Thursday, May 12, 2005

Lost in Transaction

Now and then I hear someome lament the fact that "Americans don't make anything anymore," that all of the fine products we used to produce at home are now made overseas, usually by cheap sweatshop labor.

I decided that one way to test this theory was to take a quick inventory of the products I had on my person today –– what I am wearing and what I have in my pockets. I was surprised, to say the least, at learning the provenance of my possessions:

Shirt: China
Belt: China
Pants: Mexico
Underwear: Pakistan
Socks: Pakistan
Shoes: China
Wallet: Italy
Pen: Japan
Pocket notebook: China
Reading glasses: China
Comb: USA
Watch: Japan

Except for my body (which rolled off the assembly line in Houston, Texas) and my $1 Ace comb, the only things I have on my person today that were made in the USA are the coins in my pocket and the bills in my wallet. If we suddenly banned all imports, I'd have to walk around naked, relentlessly combing my hair and trying to decide on an orfice in which to stash my money.

I'm for free markets in general, but this is sad all the same.

Feel free to replicate my experiment. Take a quick inventory. How do you fare?

Quote of the day:

"Produce! Produce! Were it but the pitifullest infinitesimal fraction of a product, produce it in God's name! 'Tis the utmost thou has in thee: out with it, then."

--Thomas Carlyle

3 comments:

jenA said...

I'm afraid you must remain clothed. My dear dear Greek Myth professor has taken the Flash-U at BU prize for the semester. Better luck at Parents' Weekend!

Anonymous said...

shoes - no noticable local
watch - Japan
Shirt - India
Pants - China
Undies - Indonesia
Hair tie - China
Lip gloss - Italy
Compact - Canada

Woa! Id be a mess with dry lips.

Budge said...

It is quite possible that it is because your 'made in america" comb cost a $1.00 that the rest of your ensemle was imported.