Buying American may be worth the price

Folks love to shop, and that shopping is all the more thrilling when the price is right.

Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Photo Ryn Gargulinski

That is, when the price is cheap, cheap, cheap.

Many of the cheaper products, of course, are manufactured in other countries for mere pennies. Once they hit the U.S. they are greedily snatched up by sweaty, bargain-hunting hands.

It doesn’t matter that buying products manufactured overseas can really hurt our own labor force or economy. Nor does it matter that some of the stuff is not of the best quality.

What matters is the price.

Too bad that old adage of getting what we pay for often kicks in.

Like the crib that killed a baby in Iowa.

About 635,000 Dorel Asia Cribs, made in China and Vietnam, are being recalled, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Reports on the drop side variety cribs include 31 incidents of drop side dangers, with six kids getting trapped between the drop side and the mattress and three kids getting bruised up from being trapped.

An additional 36 reports of broken slats include seven reports of bruises and scratches and two more reports of kids getting trapped.

The Iowa child who died was trapped and strangled after the parents tried to fix the broken hardware on the drop sides themselves.

American made rocks/Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

American made rocks/Art and photo Ryn Gargulinski

A quick glance other recent recalls leave us with enough reading to last through March.

MooreCo Spine Align and Posture Perfect Ergonomic Office Chairs, made in South Korea, might do more than align the spine. They could crack it. The chair’s legs have broken and fallen off while people are seated. Three minor injuries reported and probably dozens of embarrassing moments unreported.

Pier 1 Imports glitter candles feature a dashing sprinkle of glitter mixed in with the candle wax. Too bad the glitter has a habit of bursting into flames. Made in Vietnam.

Consumers are asked to be doubly wary if they also purchased the Pier 1 Imports ceramic Santa tea light holder. These items, too, like to burst into flames. Made in China.

China is not having much luck with flammable objects, as a number of LED light kits manufactured there are also on the recall list. The kits, distributed by Rockland, have a battery pack that likes to overheat – and explode.

Let’s not forget about stuff made in Taiwan. The 2010 Redline Conquest Pro Bicycles and Framesets are being recalled because the bike’s fork legs have been separating from the fork crown, pretty much guaranteeing a crash. Three reports of fork leg separation have been reported, one with minor injuries.

Yes, American products get recalled, too. But the bulk of the items included in recent recalls were made elsewhere.

It must also be pointed out that the recalls were officially made by the manufacturers and include official consumer reports. That leaves out the gads of foreign-made products that shatter, explode, fall apart, chip, crack, or poke eyes out on a daily basis.

Cheap may be well and good until somebody loses an eye.

[tnipoll]

Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who has never owned glitter candles but once had an incense holder fall over and melt her glasses. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com and Rynski.etsy.com. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com.

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What do you think?

Are there certain products that you will ONLY buy if made in America? What are they?

Have you ever had a product blow up, break or be recalled? What happened?

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About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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22 Responses to Buying American may be worth the price

  1. azmouse says:

    I can’t imagine that the workers in some of the other countries would take much pride in their work since aren’t many of them basically slave labor or children?

    The biggest thing is when babies and children get hurt and killed. Could there be stricter standards some where? I know it’s hard to foresee some things, though.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya AZMouse, and very good point about workers perhaps not taking pride in their 2-cents and hour work.
      i, too, get disgusted when products hurt children – or imported pet foods poison pets.
      i guess the bottom line on standards has to be with the consumer – and common sense. just because something is for sale on a shelf somewhere doesn’t mean it doesn’t pose any hazards. seems sad, but true.
       

      • azmouse says:

        Very true.
        I mean, we never know when we shop at the grocery store even, if that food is some how tainted with who knows what.

      • Jennatoolz says:

        So very true! We never know what’s on/in our food! Reminds me of one of Aaron and I’s recent shopping trips. He wanted to pay a few cents more/lb and buy Organic Banana’s because he didn’t want to eat regular banana’s since they might have pesticides on them. I reminded him that he’s probably eaten “pesticide banana’s” hundreds of times in his life…and he’s still living. It was just funny to me that he said that, lol.

      • Rynski says:

        ..that is funny – we’ve all prob. been subjected to tons of garbage/chemicals/bs before but now people tell us to be scared of it even though we didn’t die yet from it…
        do pesticides sink through the skin or does he eat the banana peel?

  2. Jennatoolz says:

    Hi Ryn! It doesn’t really matter to me where exactly the stuff I buy comes from. As long as I can use it for its purpose, without possible death as a result, haha.

