I ventured out last week to the new Gordman’s located in yet another new mall constructed along Illinois Road.  It is located in the same mall as the new Target store.  All these stores sell pretty much the same thing – one item after another shipped in from some foreign country – primarily China.

I strolled around looking at clothes and household items.  What I found were the same cheap products that I have seen in Target, Meijer, Stinemart, Sears, J.C. Penney – you name it.  Our households are filling up with mass-produced items that have no character or style.  And the prices for these cheap products are ridiculous.  Especially when you consider that the workers who make them make about .44 cents an hour.

Somehow, somewhere along the way, China has slid into every nook and cranny of our homes.  And the only ones getting anything out of this increasing junk are the corporations who have outsourced American jobs so that we can have a wealth of Chinese products in our homes.  Not what I call an even trade.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. Robert Pence says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Even before the upheaval caused by speculating in monetary abstractions, America was in a severe economic decline as companies maximized near-term profits by offshoring manufacturing operations.

    Americans are complicit in the destruction of our nation’s economy in a quest for the most stuff at the cheapest price; people buy shoddy goods produced by exploited workers using cheap materials and unsafe processes, at stores that under-pay employees, provide poor benefit plans, and suck the life blood from local businesses, and they wonder what happened to their own wages and jobs.

  2. Honest Abe says:

    Blame it on the 148 million+ people per day that shop at Walmart then. If you own a retail business and limited to selling American-made products you wouldn’t last a few months. You sell what consumers want, and they want cheap stuff.

  3. Robert:

    Good summing up of what is happening. Of course, those who believe that the entire world is a free-trade zone could care less about foreign workers, the environment, harmful products, American workers, etc.

    The bottom line is profit and outsourcing corporations are making at ton of it and really don’t care about how it is done.

  4. Honest Abe:

    Yes, consumers want cheap products. I remember when the phrase “made in Japan” meant a poor quality product that would more likely than not fall apart in a few months. Now it is “made in China” that has taken over that role.

    You might be surprised how long a business would last that sold American-made products. There appears to be a growing backlash against foreign-made products. Perhaps one of these days consumers will wake up to what they are doing. And perhaps they won’t.

  5. Iceironman says:

    I have a solution to the china syndrome.

    1)we export greedy unions to china
    2 we export rediculous epa regs and cap and trade to china
    3 we ban unions
    4 we make sensible laws dealing with the environment.

    Problem solved, chinas backbone will be broken just like ours.

  6. Ice:

    Would that be all 7.5% of the private workers who are unionized? Why do you and others continue to demonize unions when they are such a small part of the American workforce? That leaves 92.5% of the private workforce subject to exploitation by corporate America. The corporate forces have sure done a great PR snow job on you and other union haters.

    Unions shouldn’t be banned, in fact, I hope more workers unionize. Strength in numbers.

    As far as environmental regs – you weren’t around when our air was as foul as the air in China or other up and coming industrializing countries. I was, and I remember traveling the east coast – in New Jersey, the air was so acrid, it burned the eyes, throat, and nose. It made you cough and choke.

    You can harp about environmental regulations all you want, but I suggest you go to China or some other country and get a sense of what it used to be like here in the United States – that is until sensible, intelligent people realized that our environment (air, water, and soil) was slowly poisoning us and decided to do something about it.

    Thank God for those who have long-term vision instead of tunnel vision or no vision at all.

  7. Iceironman says:

    I said sensible laws.
    If you rely on numbers to get what you want you are a fool that should just go to a communist country and get what they want to give. It is the strength in the INDIVIDUAL that gives rise to greatness. Strength in numbers means you are one of the flock who cant find a way to defend or stand up for yourself. This leads to complacency. This leads to lazyness. I will take my strength in myself over the strength of a union anyday.

    If you want more unions and strickter env laws that is your bag. I will watch the ceos ship more jobs overseas and to s America.

  8. Dennis Baker says:


    We have done it to ourselves. We all want to pay as little for products and services as we can while still demanding the highest of quality. This is normally what inspires manufacturers and service providers to constantly improve their methods of operation. However, this only works if everyone is playing on the same level field.
    In the 70’s Japan was producing fuel efficient compact cars that few people here in the states payed much attention to….until the gas crunch in the early 80’s. Detroit responded to the competition by automating their production lines and offering their versions of compacts. So in this scenerio, it was the American people who chose to “save money” and buy more cars from Japan. Detroit was able to compete, they just had to use their noggins.
    China is a little different. With millions of workers making below a dollar an hour along with our quest for “cheep stuff” and no tarrifs to ballance our trade, we have lost a good majority of our durable goods manufacturing. We can still compete with China but it will take intervention from the government. No administration (so far) has been willing to get too involved because the outcome would mean we the people, would have to pay more for our “stuff”.
    If I remember right, the Clinton administration was leaning towards some sort of tarrif but China put their foot down and said “back-off, we are saving your economy by allowing your people to buy products made in China and save a bunch of money” so we did. And here we are.
    We as a nation need to realize the high price we will pay for “cheep stuff”. Before too long, China might decide to put the other foot down and we will have to add the crescent moon to our stars and stripes (don’t think it can’t happen). Of course the flag too will be “Made In China” but that shop will be just down the street.

