Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Boat has a Leak

The Boating Party Lunch_Pierre-Auguste Renoir


(OK, there were two rowers so sue me, see below)


Someone sent me this in an email the other day and I thought this to be appropriate for discussion here. This is exactly what needs to be discussed.

MODERN PARABLE . . . . .

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford) decided to
have a canoe race on the Missouri River . Both teams practiced long and
hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate
the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior
management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person
steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a
consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second
opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat,
while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent
another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was
totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering
superintendents, and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1
person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the
'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners, and free pens
for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes, and
other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor
performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and
canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was
distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing
team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, The End.

Here's something else to think about:
Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the
US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants
inside the US . The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in
losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finding Products that are Made in the USA

This can be a bit of tricky procedure. It really isn't that hard to do though. As I continue to post up my links I will try and explain how it works. The regular retail stores are heavily invested in the Chinese and other foreign inferior products. They send their buyers out to find the newest styles for least amount of money. That's normal for any business to want to do, buy low, sell high. All the while they are purchasing products made in foreign countries that have no standards, no safeguards for their workers ands use inferior materials. They still sell their products at huge profits but the American consumer is cheated because they never know what they are going to end up with when they buy slave labor made goods from China and other countries.

You will see in my links columns that there are names of websites or stores and not just the name of the manufacturers themselves. These links take you to the stores where American made products are sold. There will also be links to the companies that do the manufacturing and sell from their website. In the links that go to stores, I'll use Shoebuy.com because they are very organized and have a good search engine, to find Shoes Made in the USA.

OK click here and open a window in a new tab Shoebuy.com". Go to the Search engine window and just to the right click on "advanced search". In the advanced search, choose men or women, casual or dress or whatever combination you are looking for. Then (I love this part) and in the category selector "Country" (second from the bottom) click to open the drop down menu and click USA! and then click search. Bingo, everything they carry that is Made in the USA in your selection will magically appear. Shoebuy is a very reliable website, take it from me. I own about 50+ pairs of shoes and I'd say about 15-20 pair came from Shoebuy. They have free shipping too! This is not an advertisement for Shoebuy.com, it is an endorsement by a satisfied customer. Gosh, I discovered they are now carrying Abilene boots! I tell you, Shoebuy.com wants your business because they aren't shy about carrying Made in the USA products. When I do my post on Hats made in the USA Shoebuy will be mentioned again.

OK, now you see a pattern developing here. You can go to virtually any site and check to see what they have that is Made in the USA by using their store search engine just by entering Made in the USA in the search engine box. I will post more links for sites that make or carry Made in the USA products and everyone is free to email me or leave links in the comments section when they find something or know of something.

We really can do something if we can just get people to examine what they are purchasing and maybe take that extra step to buy something that is made by fellow Americans. I'd like to see brick and mortar retailers get back to the point where they stock quality American made goods instead of always reverting to Chinese made inferiority.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My New Blog

Valley Forge Flag Company


Well, here's the new blog I've been talking about. My goal here is to show people that they can buy products that are Made in the USA and to encourage people to do so. It seems so easy to walk into a Wal-Mart or even an upscale Department store and pick out something you like only to find the tag says Made in China. You know the quality is inferior but everything else on the racks and shelves are Made in China too. It is quite frustrating because you know if you buy that inferior quality coat, skirt or shirt that's Made in China you're putting fellow Americans out of work. In most cases you aren't saving that much anyway and sometimes you're not saving anything at all and still getting an inferior product.

I will try and feature as many products as I can and keeps links to places where you can find American made products. Don't get me wrong though. You aren't going to be able to buy everything that you may want and need with a tag that says Made in the USA, that has never been possible. I am trying to increase the percentage of things you buy that's Made in the USA. If you buy products that are made in China you're putting yourself and family at risk because the Chinese have no intention of making safe products or using any kind of standards because they don't care one wit about their own people why would they care about you or your family? Lead paint, formaldehyde, insecticides and a whole host of other nasties that were banned years ago in American made products. The Chinese were even nice enough to send us some of their poisonous toothpaste and dog food. These are just a few of the reasons why products that bear the Made in the USA tag or label are far superior to those that say Made in China or one of the other slave labor communist countries like Vietnam. When is the last time you saw a pair of shoes or jeans that had a one of those hanging tags with their country's flag on it that says "proudly made in China? Never!

There are other countries that do make products that are high quality and pay their employees a good wage and have high standards. I will point them out too as I go along. My main objective though is try and do my part to help people to find alternatives to buying cheaply made and dangerous products that are currently being dumped on our docks and stocked in our stores.

I will also point out that it's OK for people to belong to unions and fight for fair pay and safe working conditions. Americans have always agreed with those principles. Union members have to let their leadership know they have to be responsible about negotiating and consider all things while sitting at the negotiating table. Many companies want to keep jobs in the US but unions and environmentalists can become very extreme and unbending and force companies to close or move their operations elsewhere. We are all Americans and it's in our best interest to keep our jobs here and make products that are both safe and affordable.

I will be posting links as I go along but if you have any questions or can't find something feel free to ask me and we'll work on it together. I hope this endeavor will be educational and helpful for everyone. God Bless America.