18 August 2007

Et tu E-Z-Bake?

I wasn't too surprised when I heard, a few weeks ago, that Sesame Street toys made in China were being recalled. Leading this particular recall were Big Bird and Elmo toys. I always thought that Big Bird was pretty clean cut, but Elmo's a different story. I always KNEW that there was something sinister about him.

All that red fur and googly eyes, and that little voice. I knew HE was a bad dude, I knew HE was just the kind of toy to try to harm our kids. Him and his CRAYONS and his little goldfish... pleeeease.

But the Easy Bake oven recall came out of left field.

Well, actually none of this should surprise me and a big part of me is happy its happening. These incredible recalls; fish, dog food, cat food, toothpaste, toys this week, toys last week, toys the week before last, toys next week - its shameful. Shameful and disgusting. But NOT shameful and disgusting because of anything the Chinese have done. No, it's shameful that WE have so much of our economy, our products, and our welfare resting squarely in another country's hands!!!

I came to a scary conclusion a few years ago... one morning I was lying in the floor playing with a bunch of toy trucks with my son and I happened to notice that the one I had was made in China. For no particular reason I checked another one and it to was made in China. A third was made in Taiwan, two more in China, two more in Taiwan. I got so caught up in this reality check that I ended up spending the better part of an hour trying to find anything in my home, toys or otherwise, that was made in the good old U.S. of A. When all was said and done I'd have to say that less than 10% of the things I checked were made in this country.

Even in my wildest imagination I thought that maybe 30 or 40 percent might be made in America. But I was way off base. This is the fact that I'm so shamed and bothered by. The politicians of this country have so much against China. Its the classic case of smile in your face and stab you in the back, yet while China and the US are smiling at each other - we are importing hundreds of billions of dollars in materials and goods from them each and every year. Yet deep down we don't trust them. And while trust is a big issue, there is an even bigger problem that has me scratching my head.

Why in the world aren't we Americans making our own toothpaste? Why aren't we Americans growing and producing our own fish and fruits? Why aren't we making and painting our own toys for OUR kids? Why?

Have you read your orange juice bottle?
"made with oranges grown in China, Chile, Brazil..."

Have you looked inside of you sneakers?
"made in Taiwan..."

Have you looked on the bottom of your laptop or keyboard?
"Japan no doubt..."

Why aren't WE in America stepping up and making our own merchandise?

Let me be real for a moment, I know its all about money, everything is. American importers want to use the cheaper Chinese labor and China wants the business. I'm all for international trade and international commerce, and I understand that the United States needs to be a big part of that. But must we COMPLETELY sell ourselves? I honestly doubt that millions of little Chinese and Taiwanese boys and girls are crawling around on the floor playing with toy cars and toy trucks, and little airplanes and dolls made in America. I doubt it seriously.

Honestly, it's that same "let somebody else do it" mentality that is fueling so much of the immigration problem we have in this country. If I hear one more politician say, the illegal immigrant population does the jobs that American's are unwilling to do - I'll scream. The truthful statement is "Illegal Immigrants will do the jobs that Americans are unwilling to do for slave wages." When it comes to Asian manufacturing for American importing the statement is "Chinese will manufacture the goods that Americans are unwilling to do for slave wages." And, nobody should HAVE to do ANYTHING for a slave wage. It is this type of shameful financial treatment of lower tier employees that creates a multi-generational poverty among working class people.

It's disgusting. Multi-billion dollar companies refuse to shave a small portion off of their profit line by hiring the men and women, the mothers and fathers that will buy their products - to make their products. These importers want their toys, and snacks and products sold in Detroit, Washington DC, Boise, Tampa, Cleveland, Sacramento, Boston, Miami, Denver and all of these kinds of places, but they are not willing to hire the people that live in these cities to make these same products at a decent salary. And we're telling them, "It's okay."

"Sure, it's okay to not hire me, an American, to build a product that is intended for American stores and American citizens. I'm not upset. There's NOTHING you can do to create jobs for Americans that ARE willing to work, but can't find a job that pays enough to buy food and healthcare. It's okay. I know your profit is very important to you and I wouldn't want to interfere with your profit. So please, give me that Elmo with the lead painted eyes, the truck with those loose little magnets, and the Easy Bake oven that gives off those deadly fumes... my two-year-old will love them."



Dirty Red said...

Hey man
I enjoy reading your blog. As a matter of fact I have you on my favorite site list on my blog, dirtyredsblog.blogspot.com. I have a question for you. How did you install the counter on your blog? I would like to install one on my site and I do not know how to. Can you give a brother some advice?

