Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Be Charitable -- Buy American this Christmas Season

If you haven't done all of your Christmas shopping yet, maybe you can help your neighbor and your country when you shop.

ABC News published a blog by Ben Forer recently, entitled "Made in America: Creating Jobs For Christmas" about creating jobs by buying American products. The calculations show that if we purchase $64 in American-made products, we would create 200,000 jobs here and now. Why aren't we doing this? Maybe we don't understand the economy, or maybe we have difficulty locating items made in America. Sales are up 6 percent over last year, and this is an opportunity for consumers to make a difference.

When we felt the recession of the 1980s, even WalMart encouraged us to buy American goods, and had a little logo to distinguish those items. I've looked for items in the dollar stores and big box stores and have concluded that there is very little available for the consumer there that is made in America. Maybe some of the grocery store fruits and vegetables and food products are produced in the U.S. Some of the discount stores here in Texas don't even have many items printed in the English language. These are items made for export or maybe for stores catering to Spanish-speaking consumers.

You can locate American-made items online, but you have to make the effort. If it saves jobs for your family or creates a job for you, would you buy American?

If you can't buy American, consider purchasing used items. Purchasing used items is a form of recycling, good for the environment and the economy. Some items available on the Internet aren't really used but are NOS or new old stock. These items may come from a warehouse or store overstock from years ago, or may come from an individual who purchased several and didn't use them. For example, we sell unused sewing and crafts patterns that are new old stock, and the price is much less than a new pattern. The older patterns were made in the U.S., but more recent patterns are made in Mexico.

ABC News reports that the average American spends $700 on Christmas gifts. When you make your final purchases, look for $64 in American-made items or buy more if you can. Support your neighbor and the economy. We can make a difference.

Have a wonderful holiday season!