"Merchandise from China"

This week, I'm publishing an email I received from a reader - Kevin O'Leary. I've seen similar things in the past, but this is a particularly good article. In fact, since it's right up my alley, I'll probably remind you about it several times through the holidays.

I have been annoyed for quite some time that it's almost impossible to buy anything in this country that didn't come from China. In fact, I once decided I would NOT buy anything from there.

Well, guess what? It's extremely difficult! Even our food is coming out of there. WHY? It isn't as if we don't have plenty of farmland in this country! If you've bought into the lie that we don't - take a road trip across the U.S.

Like everything else, this has sneaked up on us. It wasn't that long ago that even Walmart bragged about selling items "Made in the USA."

Our jobs have been shipped overseas and, in return, we buy crappy merchandise from China. What the hell?

Anyway, rather than get on one of my famous rants, I hope you'll just read the article below. If it makes sense to you, send it on to people on your mailing list. Maybe we can get enough people involved and really make a difference for American families, and our economy, instead of benefiting the Chinese economy.

This most likely also holds true for many countries other than the USA. So, getting folks to participate can certainly have a big affect on our home country small businesses!

If, after reading the article, you have additional ideas, let me know and I'll publish them. too! This is an article I wish I had written in the first place!

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods - merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.

This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, there is nothing to be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a box, wrapped in Chinese-produced wrapping paper? Think about these ideas instead:

  • Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local hair salon or barber?
  • Gym membership. It's appropriate for those of all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
  • Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese-made flat-screen?
  • Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
  • There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates.
  • And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local blreakfast joint?
Remember, folks, this isn't about big national chains -- this is about supporting your home town neighbors with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
  • How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
  • Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
  • My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
  • Okay, you were looking for something more personal. Think about your local artists and crafts people . . . paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry, pottery, handmade sweaters and scarves.
  • Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants, and leave your server a nice tip.
  • And how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre?
  • Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five-dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community.

If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can increase our indebtedness to it. Christmas now means caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams.

And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

How else can you help?

  • Forward this to everyone on your mailing list
  • Post it to discussion groups
  • Throw up a post on Craigslist in the "Rants & Raves" section in your city (GOOD one!)
  • Send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments
This is a revolution of caring about each other. Isn't that what Christmas is about?

P.S. This plan works for birthdays, anniversaries and any other gift giving occasion.

Please let us know what you think in the "Comments."

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* dr. jl scott is the Founder of Chamber of Commerce - on the Web™ http://www.ChamberofCommerce-ontheWeb.com - and also the publisher of the Online Business Trade Journal™ - the blog that keeps you up to date with online business coming of age. Visit: http://www.OnlineBusinessTradeJournal.com

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