    • azmouse says:

      How did Dante do on Saturday…or is that an upcoming ‘Sawyer Says”?
      I was thinking about you guys…

    • Rynski says:

      hey jennna!
      good answer! the possibility of getting killed by a product certainly does take away some of its allure – hahah.
      other factors important to me, in addition to being american made, are leopard print, then quality/price. oh! and popularity – if EVERYONE has something, then i don’t want it!
      …just like i was upset when drew carey made black nerd glasses mainstream – it made me switch to tortoise shell frames! hahaha
      P.S. YES! we need a dante update.
      if you’d like, sawyer will send some quick interview questions for him and blog about it this week – let us know!
       
       

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Oh whoops…I put a PS on my comment in todays Sawyer Says…lol. If you want more of an update, feel free to send some questions over hahah. 😛

      • Rynski says:

        ok, we’ll check out what you wrote and let you know…thanks!

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Haha leopard print..that has definitely grown on me in recent months. I’m excited because yesterday my boyfriend and I bought ourselves a new couch…it has zebra print pillows!! Hooray for animal print!! I didn’t think my guy would go for it..but since its “neutral colors” he was all for it. Yes!! Gets delivered tomorrow afternoon. 😀

      • Rynski says:

        awesome!!
        nothing beats a house decked out in animal print! how funny i just ordered leopard print slipcovers for my couch and loveseat as i’m sick of how they look.
        hahahha.
         

      • azmouse says:

        That’ll look cool with your ceiling!

  3. radmax says:

    About the only American ‘product’ that can be purchased these days is fast food or our debt. Still, if I have the opportunity to buy American, I do.

    • azmouse says:

      I also try to support as many small businesses as I can.

    • Rynski says:

      ha! i was thinking what would be the biggest american-made item and fast food came to mind – unless frozen fries are big imports – hahah.
      don’t forget, too, to support local artists – not only american, but right here in tucson.

  4. leftfield says:

    I prefer to support local businesses when possible.  I am not so much concerned about “buying American”.  I don’t believe it is possible to effect the jobs outlook for workers in American via consumer decisions.   The reason for this goes hand in hand with the reason why products can be unsafe.  Capital always has and always will look for ever more exploitable labor pools; today the search is international.  If the labor is more exploitable in country A than country B, this is where your widget will be made.  If you are blessed with government collusion in your efforts to exploit (i.e. a lax regulatory environment or another Bush Junior), so much the better for profit, which is the sole interest of Capital. 

    Now, I ask, in who’s interest is it that when there are societal problems such as unemployment, poverty, outsourcing or dangerous products, we look first at the consumer (aka working class) and blame poor choices, lack of personal responsibility or just say “let the buyer beware”?  Obese?  Your fault for poor diet choices.  Out of work?  Your fault for not being “competitive in the marketplace”.  Sick?  Your fault for not taking better care of your health.  Foreclosed upon?  Your fault for not budgeting well.  Whose interests are served when we accept the common wisdom that the system is fine, but the working class schmoe is irresponsible?

  5. Ruth in Tucson says:

    I try to buy things made in the U.S.A. because I think it’s important to keep jobs here.  I really look for things made here, and have been surprised by the great number of things made in China, even things like Elmer’s Glue and Crayola crayons.  Considering how many things made in China have been recalled because of lead content, how many of our kids are being poisoned?

  6. mорское says:

    we buy nothing made outside the usa. if we can not get it via made in the usa, we fix it, have it built or worst case, do without.

    unfortunately we do have vehicles that were partially made with parts made outside the use or built in kanada, however, the jeep i drive i have had for 13 years. all replacement parts ……… see above.

    i have a full shop on the proerty and do 99.9999% of all out work on whatever. i will pay twice as mush if necessary to buy made in the usa.

    btw lefty, if everyone stopped buying imports …… business would be forced to bring it home. problem is, no one has the balls or the willingness to do without.

    • leftfield says:

      I don’t believe this is true, Moppy.  The loss of jobs in this country has nothing to to with a lack of working class “balls”.  And as someone who has spent his lifetime in the service of the ruling class, you should know it is they, not us, who give the orders.  We do the marching.

      Hasta La Victoria Siempre, Moppy!

  7. mike_brewer says:

    Tax laws rule America more then the constitution.  And  the global economy has wrapped us so tight that I cannot see us ever functioning as a pure sovereign nation again.
     
    When my mortgage payment is going to repay the Bank of Singapore who bailed out our “American made” banks, what does it matter where I get my socks?
     
    I do, however buy local. I have not shopped at a Mall in 25 years. Why should my money go to franchised America? They do virtually nothing in the community.  All of our Christmas gifts were purchased on 4th Avenue or Campbell Avenue merchants.
     
    I will admit that I like buying stuff made in Vietnam. Somehow it makes me feel like I did not waste my time in the villages there. And ya know they have alot of oil too!

    • Alex Filip says:

      Because Mike Brewer is filled with the philosophy that he espouses here, he will be alive in Tucson for a long time – get used to him. People will eventually think that everyone in Tucson is like him. Not such a bad thing.

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