Cole White: Chinese free Christmas
November 25, 2008
Chinese free Christmas
To the editor:
Remember when Uncle George gave most of us the $600 stimulus check? Most Americans took the cash and purchased a lot of foreign-made electronics and cheaply made consumer goods. Six months later, what do we have to show for it?
Most of what we bought was junk and broke soon after we bought it. In the end, Americans got more federal debt and some extra pocket change.
China, on the other hand, made out like a bandit. They got investments backed by the full faith and security of the U.S., and a bunch of new factory orders for electronics and cheap plastic garbage.
We are now days away from the largest shopping day of the year and China is gearing up for us to buy more stuff of extremely poor quality that likely will not last until summer. We will buy toys made with toxic materials, clothes made in sweatshops and knickknacks and whatnots made from child labor, just to fulfill our desire for new things. And once again, billions of U.S. dollars will flow overseas in exchange for a bunch of poorly made products that will begin filling our landfills by early January.
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Sure, our retail businesses make a small mark-up from products made in China and our importers and wholesalers will get a small cut. The trucking companies who bring the stuff to market will benefit some from the sale of imported goods and so to will the investors who own stock in companies manufacturing in China, but how much will our country and our economy really benefit from sending billions overseas?
Remember the $600 stimulus checks?
Coincidentally, that total stimulus package is the same amount that was necessary to replace all the aging bridges in our country. Had we chose to invest in our country rather than China, the majority of that money would have been used to purchase American-made machinery, steel and concrete, and employ American labor.
The trickle down effect would have created thousands of jobs, improved the housing sector, and advanced orders for durable goods throughout the country. Sadly, we opted to send our money overseas.
This year, I propose we strive to make it a Chinese free Christmas. I ask that you buy your child one high-quality product made in the U.S.A., instead of a dozen cheap items made in China.
Purchase locally made items that keep money inside your community and your country.
Give a less fortunate family the gift of a full pantry of American grown, processed and packaged food items. Bypass the cheap electronics, the flimsy-toxic toys, and the poorly made consumer products for things that will still be working, used and appreciated by those on your Christmas list a year from now.
Take the stand to not finance Christmas at 19.5 percent and pay off some of your American-made debt.
Make it a point to look for the label or the tag that says “made in America,” or better yet, made in Craig America.