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Posts Tagged ‘American Goods’

Two years ago I made a New Year’s resolution.  I had been thinking about the high rate of unemployment in this country and how our economic troubles are made so much worse by the enormous number of goods we import each year.  We would be so much better off if we created jobs by making those goods here in America.  We just need more Americans to demand goods made in the USA.

So I said to myself, I might not be able to change the way Americans shop, but I can certainly change the way I shop, and I refuse to continue to contribute to a problem that is causing so much economic pain for so many. From now on I’m buying American!

That was the New Year’s resolution I made to myself two years ago.  I originally set out to do it for one year, but once I completed the first year, I didn’t even consider stopping there. I found out that once you buy American for a few months it becomes second nature.

While this experience hasn’t been easy, it has been very rewarding.  I feel good knowing I am doing my part to create jobs when I buy the things I need.  From shoes, to clothes, to furniture, to cars, practically everything I buy is made in USA.  Those purchases are creating jobs in Virginia where I live and in places across the country.  Looking back, deciding to buy American is one of the best decisions I have made.  I do not regret it at all.

My New Year’s resolution this year is to make a concerted effort to get more people to commit to buying American.  I know there are millions of Americans that are willing to do it.  We just need to find those people and ask them to join our growing buy American movement.  If we get enough people to do it, we can make a real difference by creating jobs at a time that so many Americans need work.

I may have already asked you in the past, but if you are reading this I am asking you again right now.

Please consider taking the buy American challenge.  Buying American is the one thing you can do every day to help create jobs for Americans.  What better time to begin than at the start of a new year?

If you will do it, you will be doing your part to get our country back on the right track.

Commit to buying American this New Year.  It is a resolution you won’t regret making.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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You can’t have an effective buy American movement if the movement is not visible.  With this brand of clothing, Made in USA Threads, now it can be.

I’ve been advocating the buy American movement for over a year and a half now.  One thing I have been frustrated with is the lack of visibility the movement has.  Livestrong has those yellow bracelets you see everywhere.  The breast cancer group has pink ribbons on everything from neckties to linebackers.  But where is the visibility of the buy American movement? 

I’ve spent the last several months building this brand so that finally the buy American movement can have the visibility it needs to thrive.  This brand is about quality American-made clothing at reasonable prices, and it says “Made in USA” right on the chest where everyone can see it.

Let me ask you, what does the logo on your shirt stand for?  If you own a polo shirt, what does that little man on horse carrying a polo stick, or practically any other widely recognizable garment industry brand image, really stand for?

To me, it is a symbol of a clothing industry that once thrived in America that has now been outsourced to the lowest bidder in a global race to the bottom.  It is a symbol of the underlying cause of a $500 billion annual trade deficit the U.S. incurs each year and the 9%-plus unemployment rate that comes with that enormous trade deficit.

I, personally, don’t care to wear that kind of symbol on the clothing I wear every day.  I prefer to wear a shirt that says “Made in USA” on it!

What does that stand for?  It stands for American jobs.  It stands for investing in the future of our country and our communities.  It stands for turning around a disturbing outsourcing trend that has slowly chiseled away at the foundation of our economy for decades.  Finally, it stands for protecting the few remaining garment manufacturers left in this country before they too become the victim of outsourcing. 

Made in USA Threads is a brand that is made in USA and is proud to show it.   When I wear these clothes, I wear them proudly.  So can you!

Visit www.MadeinUSAThreads.com today. 

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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The Ford Sport Trac is made in Louisville, Kentucky and has the highest percentage of domestic parts content - 90% - of all vehicles being sold in the U.S.

Without question, the most important time you can buy American is when you are purchasing a car.  The reason for this is simple.  A new car is second only to a home as the most expensive purchase many consumers make. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average price of a new car sold in the United States is $28,400. That is a whole lot of money to be spent at one time on a single purchase. Choosing to buy American in this one critical instance has the same impact as buying hundreds of less expensive goods that are American-made.  In short, when buying a car, this is the time when you can do the very most to help create American jobs by buying made in U.S.A. 

