You’re standing in a discount store, and you’re ready to purchase a product for an unbeatable price. You’re excited, even a bit gleeful about the purchase; you might even purchase two, because the price is so good!
While, in the moment, it seems like a good idea to buy this product, there may be more to the story that you haven’t yet considered. Before making that purchase, we urge you to find out where it is made. If it is not an American-Made or an American-Assembled product, you should reconsider your amazing buy.
American-Made and American-Assembled products not only keep our friends and neighbors employed, but also, they can also save you money in the long run.
While it’s probable that you are aware that many of this country’s manufacturing jobs moved overseas in the latter part of the 20th century, did you know that skilled manufacturers and niche productions in the States have been reemerging over the last decade? As of October 6, 2016, the White House FACT SHEET: New Progress in a Resurgent American Manufacturing Sector reports, “U.S. manufacturing is making a comeback, with more than 800,000 new jobs added since the sector turned the corner after the Great Recession in 2010.”
So, what accounts for this change? The economy needs an employed population and consumers need good products. This country has a vested interest in keeping its people employed. Why? It’s simple, when people have jobs, the economy thrives. Additionally, consumers are becoming informed. As consumers become savvy, they are learning that rock-bottom prices are not the only factor that determines a product’s value. Today’s consumers are demanding quality products.
Quality products are built with a combination of factors, including materials, craftsmanship, overall aesthetic, safety features and price. If you consider each of these factors as just one job (while we know that many more people are involved in the production process than just one) then you can keep (at minimum) five more people employed right here in the U.S.
Think about it. If you take the first factor, materials, think of the company that procures the raw material. They have people mining, digging, cutting, storing and transporting it, not to mention the people managing that process. When the raw material is finally in hand at the end-manufacturing facility, it must be stamped or molded to the right dimensions. Then it moves to another team member (or two+) for assembly. Then it moves to another team to verify that it meets the company’s standards. Then it is packaged and shipped to the store. (Again, this whole process needs to be managed.) When you take the time to think it through, there are countless team members who impact the quality of a product before it gets into a bin to be sold at a store. By deciding to buy American-Made and, even, American-Assembled (products that are assembled in the U.S.), you are consciously deciding to keep more jobs here in the States.
However, the issue of deciding to purchase American-Made or American-Assemble products is deeper than just keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States. Products made here are higher quality than those produced overseas.
Manufacturers located in the U.S. ensure that products are produced with a high-level of craftsmanship and a strong overall aesthetic. According to madeintheusaforever.com, in an article titled, the Top Ten Reasons to Buy American Made, “Many countries have no minimum wage restrictions, or the minimum wage is outrageously low.” When a workforce is undervalued, it shows in their work. Take a close look at that unbeatably priced product. Are the details perfect? More than likely, if you look close enough, you will find imperfections all over the product.
While you might be willing to dismiss the overall aesthetic of a product for a great price, don’t be so quick to dismiss those imperfections. The United States has rigid safety protocols that a company must follow to produce a product. This not only impacts you as an end user of a product, but also as a citizen of the world. Again the madeintheusaforever.com article states, “US manufacturing processes are much cleaner for the environment than many other countries; many brands sold here are produced in countries using dangerous, heavily polluting processes.”
If these types of corners are cut in the parts of the product that you can see, what does a cheap product from overseas look like on the inside? What’s more, if this is an electronic product, are you sure that it meets the safety standards that will keep you and your family from harm?
If that unbeatably priced product has defects, you might need to purchase a replacement well before you would for an American-Made product. Just imagine what other costs you might incur, if a cheap product broke at an in opportune time.
While any product can break at any time, you have a better shot at purchasing a quality product, if you purchase an American-Made product. When employees are valued and manufacturers are obligated to follow rigid safety standards, you are bound to get a quality product.
Considering the costs of sending jobs overseas, possible environmental impacts, and potential dangerous situations, that bargain product you were eager to purchase could have a higher price than you think. When you purchase your next product make sure to check and see if it is American-Made. For an extra few dollars, you can remember that you are saving your neighbor’s job, product quality and, potentially, the environment. Now, you can feel gleeful for good cause!