    • kathryn says:

      I agree, we did do it to ourselves, but we also had help. It is the governments who put on tariffs, or take them away. I think if we could do it over again, the governments might not be so quick as to allow cheap imports in. As they say, 20/20 hindsight is perfect. For political reasons, governments may be unwilling to install tariffs. That doesn’t mean we can’t vote with our wallets. It seems the factories are slowly returning. After having access to such cheap junk, it will take awhile before we may be able to get our heads around paying for quality again. In the meantime, if you can’t find what you want made in your own country, consider buying secondhand. (buying something new from another country, doesn’t help you own country, even if it isn’t from China). This way a business isn’t needing to restock their shelves from overseas. Continue to talk to friends and family about wanting to buy nationally. They may have never considered it before, but may start to become more aware.

      • Kathryn – thank you for stopping by. You are right, we have done a lot to ourselves, but government officials have taken the extraordinary role of approving literally every Free Trade agreement that comes across their desks. I have been very disappointed in President Obama’s support of Free Trade Agreements. And, consumers compound the misery by flocking to Walmart, Meijer, etc., for cheaply-priced goods. But, with the outsourcing, the war on unions, the increased use of robots, and the unemployment situation, business pretty much has the worker in its control – at least at this time. Lower wages mean less money to spend, and, sadly, that means shopping wherever prices are cheap.

        I have made it a point to vote with my wallet since I feel that is the primary way I can make my opinions count. I have become pretty much die hard on the issue. I even avoid chain restaurants and frequent our many amazing urban core restaurants in Fort Wayne. I like to buy my groceries at our local coop and an international market as well as local ethnic markets. I do buy sometimes at the nearby Scott’s Grocery – but, much to my disappointment, it was sold to Kroger’s a few years ago. Its one saving grace is that it is still just a grocery store – no mega-store like Meijer. It carries some non-grocery items such as a small number of toys, some cookware, but all in all, it is still a food store.

        I do admit the one big-box I still frequent is Lowe’s. I am on my own and work on my home as much as I can. I have my own workshop, but I will search for and pay extra for a tool or item made in the USA.

  9. Jeez says:

    I can’t afford to buy Chinese Made Crap, even if Wal-Mart offered if for free. My health and safety are more important then that toxic, dangerous garbage coming from China. And one can’t compare to Japan when “Made in Japan” meant garbage because the Japanese are fanatical about perfection and quickly improved quality, the Chinese only care about cheap and pirated.

  10. Andy says:

    I came across the following video, “The Story of Stuff”:

    Its worth a look if you have some time.

  11. Helen says:

    Plus – Chinese products don’t function: I don’t know how many clock-radios we’ve gone through in the past few years. It shouldn’t be like this. I read a letter online that
    stated the same thing, and now their trying to find brands manufactured in other countries (if that’s possible!).

  12. Helen says:

    I mean: they’re – try to keep up my English standards…….!

  13. I’m not buying anything from China! Cheer me on and support my struggle at http://nochinajunkguy.wordpress.com/

  14. CW martin says:

    Charlotte, I don’t seem to be able to figure out how to comment directly on your blog without joining wordpress, which seems a little inconvenient to me as I have no desire to move my own blog from blogger. The alternative, it seems, is to click on one of your “recent comments” which is the only way I can get there.
    That said, excuse my having to comment on your post on birth control on this post but so it goes. Anyway, you misinterpret vastly the Catholic reasoning behind the banning of birth control. Catholics believe that the genesis of life should be God’s will, not mans. It has nothing to do with a bunch of old men trying to tell women how to live their lives- it is respect for the potentiality of life in every sperm, every egg. And plus, it is their faith, and as liberals so often say when they scream at Christmas creches, all faiths should be respected. McDonalds recently was sued by the Muslim community in Dearborn because the allowed non- “kosher” (not the right term for Muslims, I know) chicken to be served AS kosher. Surely you wouldn’t brush them off with an, “Oh, it’s no big deal,” would you?
    When you are directly affected by a Catholic policy, then you have every right to speak up. This is not the case hear. Your belief system and your pocketbook is not harmed if a Catholic organization opts out of providing birth control. And ED is certainly a horse of a different color, but I hear liberals use it as an example all too often. One involves a potential life, one doesn’t. Simple as that.

    I realize the basic difference here is your conception of where life begins versus someone elses. That’s fine, not gonna try to change your mind. But you ask for respectful discussion on your comments section… and I think you fail it here on your post.

    • CW – and God’s will also includes decreasing the ability of males to procreate, yet the Catholic Church and other anti-birth control churches provide coverage of ED drugs. No interference, right? Hypocrisy to the max. Again, watch the ED commercials – they are selling intimacy and sexual relations – not procreation. You can’t have it both ways. How is ED a horse of a different color? ED drugs interfere with God’s plan that males lose the ability to procreate at a certain point in their lives. If they cannot have sexual relations, they cannot procreate. Thus, God has established that at some point perhaps it is time to top procreating. Thus, the provision of ED drugs interferes with God’s plan.

      And, I totally disagree as to your statement that it is “old men” telling women what to do. Of course it is. Who makes the rules in the Catholic Church or the other ultra conservative churches that argue birth control is forbidden? How many women are in those hierarchies helping to make those decisions?

      Does it not even concern you that stats show that most want coverage of birth control – even Catholic women? Again, this is where you are not acknowledging who controls church policy. It is the old male clique that is in control.


    • Also, I went in to my settings page, and I think I found the problem. I had been working on revamping, and I had to check a box to allow comments. It is checked, so I think that should take care of it. I changed themes, so I am still learning my new theme.

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