Another reason it is great to buy American when buying a car is that our country makes many of the best cars in the world.  Whether it’s a car, truck, SUV, hybrid, you name it, many of the very highest rated and best-selling vehicles in the world are made right here in the U.S.A.  Regardless of what kind of vehicle you are looking for, you will likely find one that fits your needs that is made in America.

Buying American is a little more complicated for cars than most other goods though.  There are lots of foreign sounding cars, like some Toyotas and Hondas, that are actually now made in the U.S.A., and there are some traditional American car brands that are now made in other countries.  So when buying a car, we really can’t just assume based on the brand name where the car was made.  We really have to do a little more homework to make sure the car we are buying is made in the U.S.A. 

Another important consideration when car buying is the percentage of U.S. domestic parts content used to make the vehicle.  We can’t get parts content information for most goods we buy, but with cars we have access to a great deal of information.  Not only can we identify where every vehicle had its final assembly, but every car manufacturer publishes the percentage of domestic parts content used in making their vehicles.  This allows us to differentiate between the cars that have 0% domestic parts content and those that have a much higher percentage of U.S.-made content.

The parts content is important because when you buy a car, you aren’t just creating jobs for the people working in the final assembly plant; you are creating jobs for workers all the way up through the supply chain – like the person who built the transmission or the person who sewed the seats together.  Cars create lots of jobs for workers that never actually see the final product being made.  That is why it is critical to consider the percentage of domestic parts content when purchasing a car.

One thing to consider about parts content is that no car is made with 100% American-made parts anymore.  One main reason for that is every car built today has a computer chip and complex electrical system built into it.  Some of this parts content simply cannot be sourced in the U.S.A.  But we shouldn’t let that discourage us from buying an American-made car with as high a percentage of domestic parts content as possible.  Thankfully, we have over 100 cars and trucks to choose from that have 50% or more of their parts content made in the U.S.A.

If you are wondering what the most American-made car on the market is; it is the Ford Sport Trac, made by Ford Motor Company.  The Sport Trac is made in Ford’s Louisville, Kentucky plant that has been in operation since 1955.  There are 2,100 workers employed at that plant.  In addition to the Sport Trac, this plant also makes the Ford Explorer and the Mercury Mountaineer, both of which have 85% domestic parts content. 

For a full list of cars (years 2005-2011) and their percentage of U.S. parts content, go here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Part+583+American+Automobile+Labeling+Act+%28AALA%29+Reports

Remember, there is no more important time to buy American than when you are buying a car.  And don’t forget, the higher percentage of domestic parts content the car has, the more American jobs you are creating when you buy it. 

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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Tito's Handmade Vodka

If you’ve never heard of Tito’s Vodka, just wait, you’ll be hearing a lot about it soon.  Tito’s has been gobbling up market share left and right because it is quite simply one of the best, if not the best, vodka on the market today.  Wine Enthusiast Magazine rated Tito’s handmade Vodka and awarded it a score of 95, an insanely high score for vodka.  By contrast, other top shelf vodkas, Ketel One, Grey Goose, and Belvedere scored 89, 84, and 84, respectively, when rated by the same publication.  They didn’t hold a candle to Tito’s. 

What does that tell you about the vodka market?  To me, it says don’t be misled by a fancy bottle and lots of marketing.  The best vodka – like many other things – is not necessarily the one with the highest price tag. 

Speaking of price tags, that is absolutely one of the most attractive qualities of this fine vodka.  Unlike some of the brand’s imported rivals that sell for $30 and up, a 750ML bottle of Tito’s can be purchased for $18-$20.  Tito Beveridge, the owner of Tito’s vodka, has said that he decided to keep the profit margin down and sell his vodka for around $20 to reach a potentially bigger audience. That strategy – delivering a superior American-made product at a very reasonable price – is paying off in spades.

