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'Made in America' label a rarity

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POSTED: March 1, 2007 5:08 a.m.
“Made in America.” Where are our labels in the market place? Have you noticed they are nearing extinction in our department stores.
That got me thinking, which happens from time to time. I thought surely my Wrangler jeans must be 100 percent U.S.A. Nope! Made in Mexico. Good news the fabric is still 100 percent U.S.A. cotton fibers.
What about my Tony Lamas I have worn for an eternity? I know they were purchased in “Cowboy Country,” Texas, U.S.A.; but I was only able to find an “imperfect” stamp. Maybe that is why I bought them, and of course I have always worn a Lamas boot. I took it to an ole-time boot repair and cobbler to discover where my boot was made.  Sure enough, I had scored a “Made in the U.S.A” label after all!
But sadly I was informed the boot maker I inquired about was in the process of some “nondescript changes,” or so he had heard and was remarking that if I were to buy a new Lamas boot I was sure to have some foreign construction in the product. I can only assume he was referring to a change of ownership or manufacturing strategies to lower costs, “a fad sweeping across America.”
It seems everything I pick up in retail stores bears the stamp “Made in China.” It is so prevalent it is no longer laughable. Every time I see that stamp I wince because I know deep down someone’s job in America just disappeared. “Cheaper is better policy,” seems rampant in the manufacturing sector.
Personally, I appreciate a hand-made article and will certainly reward the gracious person who so lovingly put the effort to create with a higher payment than some generic junk churned out en mass.
The problem is my ability to make those consumer choices seems to be disappearing before my very eyes. I can choose “Made in China,” or “Made in China.” — not a choice I ever make!
My U.S. dollars are too hard to come by and I am forced to be frugal in my purchasing selections. (Not that I’m complaining. I am building character by doing so) I walk away and do without, romantically waiting for a day to come when “Made in the U.S.A.” reigns supreme again.
Cheaper is not always better. Quality and pride in workmanship are the qualities I appreciate and are certainly better than those quickly made items I am sure to replace or repurchase six months after ownership when they break or fall apart in the washing machine.
Who’s scamming who here?
 

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