Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My comments on American- made products hit a chord with several readers last week who sent in letters to me...one for and one against.

If you're serious about trying to consciously buy more American-made products, there are some interesting Web sites that can help, including
  • Shop union-made
  • that directs consumers to products made by union labor.

    By the way, I found another American made brand of jeans as well: Pointer Brand. More information is located at
  • Pointer jeans
  • . Prices for standard jeans range from $29.45 to $41, depending upon your size.

    Here's another angle to this on-going issue to consider: we have heard for years that government officials and think tankers believe the United States is heading to an information-based high tech economy. I remember former Governor Michael Dukakis advocating such a vision when Massachusetts was a center for the computer industry in the 1980s. Remember Digital? Wang?

    I think Dukakis had a vision of technocrats supported by entry-level service jobs. I liked him, but he was dead wrong about this view of the state.

    Anyone who is talking about that today is either behind the times or just not telling the truth. Everyone in the high tech field has been threatened by the continual out-sourcing of those jobs to qualified people in foreign countries who will gladly work for a fraction of what Americans want and need.

    There was a story earlier this year about a Pasadena, Calif. publisher who was hiring a writer in India to cover local city council stories. She was going to do it by phone and e-mail.

    Now I think this is patently ridiculous and I hope the Flying Buendo Brothers do as well but clearly there is a mind-set among some business owners to do whatever is necessary for short-term profits regardless of those actions' effects over the course of three or five years.

    But who knows if this if something freakish or a trend?

    And remember that more and more of our food is coming from foreign countries and you might not even realize it. Beef, for example, can be stamped with a Department of Agriculture seal and not be raised in this nation. Although Congress passed legislation in 2002 that mandates detailed labeling, the legislation is not going into effect until next year. And according to Food and Water Watch, food industry representatives are working to weaken the legislation.

    The more money we send out of the country in the form of wages or the cost of goods, the weaker our nation becomes.

    Here's my mantra: buy as much as you can from locally owned businesses and as much that is made in this country that you can afford.


    Speaking of trends in the press, I must have been sick the day the memo went out that female reporters should kiss public officials as a way of greeting. I see this more and more and frankly it bewilders me.

    Yes, it's great to be friendly with the officials you cover day after day, but giving them a hug and kiss might prove to be an impediment to asking a hard question.

    I know it's a question of style and, yes, I come from a fairly uptight family where hugs and kisses to casual acquaintances was not the norm.

    It's just when you ask a question bound to irritate someone, a habit of kissing them just seems to be awkward to say the least.

    Of course, I've noticed the use of the "air kiss" a lot. That's a phenomena I don't understand either. What's the point of smooching into the air and pretending it's a moment of some sort of affection?

    To the mayors, state reps and senators and others I see regularly, don't worry about me. It's going to be a firm handshake instead of a kiss, I promise.

    © 2007 by Gordon Michael Dobbs


    dogboy443 said...


    I'm sure all of the mayors, state reps and senators thank you for this statement.
    And next time I see you I'll make sure a Man Hug comes your way.

    The Other Mark M.

    SRBissette said...

    What, no BJs?