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Big Box Mart

Friday, October 14, 2005
Just watched the funniest video clip from JibJab.com. It's about outsourcing employment to China and is a very UN subtle dig at WalMart and other "big box" stores that sell Chinese goods at extremely low prices.

I'm not a big WalMart fan. To be perfectly hypocritical about it, though, I do occasionally shop there for back to school and Christmas, plus another two or three times a year for misc. stuff. But every time I do it, I feel guilty. Yes, the low prices are nice, but if I shop carefully, I can often match them elsewhere.

What gets me are the "Made in China" labels on everything. I hate that. I hate the idea that every time I buy something made in China, I'm supporting slave labor, child labor and a regime that is RIFE with human rights abuses. My more liberal friends may sniff, "But the US is also rife with such abuses!" We're not perfect, I know. But I'm pretty sure that I'd rather live here than in China.

The video also makes a good point that every time American companies ship manufacturing overseas because of cheaper labor and costs, we're cutting our own throats. It's a vicious cycle. American-made goods cost more and because we're a cash conscious country, we like to pay less. But by paying less, we're contributing to the closing of factories and smaller corporations across the nation, thereby driving up unemployment so we have no choice but to buy those cheap Chinese goods.

The only thing I can think of to do is to pay attention. Check out labels for that "Made in China" tag. If it's at all possible, buy the one made in America, even if it costs a couple of dollars more. Hopefully, the quality will be better, it'll last longer, and you'll have the thanks of a grateful nation.

Buy American.

For my British friends, I think the UK has done a great job with their "Buy British" campaign. I know I tried to make a point of buying British while I was there. Keep up the good work.

And now we come to the end of this public service announcement. I promise to fuss about something amusing tomorrow.
10/14/2005 08:06:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments


I despise the WALMART business model. The way they'll go into a community and pretty much force all the smaller community based stores out of business (many of those operations are family-owned for years, with the proprietors living/active in the neighborhoods.) Then when the workers try to unionize for better pay, etc., WALMART will shut down the entire flippin store, leaving the community stranded. Thankfully, I have enough alternative options that I 'rarely' have to visit the WARLMART 10 mins from here. I shop at WALMART about once every two years.

By Blogger Jaye, at 4:00 PM  

I just feel dirty and evil every time I walk into Walmart.

Luckily the closest one is about 30 minutes away so I don't go very often at all. But sometimes there are just things that you can only get there.

I hate that.

By Anonymous Emma Sinclair, at 5:26 PM  

Thanks for the info. Definitely a point to consider.

By Anonymous Danica, at 5:33 PM  

Yes, to buying American. Some companies like Madame Alexander who makes dolls have worked very hard with their workforce to keep the jobs in the US. Madame Alexander's big factory is located in Harlem NY

Buy British can be diffcult. Again because people like bargains. M&B sent its clothes manufacturing overseas about 18 years ago.

By Blogger Michelle Styles, at 7:30 AM  

It IS hard to buy american. hell I just bought six pairs of Levis--made in MEXICO. =(

By Blogger Amie Stuart, at 8:47 AM  

That's one of the most depressing things about the whole situation. Sometimes you just don't have a choice other than to buy something made somewhere else! Mexico, Honduras, Indonesia -- not much better, labor wise, than China.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 9:08 AM  

I agree about buying American, but I have to be hypocritical about it - sometimes I don't look at the label where it is made as soon as it seems to be a bargain. Blushing.

By Anonymous Olga, at 2:56 PM  

I Loathe Walmart. I do. I hate walking in there, and I hate buying, but sometimes I have to because I am that strapped at the moment. Sucks. Completely sucks.

You are right, I should try harder.

Levi's in Mexico? God Forbid!!! They are as American as Apple Pie!

By Blogger Eva Gale, at 11:34 AM  

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