July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday America, and Why You Should Buy Made In America and Canada

By Paul Bieber

Happy birthday to all of us.  I don’t feel a day over 39, but we really are 236 years old.  Considering that, we are all in pretty good shape!  A couple of simple rules for celebrating July 4th:

  • Don’t put any fireworks where the sun don’t shine.
  • In many states fireworks are legally available for sale, but being legal doesn’t make them safe after you have finished a six-pack.
  • Wear safety glasses and gloves, unless you are dating a nurse who has to work the emergency room night shift and want an excuse to see her/him.
  • Just about all consumer fireworks are made in China.  When you send up a rocket in your driveway, your US dollars are going up in smoke and landing in China…which brings us to why you should buy American!

I strongly believe in buying as local as you can.  Keeping your dollars in your own community helps your business, no doubt about it.  Whether your personal spending, or the dollars that flow through your glass shop, shopping local improves the local economy, and that will help your business. 

And when you do shop locally, do you try to buy made in America or Canada?   It’s not easy…or always the least expensive, but savings a nickel a foot on a case of imported lami can’t hurt that much.  I have heard so many horror stories about Chinese aluminum that is thinner than the American counterpart, and float glass that is more brittle and breaks poorly during cutting.  Lead times are just totally unreliable, and try to get a breakage replacement on a custom piece of anything.  You talking about a couple of months!!

I doubt there is a caulking gun or a computer mouse made anywhere in the US.  But look around when you go to the store or shop on the Internet.  When you have multiple choices, look for the good made as close to home as possible.  For every two cars that are made in North America, a job is created or preserved.  The ripple effect of this throughout the economy is huge.

Enough of laying on a guilt trip.  Enjoy America’s birthday.  Be proud of all people.  Enjoy the hamburgers and hot dogs, the ice cream and apple pie.