Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Buying American Made

I just want to share a quote on American Made goods from Aaron Draplin.  It comes from an interview with Al James and was originally published on A Continueous Lean.  I really like this quote because it feels like the definition of American Made is evolving to become something of a justification for overcharging consumers. 

James: Has the meaning or feeling around “Made In The USA” changed for you over the years?

Draplin: It’s still a little benchmark for me. Still feels special. And more and more, I’m seeing things made here, and celebrated beautifully. That’s a good thing for all of us. Just today, I got a run of ear plug containers in! You know those little “pinch pocket” holders where you squeeze it and it holds your ear plugs? Simple stuff, and still made in the states. I like championing that sort of stuff. As the brother of an audiologist, we all need ear plugs for the rock shows. 

But of course, there’s a threshold. If “Made in the U.S.A” translates to “We Can Charge You 500% What It Actually Should Be For The Thing”, then I’m out. I like the stuff that just operates like it always did. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the cool axes, paddles, jizz rags and leather doodads out there being sold at exorbitant prices like anyone else. Sure. But sometimes, that shit’s just a little too high brow for me. Do this: Do a search for “chain wallets.” And you’ll find crusty, little sources that sell wallets for $20-25. Weird as hell. And if you dig hard enough, you’ll find ones made in the states, just as they always were. I bought one of those in 1989, and still have it to this day. It was $20 then, and still is $20. When folks start adding a zero to price, whilst holding some bullshit artisanal knife to your throat, that makes me squirm a bit.

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