This July 4th, as thousands of patriots march in parades, they will be waving American flags made in cities like Guangzhou and Shanghai. This situation is not without humor -- but there is nothing really funny about the loss of American independence it so painfully symbolizes.
The fact is our purchasing power has an impact on products across the spectrum. Whether we are choosing clothes, food, gasoline, or toothpaste -- we have the opportunity every day to make a difference.
Having celebrated "Buy Nothing Day" on Black Friday last week instead of braving potential assaults of pepper spray at Walmart or even worse, I now am faced with the prospect that this year, I must once again enter the belly of the dreaded shopping beast.
It seems there is another hurricane happening now. Part of Occupy Wall Street's intrigue for me is the collision of groups and cultures who are dropping labels, and identifying as one: against the 1 percent.
Apple is still an exception, because what they don't do is invest their money into China or get hauled into an involuntary joint venture with a Chinese majority "partner" who captures 60-80% of the revenue.
A recent "economic letter" contends that America is spending only 1.9 percent of its dollars on Chinese goods. How can we reconcile what we see on Wal-Mart's shelves with what these experts and media pundits tell us?
Unlike clothes made in the U.S.. which requires colorfast and pre-shrunk fabrics, we overlook those regulations when it comes to imported fabrics. And good luck trying to find Made in the U.S.A. labels.
There are certainly many alternatives for purchasing products with greater ethical standards. But let's face it -- parents are busy, disposable incomes are tight, children need stimulation, time is money, and this is America.