Posts Tagged ‘Made in the USA’

Take a quick minute to watch this really amazing video from the Million American Jobs Project explaining where all the American jobs have gone and what you can do today to help bring them back.

Do what the video asks and share it with just two people. Just a small change in our consumer behavior can create millions on new American jobs.

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


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Made in USA DVD.pngMade in USA: The 30 Day Journey,” Josh Miller’s new documentary is an inspirational reminder that the words “Made in USA” still matter. While Americans from Main Street to the halls of Congress struggle to cope with our sputtering economy, Miller reminds us that the answer to reclaiming a prosperous future may lie in the long-forgotten rallying cry to “Buy American.”

As Miller demonstrates in his month-long trek across the United States, a sure-fire way to create American jobs is to stimulate demand for American-made products. While conventional wisdom once told us the jobs that left our shores would never return, as is so often the case, that conventional wisdom is now being turned on its head.

The film shows that in many industries, companies that stuck to their American-made roots are now thriving, while firms that made the decision to off-shore are realizing the advantages of sourcing from low-wage countries like China are being eaten up by rapidly increasing wages in those countries. Once you consider the other disadvantages of off-shoring, such as increased shipping costs, higher inventory costs, and extended time to get products to market, in many industries the benefits of overseas production are now being outweighed by the costs. As a consequence, America may be primed for a serious jobs recovery.

In the film, Michael Araten, CEO of the toy company K’Nex, whom Miller interviews, makes the most compelling case that the U.S. is poised for job creation in the manufacturing sector and that the Buy American Movement can help facilitate it. “What I see happening is that consumers care more and more where stuff is made; businesses react to consumers,” explains Araten. “As demand picks up for [American-made products], then [businesses] will find more ways to [fill that demand].”

The economics of it are truly very simple – consumers demand American products, and companies hire American workers to produce those products. While few would question that basic premise, many would question whether promoting the concept of “Made in USA” is worthwhile. Jobs, after all, will come back when the economics demand it, not likely before then. But in the film, Miller makes a compelling case that buying American is effective enough to be worthwhile and is the patriotic thing to do by interviewing those that have been laid off due to factory closings. We are reminded that every time a factory is shuttered, it is real American families that suffer, and Miller lets us hear from these folks. But the film doesn’t just highlight this problem; it also gives us a solution – we can reverse this disturbing outsourcing trend by using our collective purchasing power to create jobs here in U.S. The film makes it clear that America needs to get serious about buying American right now, before another factory closes and another small town, like the one Miller grew up in, is devastated.

One aspect of the film worthy of applause is the non-partisan approach to the topic that Miller maintains. The importance of buying American resonates with people from all kinds of political backgrounds. As divisive as politics can be, Miller was smart to steer clear of any overtly political messages. It would have been very easy for Miller to let some of his personal political views creep into the film. In my view, that would have only been a diversion from the true message of the film: Our economic future is in our own hands, and we can have a better future by buying American.

I also love the way the film ends (I’m not giving anything away here) – with unique question that Miller poses to the audience. His question strikes right at heart of the problem the Buy American Movement has struggled with for years. The American people are as patriotic as they have ever been, but even the most patriotic people often don’t make an attempt to buy American, even though it will help our country to do so. When it comes to patriotism and consumer behavior, the rhetoric and the actions are simply not aligned.

Here is Miller’s question: We’re willing to die for our country, but are we willing to buy for it?

If more people would ponder Miller’s question seriously, I think we would see the Buy American Movement really take off in this country, and that could lead to the economic recovery in America that we have all been anticipating, but have yet to experience.

Made in USA: The 30 Day Journey is a must-see film. You can get a DVD for $19.99 by going to the website for the film: http://www.usa30days.com/

Get your copy today.

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Documentary Filmmaker Josh Miller, along with his three companions, has completed three days of his journey to buy and use nothing but American-made goods, and by the looks of things, Josh is really starting to struggle.

Important to note is that Josh chose to adopt the strictest possible interpretation of what it means to buy American, a plan I do not recommend, and you’ll see why.  He is literally refusing to use anything not made in the USA.  That means showering with a hose because practically no showerheads are made in USA (but this one is), using a portable bathroom because he couldn’t find an American-made toilet, and so on.  Josh has really gone COLD TURKEY.

Here it from Josh himself in this YouTube clip:

The Buy American Challenge, which is the plan I have been on for the last two years (I just had my second buy American birthday this week. Don’t I get a pin or something?). This is a realistic buy American program that anyone can follow.  Best of all it doesn’t require the kind of severe deprivation that Josh is dealing with. 

