Walmart and Made in the USA
I have never been a huge fan of Walmart because of their policy to supply the cheapest product that you as a consumer need regardless of where it is made. We have all seen the numerous reports out how Walmart put one business after another out of business here in the USA by simply buying from China. In China the business model is simple, make it cheap with cheap labor and if you still can't compete then the government of China makes sure you have the best prices. You have seen the stories all over the internet and the news how the last widget company or wadget company is shutting its doors because the product can be made in China, shipped thousands of miles across an ocean and still sell cheaper. And no, you don't get the same quality product but in everyone's checking account is a little devil saying "It will just have to do".
This past weekend I was in the need for some items for the new apartment and a cooler for a road trip to a friends wedding. I was in the same plaza looking for some shoes and Walmart was right there. Time after time I find myself shopping there pissed off that they are the only place that my low wage American job can afford me to shop at. It's an evil loophole that I'm sure lobbyist in Washington or Benton, Arkansas created. I am a Walmart zombie that wonders the aisles muttering "Bargains" instead of "Brains". We needed those cheap plastic deck chairs that can be left out. I found a nice pair and a matching table. If the girlfriend was with me I would have looked for the label stating where it was made and shouted out loud "Made in China, no shit?"
On to get some storage bins to organize my tools and solar gadgets and parts. I found a nice three drawer, three foot wide, by one foot deep unit for a really decent price. In the cart it went. On to looking for a lunch size box cooler. Igloo coolers were on sale. I picked up a nice one that can hold 13 cans in it? Why thirteen I have no clue but I'm pretty sure that is what the label said. It's made in China junk, am I supposed to expect them to have a brain and make it cheap too?
I push my overloaded cart to the checkout line in the garden center and this lovely elderly woman is checking me out. Not checking me out in a perverted way but checking me out with all of my Walmart made in China crap so I can pay US Dollars for it. Of course I have some additional impulse buying items like two bags of butter scotch candies and a huge 41 oz bag of Starburst. I love Starburst. Along with some toiletries (Kids have no idea what that word means... heehehehhe). The bill came to $72 and I was pissed. How can all this made in China crap cost so damn much. I was fuming but swiped my debit card anyway.
On the ride home which is less than two miles I argued with myself about how I just helped the biggest enemy to small American business put even more of them out of work. Times are tough, I used to have a good wage in a good American made industry. Now I have a job at a crappy pay but it is a job at half of what I used to make. It beats the hell out of not having a job. We do what we have to do to get by. But next time I'm going to an American made store.
Unpacking all my ill gotten cheap made in China crap I notice on the back of my new deck chairs that they are "MADE IN THE USA". And yes I did say to myself out loud "No SHIT???". Then I saw the same thing on the little table that went with the deck chairs. "Made in the USA". Repeat after me... NO SHIT??? I figured it was a fluke and moved on to my new three drawer storage unit. I went to pull the tag off of it that they usually use super glue to affix to all plastic items and right there on the tag it said "Made in the USA". Repeat after me, NO SHIT??? This had me puzzled. That had me curious and I was sure as bears shit in the woods that the Igloo cooler was not made in the USA. Right there on the front. On the tag that Superman would have a hard time pulling off was "Made in the USA".
This little shopping trip that I deplored, detested, and hated to do was now having flags waving in the back of my brain, little parades of American workers marching to the assembly lines, and apple pies because I was hungry and had nothing to do with what I was thinking. Anywho, during my next adventure to Walmart I will be inspecting the tags to see where my dollars are going. As much as I don't trust the Walmart purchasing policy, I would rather keep my dollars here in America going into American workers pockets and not some political bureau half a world away that is going to buy New York at a tag sale because someone on Wall Street could broker a better deal than the Indians originally got.
So I suppose I need to revise my anti Walmart opinion in some respects but I will always be Born in the USA and look for Made in the USA labels. I got your back Bruce. Got your back.