I just heard about another friend who's out of work so I hope you'll pardon this editorial which some may call a rant.
Unemployment and rising federal debt tell us that our economy, if not dying, is on life support. Some people obviously didn't get the memo because imports of pricey foreign consumer goods hit an all time high this summer. U. S. exports didn't follow suit thus making our trade deficit at its highest level since October 2008.
Some Seem Unaffected
For every frugal American converting to permanent use water bottles and taking stacations, there were just as many profligately-spending citizens snatching up flat panel TVs, cell phones, and other expensive toys.
Surprisingly, economists had forecast a smaller trade gap because of lowered global oil prices. Obviously these economists don't hang out at the local malls or WalMart and Target on the weekends. They must never drive by a cell phone storefront and note the throngs inside waiting for their chance at an iPhone or Droid.
Hey, we may all be going to the poor house, as my grandfather used to say, but we're dressed in imported clothing and driving there in a new Lexus with our iPhone in our hand and a Coach bag next to us while we sip our imported bottled water.
Buy American? Ha!
Those who shout "Buy American" aren't offering a viable alternative. Electronics, clothing, and so much more just isn't manufactured in the United States any more. Look around. Chances are just about everything you own was made outside the country, from the coffeepot that gives you your cup of java in the morning to the TV you watch at night. Try finding dinnerware that's made in the U. S. That industry was killed long ago with only Homer Laughlin, makers of Fiestaware, remaining.
What's the answer? Who knows? I'm just a writer.
Perhaps a place to start is to buy American -- if you're lucky enough to find something made here. Vehicles still are. Mostly.