the Great American Boycott

I have no earthly idea what logic caused the industry to dye pistachio nut shells red… but I ate them anyway. I think back on some of the things I accepted without question and I realize that I have been fairly lucky in the fact that what was then unknown to me didn’t cause any permanent damage. But lately I have had a different prospective on things and what I have had the utmost confidence in has been shaken a bit. The shoe is on the other hand, someone has slipped a mickey into my mouse, my world has been turned outcenter safe.

The confidence I had was in my own logic, my ability to figure things out, to see things clearly without the benefit of evidence, doctrine or consequence. I relied on my intellect and humor. I was sure of my own level of compassion and savvy. In short, I was full of baloney. I wasn’t made aware of the power one individual can have over his own environment; physically, emotionally, spiritually until recently. My Fair One has indirectly caused an introspection in me.

I have a friend that immigrated from Denmark to the United States back in ’59 who remembers WWII very well (he was born in ’34.) He was in his native country during the war and is convinced to this day that Germany would have overtaken Denmark if the United States had not gotten involved when we did. In fact, he is sure that all of Europe would have succumbed to Nazi tyranny if not for Yankee ingenuity and intervention. He told me how he entered this country legally ( a declaration that seems all too uncommon these days) and how it took a year and a half for him to gain citizenship. Remember, this was back in the early 60’s.

As I listened to him talk about the love he had for this country with his thick accent still wonderfully intact, I found myself thinking how far we have come from that state of one generation ago. I wondered if we would ever regain that position again where people envied us, emulated us, wanted to be like us. Not take away from but add to us. Not demand what was not rightfully theirs, but earn what they wanted in a spirit of cooperation and trust.

I have heard radio talk show hosts slamming our past, saying things like the United States does not owe the world democracy or it is not up to us to “police” the world. As I recall that reasoning I have to think, if not us… who? Do we just roll up the red carpet, barricade the door, close our eyes and pray that everything works out fine? We have a responsibility not only to ourselves but to our neighbors and the Earth we live upon.

Not one of us chooses where we are born, it is virtually the luck of the draw. Poverty and ignorance in this new millennium is something we should not be turning a blind eye to, nor should oppression or abuse be tolerated by ANY government. But then… some people don’t play by the rules.

When jobs are outsourced by U.S. companies to foreign countries that are not forced to comply with the standards we have set for ourselves, it creates an unfair advantage. In the United States, we are required by law to pay a fair wage, pay insurances and taxes. We are also regulated for pollutants placed in the ground, air or water. We have safe working environments and are barred from discrimination. There are codes and inspections and accountability when things go haywire. There are recalls of product, notices to the public, health and safety issues that are closely monitored by our government. We enjoy fair trade practices and competitive pricing, we have selection and comparable alternatives to just about everything on the market. Except oil.

When Sam Walton came down off of Walton’s mountain his idea was to offer American made products when ever possible, along with the cheaper foreign made ones. It was a good approach because usually if you wanted a quality product it was American made. Somehow we got off the quality and went for the cheap. Walmart has come to be known as “Fall Apart.” I think we did it to ourselves.

We have gotten to the point in our society where the thinking is: cheaper is better. It is not. Cheaper is CHEAPER. Not safer, not quality, not long lasting, not good for you, and certainly… not better. If you were to have an operation as a matter of life or death, would you want a second rate doctor in a third class hospital with drugs past their expiration date and questionable sanitary methods? What if it were CHEAPER? Your insurance company would love to pay the least amount, but is it better for YOU?

I’d like to see us use the gift of GAB… a Great American Boycott, against countries that have taken quality out of the equation for the American consumer. #1 on my list would be China. We buy a lot of stuff from China that I’d like to give back to them. And the companies involved with China aren’t looking out for the people of the United States, they are looking at their bottom line… how much profit they are making. And we are at fault for allowing this to go on.

We should boycott products made in China, they suck as a nation and they suck as a manufacturer of goods. It is embarrassing for me as a contractor to pull out products that do not meet a quality that I can personally endorse and stand behind then try to convince my customer that this is the industry standard. The Great American Boycott would let their useless junk sit on the shelves until the companies that are trying to sell it realize that, “Hey, we ain’t sellin’ squat!” and decide to improve their product.

What logic put us in this inferior mode has got to be reversed. We should be willing to pay more. Our country was founded on the desire to have something better, not inferior. We have to regain some pride. Pride in workmanship, pride in ownership, pride in quality and a job well done.

When my friend from Denmark came to the United States back in ’59, we were the industrialized nation of the world. Made in the U.S.A. wasn’t just a slogan or an alternative product, we set the standard for quality… we wouldn’t accept anything less. People that immigrated here then wanted better, America offered better. Americans were proud of their country, themselves and their image/product. We need that pride back. We need the pride that says, “I’m not going to accept this, this is below my standard, I expect more… I want better… I DEMAND better!” If you buy something cheaper that doesn’t last as long as a product of quality can you honestly think you are saving money in the long run?

Read the label, where does it come from? Do you want to indirectly support a country that oppresses it’s people? You wouldn’t knowingly buy from and/or support a terrorist… would you?

The gift of GAB… the Great American Boycott, power to the consumer… you and me.

Boycott China… start today.

(p.s. Pistachio nuts are dyed red or green to hide the fingerprints of the pickers. Apparently oil from human skin stains the shells. Today modern machinery does most of the picking and thus… less dyed nuts!)



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6 Responses to “the Great American Boycott”

  1. Karen Says:

    Here awhile back, I was in the grocery meat section, looking for cod to buy. They had 2 areas with it. One was $8.99 a pound. One was $4.99 a pound. I paid the $8.99, with the explanation to the man behind the counter that I would not buy any fish that came from China, because only God knows what they do to it, even farm raised there, & I didn’t feel like experimenting on my family. The next time I went to buy it, there was none there from China. No fish at all listed with the country of origin as China. Obviously I wasn’t the only one.

    I do not shop at Wal-Mart, I like for things to last. The last quilt I made with fabric from there needs to be redone. I remember when Sam Walton had the slogan “Made in U.S.A.” hung everywhere, but not now. Their business practices are reprehensible, the stores themselves are a nightmare, & the employees are rude. They subscribe to the practice of selling cheap, therefore selling more of it more often.

    Can you imagine being a parent of small children today, looking for safe toys, NOT MADE IN CHINA? I can’t. And I have a friend that has 2 under 7. She’s extremely careful in what she buys from them.

    It’s a shame that the government has sold us out, just for trade agreements & money. But it figures.

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  4. chrisfiore5 Says:

    Hi Karen,

    Good for you! It looks like other consumers had the same idea as you did at your grocery. If enough people followed that way of thinking inferior products would disappear.

    I hate the fact that jobs are outsourced to secure profits for big business. They say it is in order to keep costs down but CEO’s pulling down millions of dollars worth of incentive bonuses seems to be more of the concern than product safety and/or quality.

    Thank you for your frequent visits, Karen… hope all is well with you and your family.


  5. Irish Eyes Says:

    I tried the GAB routine against all products made in China and encouraged everyone that would listen to do the same. After all, it simply fails unless one can get a LARGE portion of the population to do the same. Otherwise it would be like trying to save the Titanic from sinking by bailing with a teaspoon. I always read the labels and always buy ‘Made in USA’ whenever possible. But alas, it is becoming less and less possible with every passing year.

    Our nation has been sold out all in the name of greed. I just wonder who will be left to buy their crappy products once Americans are out of work. It’s especially tough on those of us that were around to experience the things you’ve described. We’ve seen the change… the decline from greatness to mediocrity. Or worse.

  6. Cyndi Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly.

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