flag on the tag, cost a bit over $20.  After I purchased the mats, in small print on the back of the tag was marked "Made in China"--bait and switch!  Within six months, there were rips on the mat on the driver's side.  Why was the rubber breaking down?  On a local radio channel and in the AAA magazine, the owner of an American-made manufacturer of car mats advertises; he is extremely proud of American workers being employed and constructing a product that will last.  It makes sense!  Buy American-made, pay a little more and you will have quality mats that will last much longer. 

During my corporate life, I purchased a specific manufactured suit at Macy's that fit me perfectly and was made in the U.S. I would call a personal shopper prior to arrival (at no cost to me), advise what I wanted to try on--the make, the size, color.  Over a dozen suits would await me as I walked into the store.  In a matter of an hour, I purchased three suits that could last a lifetime.  As hems went up or down, I had the suits altered.  I have friends who thrill over dirt cheap bargains.  My experience with "dirt cheap" is they will last as long as a couple of dozen washes or dry cleanings.  Having been taught to sew at a young age, I learned to recognize quality work.  I challenge my readers to find one item of clothing at Macy's or anywhere for that matter that is made in America no less have a salesperson that is willing to assist you.  If you find one, please snap a picture and e-mail to me with the name of the store. 

The American flags handed out by the Boy Scouts at the last Memorial Day Parade were made in China.  Last year, it was reported that the proposed repairs to the Verrazano Bridge were being outsourced to China.  Why do toasters, TV's or so many mechanical items die in one, two or three years?  My opinion is that the products are made cheaply so you will buy new in a couple of years.  

The "Middle Class Action Project", founded two years ago, has begun a movement to boost manufacturing and job growth in the U.S.  Check out their website and Facebook page! 

Do you check labels?  Do you buy American?  Should we boost manufacturing in the United States?  Let me know what you think.

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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