Golden Silence said...

I agree. We outsource so much of our labor out there and complain about it in the end. There are so many Americans wanting jobs but we'd ship it overseas before giving it to them.

Dirty Red, go to Site Meter and sign up. It will then give you an HTML code to put on your blog.

Girly_Girl said...

Great post!

Mizrepresent said...

This so excellent and true! It's like the Hair and Beauty stores, where mainly African-American products are sold and bought by AA's, but we don't own one of them. What's up with that?

B. Good said...

"The truthful statement is 'Illegal Immigrants will do the jobs that Americans are unwilling to do for slave wages.'"

Here here, broham. This whole post is a thinker. Really exercised my brain reading this one. Thanks, as usual.

And again, as usual, it all comes down to money, not morals, and definitely not (un)common sense.

Liz said...

Absolutely. I remember noticing this when I was a teenager. I didn't understand how China was the communist enemy but we had everything made over there. Are there any toys made in the US anymore? It sure doesn't seem like it. Even my eyebrow tweezers...made in China.

Heavenly Zeta said...

We have about 99% of our economy run by executives, who comprise about 1% of the population. (These aren't hard facts, by the way, just guestimations). American people may complain about where their items are made, but can't control themselves long enough to stop buying the poorly made crap. The executives don't about the people that make the items nor the people that buy them...as long as they can promise their shareholders a profit, they feel their job is done.
I don't have a problem with other countries coming up...because even on a good day in China, the average person there earns far less than the average American. I do have a problem, however, with the executives selling us out to the lowest bidder.

Anali said...

It is outrageous that we are not making more of our own products and now we are finding out that we are paying for them in ways other than money.

Your post reminded me of another one that I read here. Here's a link if you'd like to read it.


DeathSweep said...


It shameful I agree, we should be a self sufficient country that doesn't have to depend on imports to the degree that we do. Ahhhhh...but there's the word...depend. Just as you have all of these products in your home so do the vast majority of Americans. How did they get there? We bought the damned things! These large corporations as you have pointed out are merely concerned with the bottom line. But no matter how cheaply they can have something manufactured, they can't and won't make a dime if we the consumers don't buy their wares. I know when I shop I don't really look to see where something is made but perhaps I should. If the only way to get back what was once ours is to do without for a while maybe it would be worth it in the long run. Maybe if these firms see a slip in their profits and can clearly see why they might realize that it's not profitable to have unhappy customers and somewhat reconsider their strategies.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey DIRTY RED - thanks for checking my blog out!

For my counter - I went to www.rapidcounter.com - they have 100's of styles to choose from. Once you make your selection, they'll give you an HTML sequence - copy it, and if your using blogger.com - go to your Template settings, Add a Page Element settings, select add a HTML / Java Script link, paste your rapid counter code, SAVE it - and you should be good to go!!!

Hi there GOLDEN SILENCE! This whole outsourcing thing burns me up. It's all about stinking money.


Hello MIZREPRESENT - This is always something that leaves me scratching my head. 99% of these stores I've ever seen were owned by Asian people. Why?

Hi B.GOOD - Thanks for your comment! The phrase that you hooked on is the phrase I say the most. I swear! I think it sums the whole thing up!

When people started cracking down on illegals last year - I saw a husband and wife on TV that were walking through their pears trees that had gone unharvested and many of their pears were rotting on the ground. They were almost in tears because there was "no one to harvest our crop this year [because of the crackdown]" And I started yelling at my TV "It's because you want to pay illegals $2 an hour under the table and you refuse to pay AMERICANS $7 an hour legally! Don't ACT like there is NO ONE to pick your crops! They just won't do it for SLAVE WAGES!"

I guess it stuck with me after that.

Hi LIZ. It amazes me just how much is made in China. The watch I'm wearing - I just bought a few nights ago - Chinese band, Japanese body. WAIT A MINUTE - CHINESE BAND????? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Hi there HEAVENLY ZETA! I'm with you. ALl I can say is AMEN. You are so right!!!

I'll definately check it out. Thanks and take care!!!

What's up, DEATHSWEEP my friend?
I agree. I'm going to definately make a stronger effort to see where the products I buy are from. Like I said a few comments up, I just bought a watch a few days ago and after a few days wearing it I realized that part of it was made in China. When I get home I'm this evening I'm going to look at the tags on some shirts and pants I bought recently too. I have to start being more deligent!
Take care my friend.