Monday, November 8, 2010
A DOZEN NO-NO'S
So many jobs are being outsourced overseas by major corporations, then those big corporations funnel big money into the political ring to buy elections to get favors in return. Why don’t Americans just stop buying the products they make? Here are some examples:
1. America’s most ionic beer brands, including Miller, Coors, and Budweiser, are owned by foreign companies. In 2008, Anheuser-Busch, the St. Louis-based company that has a nearly 50 percent market share in the U.S., was sold to InBev, a Belgium-based conglomerate run by Brazilian executives.
2. Rawlings is the official supplier of baseballs to Major League Baseball. The St. Louis shop was founded in 1887 by George and Alfred Rawlings. In 1969 the brothers moved the baseball manufacturing plant from Puerto Rico to Haiti and then later to Costa Rica.
3. Etch A Sketch, an American toy since the 1960s, used to be produced in Bryan, Ohio, a small town of 8,000. Then in December 2000, toymaker Ohio Art decided to move production to Shenzhen, China.
4. Marquis M. Converse opened Converse Rubber Show Company in Massachusetts in 1908. Chuck Taylors– named after All American high school basketball player Chuck Taylor–began selling in 1918 as the show eventually produced an industry record of over 550 million pairs by 1997. But in 2001 sales were on the decline and the U.S. factory closed. Now Chuck Taylors are made in Indonesia.
5. The largest toy company in the world closed their last American factory in 2002. Mattel, headquartered in California, produces 65 percent of their products in China as of August 2007.
6. A waiver to the Buy America Act permitted an American producer of wheel-chair accessible minivans to purchase Canadian chassis for use in government contracts, because no chassis were available from the United States. The waiver specified: "General Motors and Chrysler minivan chassis, including those used on the Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana, Buick Terraza, Saturn Relay, Chrysler Town & Country, and Dodge Grand Caravan, are no longer manufactured in the United States."
Note: The Buy America Act requires government mass transportation spending to use American products.
7. You know that thing you put bills into on a vending machine? It isn’t made in America, according to a waiver to the Buy America Act. Neither is the coin dispenser, according to this federal waiver.
8. Levi Strauss & Co. shut down all its American operations and outsourced production to Latin America and Asia in December 2003. The company's denim products have been a staple American product for 150 years.
9. The little red wagon has been an image of America for years. But once Radio Flyer decided its Chicago plant was too expensive, it began producing most products, including the red wagon, in China.
10. Five Rivers Electronic Innovations was the last American owned TV color maker in the US. The Tennessee company used LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) technology to produce televisions for Philips Electronics. But after Philips decided to stop selling TVs with LCoS, Five Rivers eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Oct. 2004. As part of its reorganization plan, the company stopped manufacturing TVs. Now there are ZERO televisions made in America, according to Business Week.
11. Of the 1.2 billion cell phones sold worldwide in 2008, NOT ONE was made in America, according to Manufacturing & Technology publisher Richard McCormick. After studying the websites of cell phone companies, he could not identify a single phone that was not manufactured primarily overseas.
12. The incandescent light bulb (invented by Thomas Edison) has been phased out. Our last major factory that made incandescent light bulbs closed in September 2010. In 2007, Congress passed a measure that will ban incandescents by 2014, prompting GE to close its domestic factory.
FOOTNOTE: Did anyone know that this ban was passed by Congress? Or did it just slip through on the back of another measure? Congressmen have a habit of sliding these things through so we don’t know about them until much later.