Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yesterday's Rant - The Tale of the Little Red Wagon

This morning, while trying to assuage the "waves in me belly", I truly thought I had a winner, "I'm going of buy a wagon, or even better a kid-sized wheelbarrow, from Radio Flyer for my nieces". I was already writing my acceptance speech for winning the "Triple Crown of Sensible Consumerism", an award that includes: 1) the best Uncle on the planet, 2) Captain America Stimulus, and 3) the Sir Galahad the Green for a low carbon footprint.

As a person who tries to vote for American jobs with his pocket book, I try to buy products made in the good ol' U.S. and A. Largely because of my lovely wife's influence, I've become the guy that looks at all the tags at the store, and the labels on the fruit and veggies. Every little bit helps, right?

But alas, after about an hour of searching, which brashly announces on one in-depth family heritage page after another, "The Radio Flyer is a true American Icon", I found no sign of where they are manufactured. It even seems that Radio Flyer is one of the top ten "places to work" in Illinois, but there is no manufacturing wing there or in any of the 49 other states for that matter. After a little more digging, I found where this American Icon is manufactured. All you have to do to find it is follow our economy. You guessed it, "up the yin-Yangtze".

I know this probably isn't Radio Flyer's fault. They are just trying to hold onto their business to employ those lovely people in Illinois, and they have to make cuts somewhere. So whom do we blame? Congress? The President? The lazy Americans who can't get off their couches and take a job that involves manual labor? Like most things in life, we should probably look at ourselves first. For the last few decades, WE THE PEOPLE have shot ourselves in the proverbial economic toehold by demanding "cheaper", but at what unforeseen cost? We in the science and technology sector sometimes recall a foreboding saying, "We were too busy asking if we could make it, that we forgot to ask if we should make it". In this situation we were too busy asking if we could buy it cheaper, and forgot to ask if we should buy it cheaper.

We're all just the little people right, but in this atmosphere of change please look at what you can do within your little world, from your pocket book to your newly elected officials, and demand that your money go to help your family and your community. Demand it of your policy-makers, your co-workers, and your friends: stop selling you brother down the river, while building up the Yangtze. Buy local, Buy US. Sure you'll have to pay a little more, but you'll be able to tell your nieces that "the Radio Flyer is really a True American icon, built with skilled American hands and supporting American families just like ours."

This rant is "Booby Approved"!

1 comment:

Nate Hausman said...

It's high time we bring you back from over seas then. The local folks are falling off the wagon back here in La Jolla, and UCSD needs its all-American gardener back.