I’m hoping that as Josh continues on his journey, he will make peace with the fact that avoiding all imported goods is just not realistic.  I’m hoping he will adopt these Buy American Challenge program guidelines as a realistic alternative. 

I believe that if we are going to have a thriving Buy American Movement in this country, we need a common plan that most of the people committed to buying American are on.  It needs to be simple, it needs to be easy to follow, and most importantly, it needs to be realistic! 

You can follow Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey at these sights:  30 Day Journey Webpage, 30 Day Journey Facebook Page, 30 Day Journey Twitter Page, 30 Day Journey YouTube Page

Once again, here are the guidelines of the Buy American program I recommend:

 Buy American Challenge Guidelines:

  1. Buy only American-made finished products or American-grown or -raised foods.
  2. Items you buy may have parts, materials, and content that is not American-made, -grown, or -raised.
  3. Items you buy may be made in America by foreign-owned or multinational corporations.
  4. This challenge applies only to one’s own personal purchase decisions, not those made for households, groups, businesses, associations, or for one’s profession.
  5. Embarking on this challenge should be done willingly.  No one should ever be obligated or forced into buying American-made.
  6. This challenge applies only to purchases you make going forward.  Any puchases made in the past are in the past. 

Exceptions to the Buy American Challenge Guidelines:

  1. One, of course, may buy a specific foreign-made product if a doctor, dentist, or other medical expert prescribes or recommends it.  Example: If your dentist says you need a fancy foreign-made tooth brush, don’t worry about it, just get it.
  2. One may buy a specific foreign-made product if the item is simply not made, grown, or raised in the United States, and the item does not have a suitable replacement that is made, grown, or raised in the United States.  Example 1: A lot of electronics just aren’t made in the U.S.A. anymore.  If you can’t find what you want American-made, don’t worry about it.  Example 2: There is no such thing as an American-grown banana.  No worries, you can still eat them.  Example 3: There is no American-made “Champagne” because to be called Champagne it must have been produced in the Champagne region of France.  However, their are plenty of high quality American-made substitutes that are virtually identical to Champagne, but when they are made in America they are called “sparkling wine.”  This is the kind of item that is not the same, but does have a suitable replacement. 
  3. One may buy a specific foreign-made or -grown product if one is for some reason required to buy a specific item.  Example: If your professor assigns a specific foreign-made calculator to use for a class, don’t worry about it, just get it.
  4. One may buy a foreign-made item if it is urgently needed, and time or proximity preclude one from buying an American-made version of the item.  Example: You are really thirsty, and the only water available is bottled in France.  Don’t worry about it, just get it.
  5. If one has a kinship with another country other than the U.S.A., he or she should feel free to buy items made, grown, or raised in that country as well.  Example: Let’s say you have Irish heritage and like to buy things made in Ireland from time to time.  Go right ahead continue doing that.
  6. One is allowed five “cheat items” (or more if you really need more).  These are items that one may have an existing attachment to.  If you simply can’t live without a specific foreign-made good, you can continue to purchase it.  Example: Let’s say you just love Swiss chocolate.  You can, of course, continue to buy your chocolate as often as you would like. 

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


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Every once in a while, you are just at the right place at the right time. Every now and then, an idea that has been stewing for years reaches a critical moment when a spark is lit, combustion occurs, and BOOM, next thing you know, it’s everywhere. 

In many ways, the Buy American movement is just such an idea.  It could be an idea that’s time has finally come.

In the last post we introduced you to filmmaker Josh Miller, the man behind the documentary that will bring the Buy American movement to every home. This post is the story of how Josh intends to do just that.

Hear it from Josh first-hand here:

Josh and his two companions, producer Ron Newcomb and a cameraman Justin Moe, never anticipated their project would ever grow to the size it already has. The threesome initially set out to make a small film with a meager budget of just $5,000; seed money they hoped to raise online, but were unsure they could.  But they figured they had the recipe for an intriguing story, and if need be, they would find a way to fund the project on their own if the fundraising efforts came up short.

The plan was originally for Josh, who has the double-role of co-producing and serving as the on-camera talent, to spend 30 days relying on and buying nothing but American-made goods.  The crew would hit the road, visiting cities and towns that either impact, or have been impacted, by America’s tendency to buy what they want, with little regard for the effect those decisions have on the greater health of our country. 