What is most impressive about Tito’s is the reviews the product gets from people know the product well. They don’t just like Tito’s, they love it!  Check out this review of Tito’s Vodka from the Beverage Baron, a connoisseur of beer and spirits based out of Alexandria, Virginia.  Even if you don’t care about vodka ratings, I suggest you take a look at the Baron’s blog; it’s funny and informative.  The Baron swears by Tito’s. 

Here is my favorite attribute of the brand.  Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is a corn-based, gluten-free vodka, is distilled 6 times in old-fashioned pot stills at Fifth Generation distillery in Austin, Texas.  It is as American as apple pie.  In fact, just today, Tito’s vodka became Made in U.S.A. Certified, a certification that guarantees a commitment to American products in the entire production process.  Tito’s is the first spirit to have earned that designation. 

When you are committed to buying American, there are times when you have to pay a premium to get a good made in the U.S.A.  Then there are other times, like right now with Tito’s Vodka, that you don’t have to pay a penny more for the American product.  In fact, the American product is superior and significantly lower cost.  Tito’s beats the imports six-ways-to-Sunday on any factor you might consider.  

If you buy vodka, you owe it to yourself to give Tito’s a try. Tito’s is available in all 50 states, so you should be able to locate some in your neck of the woods.  And, don’t be afraid to ask for it by name at your local bars and restaurants.  It would be great if every establishment in America had Tito’s on the shelf.  Don’t be surprised if that becomes the case in a few years.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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This week, http://www.PickMyDecor.com decided to sell goods made in the U.S.A. only. Go there for a great selection of high quality American-made products for your home.

If this isn’t proof that this buy American movement is catching on, I don’t know what is. 

Just this week ABC World News announced a Buy American Challenge, and challenged Americans to redecorate their homes with goods made in the U.S.A.  Well today, I found out that www.PickMyDecor.com has decided to carry only products made in the U.S.A.  They have updated their website and now everything you will find there is made in America.

If you’re looking for a place to buy American-made goods for your home, www.PickMyDecor.com has a great selection of really beautiful products.  They have bathroom items, bed linens, dining and kitchen supplies, pillows, furnishings, patio items, and much, much more.  It is all quality stuff.  And best of all, it’s all American-made.

This is how we use buying American to create jobs.  The American people demand it, then companies like this one step up and bring all those American-made goods to one place so that consumers can shop as they normally do, while shopping for items that are made in the U.S.A.  Kudos to www.PickMyDecor.com for making the decision make their site 100% made in U.S.A.

I’m convinced that we are going to get our economy humming and creating jobs by millions of Americans choosing to buy American.  I can see that this idea is starting to grow.

Join the movement.  Be a part of the solution.  Invest in your country by buying American.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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This website - http://www.AmericansWorking.com - is a great place to find American-made versions of practically anything you are looking to buy.

It came to my attention recently that I have spent a little too much time talking about the importance of buying American and not enough about how to actually do it.  Well, let me rectify that.  Here’s how I find and buy the things I need American-made.

The first thing you need is a website that you can use to find American-made versions of the things you will be buying.  The website I use for this purpose is: www.AmericansWorking.com.

I really can’t express how useful this website has been to me.  It has hundreds of products all organized by product category.  In my experience, I have been able to find the vast majority of things I have been looking to buy through this website.  I recommend saving it as a favorite location in your web browser, and going there whenever you are considering making a purchase.  A link to this website is also featured on the Buy American Challenge homepage, so you can find a link to this website by coming to this blog.

Once you know you are looking to buy a certain item (a pair of jeans for example), you go to www.AmericansWorking.com and find what you are looking for on the product directory located on the main page.  Under a link called “Apparel Made in the USA,” you can select from specific categories of American-made clothing including: women’s clothes, men’s clothes, children’s clothes, jackets, jeans, leather wear, motorcycle clothes, and work wear and uniforms.  Select one of these, and you will be led to a list of American-made brands and online vendors that sell American-made brands of clothes.  You can either use the online vendors to buy what you are looking for right then, or you can make a note of the brands that are made in the U.S.A. and look for those products at stores in your area or elsewhere online.

