With so much of U.S. manufacturing activity going abroad, it is almost hard to believe that there is still a store in Elma, N.Y. called “Made in America.” According to the Wall Street Journal (23 November 2012), it’s true.
The store is 6,000 square feet and has sales of about a million dollars a year.
And as their name says, they only sell goods that are completely made in the U.S. of A.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find lots of items there.
Forget literally anything electronic or that runs on a battery. It doesn’t exist.
Fashion clothes, also - go somewhere else.
Even if you are looking for a simple electric can opener, this won’t be the place.
How about some tea bags - Made In America has found that while there is still some tea made here, the bags aren’t. So it’s no longer stocked there.
However, if you are looking for simple things like socks, candy and greeting cards - this store may be the place for you.
Reflecting on this, I remember hearing Joel Osteen speak about how with pride, every country labels their goods, “Made In...” (wherever).
Osteen compared it to us human beings, the children of G-d, and how he imagined that even we have a label, or mark, on each of us, that we are made by our Great Creator.
Osteen said that it doesn’t matter how we look on the outside, that our Creator takes great pride in each of us - in what’s inside.
On one hand, it is deeply troubling that there are less and less “things” that we can label “Made in America.” However, perhaps we can still take pride, as G-d does, that what’s on the inside of us as a nation is what is truly valuable and inspiring to the rest of the world.
While high tech and hot fashion is no longer necessarily made here, the dream of human rights, democracy, freedom and creativity for all is still very much our own.
We still have that label - those values are “Made in America” and we’re lucky to have them.
That said, let’s get our American manufacturing engines working again, so we can compete effectively in the global marketplace, not just on ideas, but on hard products as well. ;-)
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Hollywood PR)