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Archive for February, 2012

Have you noticed that much of the towels that you see in American stores these days say “Egyptian cotton” or “Made in Turkey”?  It’s not as though they’re cheaper than other towels, but they seem to have cornered the market.  In this time of increasing hatred of Americans in the Middle East, the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, the anti-West Turkey, are we so sure that we should be sending them our money, either in aid or in payment for towels?  I say no and that we should spend that money on American-made towels.

In that vein, I endeavored to find American-made towels and can now report on my efforts.  After looking around online without much success, I found a result on Amazon for made in USA organic towels.  The towels from that company are not all made in USA but these were.  I received them and they do say made in USA on them with nothing about “Egyptian cotton” or the like.  I’ve used them and would say that they’re pretty nice and a really good value.  I also feel much better knowing that none of the money I spent on them went into supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Erdogan, or their ilk.  (And please don’t start the argument, “but not all Egyptians are bad”.  It doesn’t matter, helping Egypt harms our interests – period.)

 

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Lately, Apple has been in the news for both record profits and sales, as well as labor standards in China and a trademark dispute with a Chinese firm over the Ipad name. Let’s backtrack and look back at my old post about small luxuries and Apple that made the case against Apple as bad rather than good for the American economy.  You see, I was a fan of Apple from long ago, before it was cool.  Back about 10 years ago, most Apple products were still made in USA.  Steve Jobs had not yet returned to remake Apple with a new glitzy image, but I did always prefer the ease and simplicity of Apple software.  As each new product launched by Apple, from the IMac to the Ibook to the Ipod, came to be made in China or a similar place, I quickly stopped caring about Apple’s success and lost respect for Steve Jobs.

Apple is estimated to directly employ approximately 30,000 Americans.  These are all white collar jobs, including well-paid engineering jobs.  How many jobs do you think Apple manufacturing provides for in China?  Well, we know that Foxcon, the maker of Apple’s products,  provides over 920,000 jobs in China.  This is where a large amount of the money from your Ipad and Iphone purchases goes.  So every time you buy an Iphone, some money stays in the US and some goes to China.  On balance, it’s a losing proposition for us.  There’s a great article online where I sourced this information here.

Now, Apple is under fire for doing business with “suicide factories” in China where it’s lower-paid Chinese workers crank out its products at Foxconn.  Never mind that Chinese workers face worse conditions at other Chinese factories.  It’s actually funny that our socialist unionist agitators are instructing China, a communist country, on how to promote socialism for its workers.  It’s quite comical and ironic.  That’s beside the point.  It’s also funny that Apple’s Chinese buddies are now blocking the sale of Ipads in China due to trademark infringement.  Both of these issues may or may not hurt Apple.

As an American patriot, however, I say, “who cares?”  If Apple learns a lesson that doing business in China is bad for business, then all the better for us.  As American consumers, what business is it of ours how Chinese workers are treated by Apple?  They have chosen to work for Apple and are free to leave anytime if the conditions are not acceptable to them.  They are not Apple’s slaves.  As American consumers, we should say no to Apple’s so-called “designed in California, assembled in China” bullshit.  (They shouldn’t even use the phrase “assembled in China”, as if the parts are made in the US and the Chinese workers are simply slapping them together like Legos.)  The parts are made in China, for the most part, as well.  We should boycott Apple’s products (as I have done) because money talks louder than anything else.  If Apple loses money by not producing in the US, then it will produce in the US, bottom line.

So don’t be the first one on your block to run out and buy the next Iphone 8 or Macbook SuperDuper Pro.  Who cares?  You may already have an Iphone (I have an older model).  So hold on to it longer and don’t upgrade so quickly.  Drag your feet on getting that new Apple computer if you really need one.  Don’t, whatever you do, buy Apple products as gifts.  You can give anything you want as a gift.  It just doesn’t help our economy to buy more of their stuff.  The less you spend on Apple’s products and the more you spend on domestically produced goods, the better it is for our economy.  So buy that piece of custom furniture (I did, from Naturaltique in Culver City), buy that American-made car, buy that American made clothing, buy the new air conditioner or furnace you need and put off buying that Apple gadget.

 

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