I think you will find that buying American is actually very easy, and it actually doesn’t cost more than it would to go to your local mall or department store. In fact, I have saved money since I started buying American because I always find good deals and I rarely make wasteful impulse purchases anymore.

To continue my example of buying a pair of blue jeans, once I selected “Apparel Made in the USA,” I selected “Men’s Clothes Made in USA.” I then chose a vendor called All USA Clothing.  This company is based in West Bloomfield, Michigan and has been in business since 1970 and they specialize in clothing made in the U.S.A. I was able to find a really nice pair of jeans for $34.99.  Shipping at this website is free.  That’s a pretty good deal.

This is the way I make a lot of my purchases, especially for items that I know will be difficult to find made in the U.S.A.

I have chronicled a lot of my American-made purchases on this blog over the last several months, but the following are just a sample of the things I have bought this year which are made in the U.S.A.:  Clothes, shoes, ties, a baseball cap, winter accessories, furniture, all my groceries (with a few exceptions for things simply not grown in the U.S.A., like bananas), GNC supplements, coffee beans (Kona coffee), beer, wine, cigars (rolled in Miami), home goods, bottled water, a shower-head, razor, tools, flashlight, batteries, office supplies, candles, etc.  The list goes on and on.  All of it has been American-made.

I hope this little explanation of how I buy American will be useful to you.  Please let me know if you have any difficulty locating American-made versions of the products you are looking for.  I’ll be happy to help you locate them. 

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

P.S. If you are looking for a great American made clothing brand, check out Made in USA Threads!

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Dr. Stephen E. Hershey and members of his staff show off their pride in using products made in the U.S.A. in their Waterford, Michigan orthodontics practice.

Buying American goods is a straight-forward process.  Simply look where the items you are considering buying are produced, and buy American-made versions of those goods whenever possible.  It’s that easy.  But can we apply the principle of buying American when purchasing services?  

Absolutely.  In fact, some of the most important times to think about buying American are when you are considering the purchase of services.  Most people buy goods on a regular basis – like weekly, or even daily.  We purchase services far less frequently, but when we do, we tend to spend more money all at one time.  And whenever we spend a lot of money at once, it is an opportunity to have a big impact on American job creation by buying American.  Here are a couple examples of services that can be purchased from businesses that buy American. 

Let’s say you are getting braces for your child.  You might consider finding an orthodontist that buys American, like Stephen E. Hershey Dentistry located in Waterford, Michigan.  This business has gone to great lengths to use American-made products in their orthodontic practice.  Kudos to Dr. Hershey and his staff for their commitment to using products made in the U.S.A. whenever possible. 

Let’s say you are having an addition put on your home.  You might consider hiring a contractor that buys American, like Southern Crafted Homes located in the Tampa, Florida area.  They were featured recently on FOX 13 in Tampa for their commitment to buying American and creating jobs in the U.S.A. 

Southern Crafted Homes, the group that built the home seen here, uses products that are made in the U.S.A., and often made locally, to build their homes.

“Growing up, I was always taught to buy American,” said Jim Deitch, Chief Operating Officer of Southern Crafted Homes.  “Buying American means we keep the money in our economy. Buying American supports American companies.  It goes to our core values and we feel strongly about that.”

Deitch has written letters to executives of large companies to congratulate them for buying American.  He says it’s a patriotic way to do business.  He also says buying American is good for the consumer.  Many businesses in his industry chose to buy cheap imported drywall, which consumers experienced major problems with when chemicals in the drywall began smelling like rotten eggs and causing numerous health concerns for those living in homes that contain the defective drywall.  Deitch’s company uses high-quality American-made drywall.

Supporting a contractor that buys local and/or buys American – like Stephen E. Hershey Dentistry and Southern Crafted Homes does – is a great way to apply the principle of buying American when purchasing services.  It creates American jobs at a time that we need them the most, and in some cases, it acts as safeguard against cost-cutting measures, like the use of harmful imported drywall.

It might take a little extra homework to find vendors that buy American, but it is worth the time to do it.

Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.

Randy

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