In We Wish You AmeriChristmas Part One I encouraged American holiday shoppers to support the American economy by putting "Made in the USA" at the top of the shopping list. So how did you do on Black Friday? Did you invest in the preservation of domestic jobs? Or did you continue to fund someone else’s industrial revolution? Here’s a view from the field this weekend.
My family spent just under 70% of our holiday dollars on products made entirely in the USA. Mass-marketed products – yes, toys too – were not too hard to find, and we had success in many retail stores. The owner of our favorite local toy store was extremely supportive of our quest. Our in-store purchases included wood toys from BEKA, foam toys from Lauri, and a board game from Gamewright. At other retail stores we found children’s clothing by Mulberribush, Mis-Tee-V-Us, Turtle Fur, and Wes & Willy. We bought socks and tights at Talbots, knit hats at REI, and women’s clothing at Chicos. On-line we bought handcrafted wood toys from Maple Landmark, and polo shirts from Diamond Golf Shirts. We ended the weekend at the local artisan fair, full of products by local metalsmiths, jewelers, knitters, and potters.
For those of you yet to begin your shopping, don’t forget to check those labels and Buy American. Whether you are for free trade/fair trade or pro-NAFTA/anti-CAFTA, it doesn't matter. The only thing we have control over is our own personal choice. Focus your consumer influence on domestic job preservation, and remember "what goes around comes around." More money spent domestically = more real domestic jobs = more money for Americans to support themselves, their kids, and their communities = improved towns, schools, infrastructure = new domestic investment and growth = a higher and sustainable standard of living for everyone.