Big Business wants it both ways: It wants to wrap itself in the ol’ red, white and blue while feeding the decline of the U.S. economy through its actual practices.
Here’s the latest example of such corporate hypocrisy. Over the Memorial Day weekend, J.C. Penney advertised a silkscreen T-shirt bearing the slogan, “American Made.” Yet when Joe Allen, a retired apparel manufacturer in the Dallas area, bought the T-shirt, he found it actually was made in Mexico—”of USA fabric.”
Allen didn’t just shrug off such a blatant sleight of hand. He took action, contacting Steve Capozzola at the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Capozzola sent an e-mail to J.C. Penney, saying that the ad was deceptive and asking why the shirt “was emblazoned with an ‘American Made’ slogan when it was in fact made in Mexico.”
Here’s what J.C. Penney spokesperson Kelly Sanchez had to say:
You indicate that there was a shirt that depicted the slogan “American Made.” This type of slogan is referring to the actual person wearing the shirt and not to the manufacturing of the merchandise.
Being born in America isn’t a big benefit if you can’t find a job in the United States to support yourself and your family. And destroying good U.S. jobs is exactly what practices like Penney’s and nearly all of the big corporations do when they move family-supporting jobs out of the country. Their enablers, such as teevee blatherer Bill O’Reilly, further the sham when they assert there are no places in the United States where corporations can go to make sure their products are American made. In short, such statements are a lie.
Big Business knows the American public overwhelmingly supports products made in America. Earlier this year, when Congress debated adding the “Buy America” provisions to the economic recovery package, 84 percent of the U.S. public said they favored incuding “Buy America” provisions compared with only 4 percent who were strongly opposed, according to a survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
The nation’s recent financial collapse should be more than enough proof that our economy can’t survive soley based on non-goods producing industries. As economist Jeff Madrick pointedly puts it:
Without something to export, a nation will either become over-indebted or forced to reduce its standard of living.
Joe Allen took action, and so should each of us. Contact corporations and tell them you want their products Made in America. And let us know when you do. We want to write about your actions here.