America the Beautiful - Made in the U.S.A

I have been feeling a bit patriotic lately, with the 4th of July around the corner and the recent tragedy in my home town, where 19 firemen/HEROS bravely gave their lives for the sake of others.  My heart is heavy and grieving for the families who are hurting right now. I am so sorry for your losses.   The loss of your sons, husbands and friends is a loss for everyone as they ARE what makes our country so special.

As Jesus said in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." Your men did this, they gave it all for others.  I know I speak for many by saying THANK YOU.

Thank you to the heroes who have given their lives for others and our country and to the men and women who serve  us everyday, these sacrifices are what makes this a truly special place to live .   America the Beautiful, indeed! So in honor of our great country and the wonderful men and women who make it great, we are going to have a serious of posts on products that are made in the good ol' U.S.A!!  To kick of the series, I'll start by answering the basic question -


woodleywonderworks / Love Photos / CC BY
The answer could be quite long and detailed, but I am going to answer as succinctly as possible. So, here we go, Bought.Beautifully's top 4 reasons to buy made in the U.S.A. Why MADE IN AMERICA 1. Support Local Economies - When we buy local we put money directly back into our economy.  Estimates show that for every $1 billion in goods exported, the economy creates 5,000 jobs. This statistic goes both ways, data from the Economic Policy Institute shows that for every $1 billion in goods imported, the economy loses 9,000 jobs. 2. Support Environmental Protection -  Many of the countries that produce the products we import have little or no environmental regulations.  Although there is still room for the United States to improve when it comes to Environmental policies, we are far ahead of many countries and the companies that are manufacturing products here are subject to EPA regulations. 3. Support Fair Working Conditions - The United States has done a great job of setting and enforcing labor standards.  The U.S. Department of Labor enforces over 180 laws that help make the U.S. a safe and more fair place to work.  They enforce laws that regulate health and safety standards, minimum wages and overtime compensation, worker exploitation and child protection, and provide additional benefits like workmen's comp, disability, and some retirement.  Again, the system isn't perfect but does offer many protections that are lacking in other countries. 4. Support Local Artisans and Creativity - This is my personal favorite because I love unique products, products that are created not manufactured, products that are made with a little heart and a little soul.  I would much rather have 1 hand crafted item, than 3 mass produced ones (which is often the choice I have  to make as they tend to be more expensive but it always seems worth it). The sum of these reasons is really why I want to buy made in the U.S.A whenever possible. I love to imagine and support a world where more work can be a creative process, producing less but producing quality, and doing so in safe, positive, enjoyable working conditions, while keeping the health of the environment in mind.   I may be being a little utopistic here but that is ok - it is almost the 4th of July - I can't think of a better time to talk about and work toward the type of world that we want to live in. For your  Made in America shopping inspiration and 4th of July festivities, here are a few of my favorite Made in America outdoor finds:
Out door fun - Made in America
Also, for those readers who are the more Political Science types here are four more reasons to consider buying made in the U.S.A- 1. In 2000, there were more than 17 million Americans working in manufacturing, but now there are less than 12 million. 2. The United States has the largest trade imbalance than any other nation. 3. The deficit with China was $295.5 billion in 2011. 4. Between 2001 and 2007, the value of products that Wal-mart imported from China grew from $9 billion to $27 billion.  

 Photo credit woodleywonderworks / / CC BY

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