Along the way, Josh planned to interview business leaders, labor leaders, economists, politicians, historians, and regular Americans to hear their views, and hopefully,  make some sense of the multi-decade rise, fall, and mini-resurgence of made in America enthusiasm in this country.  In Josh’s own words, he wants an explanation for the seemingly conflicting exhibition of American patriotism displayed by so many when he asks rhetorically: “We’re willing to DIE for our country, but are we willing to BUY for it?”

It turns out that this just may be the case after all. For Josh and company, they are fast realizing that their project may be the spark that turns American patriotic spending from a notable consumer trend, into a full-fledged cultural revolution.

Josh and his team quickly surpassed their fundraising goal, raising nearly three times their original target. This concept clearly struck a chord with many Americans who have already heard about the project, and the reality is starting to set in that this project is bigger than just them.

So how do we do our part to bring this revolution to the masses? Find out in the third and final chapter of our series tomorrow.

Check out more about the film at:  http://www.usa30days.com/

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


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There is little doubt that the buy American movement is getting bigger.  You see it everywhere you go, from television commercials to campaign trails, Facebook postings to evening news, and most everywhere in between.  Since buying American is a proven job creator, for millions of Americans who are hoping our country will finally turn the corner on this down economy, it is great news that the buy American movement is growing. 

Best of all: It might be about to blow up! 

But what’s going to be the catalyst for this possible, yet realistically improbable, surge in buy American enthusiasm?  Given all the economic turmoil our country has experienced, what is going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and makes this buy American movement go viral? The answer may lie in a small budget project taking shape right now in rural West Virginia.

Over the next several days, we’re going to release two more installments of a three part series covering the film that will, for the first time ever, bring Buy American to the masses.

As I type these words, a thoughtful film-maker named Josh Miller is up at the wee hours of the morning at the kitchen table of his home deep in the mountains of coal country.  Motivated to take on this project after witnessing first-hand the devastating impact of an aluminum plant closure that hit his small town like a punch to the gut, Josh is up drinking coffee and burning the midnight oil once again. He’s committed to a pace he knows he can’t long sustain, but he’s determined to power through and tell the story he knows must be told to the best his abilities.  He owes it to his family members who were most directly impacted by the aluminum plant shutdown, he owes it to his town, and he owes it to the American people.

Josh, along with his producer Ron Newcomb and cameraman Justin Moe are on a mission: to expose what happened to their town, and to towns all across America, and teach the American people how to stop it by buying American.

True, it will be hard for such a small group of young men to make a lasting difference in our country, but remember this: never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Throughout the entirety of our history, from the sons of liberty, to the abolitionists, to civil rights leaders, fundamental change came first at a trickle, then exploded into a movement.

What is happening in West Virginia today, as you read this post, is the start of the movement we have been waiting for. Tune in for the next two parts of this three parts series, to be posted tomorrow and the following day, to learn more about the men behind the film, and how you can be a part of history in the making.

Check out more about the film at:  http://www.usa30days.com/

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


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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.


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

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This week, Barr McClellan, a New York Times best-selling author, took the Buy American Challenge.  McClellan is the author of “Made in the U.S.A.,” which just hit bookstore shelves this May. 

In his book, McClellan presents a solid case for encouraging the purchase of products made in the U.S.A. as a solution to restoring our nation’s economic health.  Economic recovery for our country can be quickly achieved, McClellan argues, if the majority of Americans will give preference to goods that are made in the U.S.A. in their everyday purchases.  Buying U.S.A. and locally produced goods revitalizes the economy through a multiplier effect that counter-balances the negative impact of every exported dollar.

McClellan is currently in the midst of a media tour where he is touting the importance of Americans buying made in the U.S.A.  He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs throughout the country and he has authored several pieces picked up by print media publications.

“The pride we have needs to be restored,” said McClellan in a statement.  “One thing about Americans is that we are the hardest working, most competitive and most generous people around. When we have a problem, we do something about it.”

McClellan is asking Americans to join him in his “Buy U.S.A. by Labor Day” campaign.  He believes that changes in the way Americans make purchases needs to begin immediately.

“The urgency is to get the economy going by building up American enterprise and getting the world’s biggest consumer market back to work,” explains McClellan.  “What has to be done ASAP is get the American economy going.  Americans buying from Americans is the step to be taken.  We need to learn how to buy made in U.S.A.”

If you are interested in McClellan’s book, “Made in the U.S.A.,” you can get it here.  I highly recommend it!  Also, consider making a commitment to “Buy U.S.A. by Labor Day” as McClellan is calling for.  Let’s get American industry up and running again so we can put Americans back to work.

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


Barr McClellan served as a personal attorney to President Lyndon Baines Johnson.  He is the father of Scott McClellan, former White House press secretary.

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