Younger Progeny had to have minor shoulder surgery recently, and when I stopped by Walgreen's to pick up some supplies, I spotted bags of fall mallow candy - you know, candy corn and those fun and tasty shaped ones, pumpkins and moons and so on? Anyway, both girls thrive on this stuff in the fall, so as a treat, I picked up two bags and as I was standing in line waiting to check out I happened to notice something on the label. It said....Made in Mexico.
What? Okay, since when? Has it always been made there and I just didn't know? But Brach's is an old, old American company, right? Since 1906, right? (Okay, so I didn't know that 'til I looked it up on the website, but I knew it was old.) Turns out they were purchased a few years back by a huge conglomerate called Farleys and Sathers, and they have five manufactories - three in the U.S. and two in Mexico. I suppose it makes sense that we would get product made in Mexico because this little slice of boiling hot ick we live in is so close to it.
Look, I don't have anything against Mexico or Mexicans. What I DO seriously hate is that practically nothing is manufactured HERE. And, yeah, that means that we can go buy a lot of fun cheap crap, then give it away, then start over, on and on, ad nauseum. But it seems to me that we, as a country, can't do that forever. We're already way over our heads in debt, unemployment is still an ugly part of a lot of people's lives...and for WHAT? CHEAPO CRAP?
We need to bring our companies back. Then pay decent living wages to people - not crazy wages, because that's how the unions shot themselves in the foot in the first place. Honestly, people pushing brooms in auto plants making $30+ an hour? Please... And why did the unions feel they had to force the crazy wages? Because we are all DAMN SPOILED. We want our three t.v.'s, our two cars, cable, fast internet, cruises.... Insanity!
Look, people. I remember my 95 year old father-in-law telling me once that he had just two books before he went away to college. They went to the library to get books to read. He had one good suit for Sunday and special events and he had a mishmash of hand me downs and second hand stuff for everyday. Now, I'm not saying that we have got to start living like that again, but we could rein ourselves in a lot more than we do. We need to be saving our money, bringing our factories back home, paying for things in FULL before we start playing with them, living in houses designed for one family, not eight families...EP's science teacher did an exercise one day where they had to tell what square footage their house was. We live in an 1800 sq. ft. house. Most of her class lived in 2500 sq. ft. or more. According to this teacher, if every family on Earth lived in our sized house, it would take the equivalent of THREE additional Earth's worth of resources to build and sustain them. For the bigger houses it was anywhere from four to fifteen Earth's worth of resources. Incredible waste!
We in the U.S. live better than 95% of the world's people. And here's the saddest and scariest fact of all. Even if the rest of the people on Earth could come up with the money to live like we do, they still COULD NOT because we've used up way more than our fair share of the resources. What's going to happen to us when the rest of the world starts figuring this out?