Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bringing it home...

The article linked below was written in August of 2002. Even then, people knew that imports were becoming a huge problem for American manufacturers and workers. Susan is from Martinsville, VA and her people have lived just up the road in the Bassett, VA area for many, many generations, so perhaps I do have a personal reason to care. Though even if I didn't, one of the saddest things I have ever see in this country is the empty shell of a factory - shut down, silent, filled with broken windows, graffiti, dead leaves, trash, and rusting, wasted machinery.

Bassett, Stanley, DuPont, Pulaski, American of Martinsville and Hooker (I'm sure, among others) have all been based in or had a major plant located in Martinsville or Henry County, VA at one time or another. Many of those factories have closed and moved manufacturing to Mexico and/or China. Those closures left a good portion of the working class people of Henry County laid off, and many people lost retirement pensions. There are many more just like them all over the country in every industry.

So please do think about these thousands of good American working people who have been put out of a job and pension by the needless shift to imports and outsourcing the next time you're buying a new bed, bureau or TV stand. Consider doing a little research first to find what products are US made before buying and go look at them first if they're anywhere near your price range. You just might get a nicer product for your dollar and feel better about where your money is going than if you just go straight for the uber-cheap at your local Haverty's or Rooms-To-Go. Let me tell you from personal experience, furniture from both of those stores is cheaply and poorly made, and begins to fall apart very quickly and with little provocation. You'll have to replace it at least twice as fast as the better made products, so might you just as well go for the nicer products first if at all possible? And if what is still manufactured in the US is beyond your price range, consider going to antique stores, flea markets, garage sales and Good Will Stores in search of furniture. Sometimes, you can find really nice, good looking things at those places at very reasonable prices. Sometimes, you can even find a total *steal*!

For raw numbers and statistics from people who know what they're talking about and are involved in the industry, go here.

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