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What we buy makes a difference

Published: Sun, January 23, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

What we buy makes a difference

Recently I went shopping for a few items that I needed. Included were bathroom towels and a snow blower. The snow blowers that I looked at were of the mid-price level, which I found are the ones below $700. Much to my surprise, or maybe I should have realized, not one of the units at my local “big box” store had engines made in America. Even though the companies that use these engines are located in this country, all those engines were made in China.

Now, it strikes me that in the quest for the “almighty dollar,” “the bottom line,” “better profit margins” or whatever else we want to call it, American corporations have now transferred all of that production out of the states and it’s never coming back. All for a couple of bucks more profit. Take a moment to think about what that means. Want to know why unemployment is at such high levels? This is just one of the reasons. And the worst part about it, there are no other choices. It becomes a “take it or leave it” situation.

The next items I looked for were cotton towels, bed sheets, etc. This was even more frustrating and made me more upset. This trip took me to the mall and big box stores. Again, all I wanted to do was buy products “Made in America.” I could not find one store that offered so much as a wash cloth made in the USA. Worst of all was the amount of products made in Pakistan, a country that protects and aids the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and his fighters. And we’re supporting them with all these products. This is crazy. But I know: we can’t let a moral decision et in the way of a good price.

When are we going to learn that the reason we have stagnant wages, unemployment, social unrest and so much class warfare is because we’re being force fed by a smiley face telling us that it’s all about the lowest price?

I just hope that each one of us will take the time to look around and talk to store managers, talk to our politicians, talk to our business owners and tell them that the bottom line is made up of more than just a low price.

Michael Lovrinoff, Canfield

Homework cuts into family time

I feel the need to vent public- ly about a subject I should have stopped venting about over 20 years ago — homework. I am a single mother of three kids. My 8 year old is sitting at the table as I write this doing homework. Monday was observance of Dr.Martin Luther King, therefore, he did not have school. Over the weekend, however, a great deal of time was set aside for, you guessed it, homework. Homework given out on Friday, to turn in the next day that school is in session. Really?

This is not my first rodeo. I have an 18-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son. I do not recall our lives and family time revolving around homework. It has become ridiculous. He gets home from school at 4 p.m. I get home from work at 5. Immediately after dinner, he begins the homework, which on average has been taking approximately two hours. The time now is 7:30 p.m. It’s shower time. Bedtime 8 p.m. Family time? To do what? Play a game? No time for that.

I have the utmost respect for the teaching profession. Personally, I couldn’t do it. My father was a teacher and raised five children. Respect is an understatement. With that said, isn’t seven hours a day enough time spent on academics? Already our children are greatly lacking in social and communication skills. Texting, instant messaging, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter ... have replaced the art of communication.

I strongly believe we need to spend the small amount of time we have with our children.

I don’t know if I’m a minority in my thinking, or part of the majority. I just know that with the amount of homework my 8-year-old third grader has, it leaves very little time for “us,” and that is a shame. I can’t imagine those with three and four children. Isn’t it time kids learn math and science in school and family values at home?

Mary Jo Boomhower, Girard


1cambridge(3334 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Great letter Michael. Try any Mom&Pop stores that might be in your area. They seem to try and offer a higher quality product because the customer is dealing with the owner.

I recently needed a new garden hose. I could have gone to a big box store in the next town over for the rock bottom cheapest hose I could find. I went to a local family owned hardware store where three generations work and one of them lives up the street from me.

They had different hoses to pick from. They had one from China for $17. I ended up buying one made in Massachusetts for $35.

Many people would think I would be crazy to pay double but the American hose has a lifetime guarantee. If it ever fails just return it for a new one. Try returning something from China a year after you bought it because it failed. You would get laughed out of the store.

As far as companies moving jobs out of the country, the last administration gave them tax breaks to move those jobs. It's called corporate welfare.

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2paulydel(1461 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

We need to stop giving tax breaks to businesses that leave the US. We should double the import tariffs of products coming intthis country. I have a Zenith tv that was made here in the US that is still playing and has good color. The tv is over thirty years old and is one of the old console types with a great wood cabinet.

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3dhtj(33 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

the american public needs to take economics 101. america needs to wake up. just stop buying that foreign junk and let it sit on the shelves. then the light bulb (u.s. made they're out there) in mr. rtail head may come on as to why it is not selling. next time you're out in the car (american made i hope) just look around and notice how stupid we are. dish network driving around in toyotas. i cancelled my service when i saw that. bollomin crazy florist commercials driving a honda. they we have our retired veterans proudly displaying their license plate frames on a foreign car. how stupid is that. didnt the japanese bring us pearl harbor? the things we have to look forward to are no good paying manufacturing jobs, more minimum wage jobs, higher taxes, and the tricking affect that is here. just remember your job next, keep buying imports.

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4Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Only buy American companies I do care were it is made . It does not have
American blood on it . It does not wash off jap or china crap

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5JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago


Do you realize the majority of Toyota's and Honda's people are driving around are built in the U.S.? Honda is Ohio's largest manufacturing employer, and that doesn't include the numerous suppliers that have set up shop. Honda also puts the money back into the economy. Their East Liberty plant was built enitrely on profits from their Marysville plant. And they just recently built a new plant in southern Indiana. Now, are they not providing good manufacturing jobs for Americans? Mean while, GM continues to build cars in Canada, Mexico and other countries.
The real issue with Honda and Toyota is that they are non-Union jobs.

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6ladiesrule(18 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Sorry JME, although Honda is in Ohio they are not a US company. They do not pay the same taxes to Ohio or to the US government as GM or any US company. All profits are going to Japan. I agree with remember Pearl Habor.

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7dhtj(33 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

JME- the only people that benefit from a foreign car being built in the u.s. are the people that work there and the city/ county where the plant is at. all the profits go back to the foreign country eg honda-japan toyota- japan you need economic 101 without a doubt

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8dhtj(33 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

JME- people with your mentality must be driving imports

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9dhtj(33 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

JME- people with your mentality must be driving an import

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10JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

All of the profits do not go back to Japan. Spend some time outside of The Valley and you will see. Aren't these people working for Honda in Ohio putting taxes into the system, along with the company and the suppliers?
It's not an import if it's made in the U.S. What is your excuse for why GM builds cars in Canada???????? Aren't those imports ???????? I guess GM is sending it's proftis to other countries!
China is GM's largest customer. Your logic would also mean that GM can no longer sell in China.
Wake up and get a clue on how the world works.
I sure hope you are driving a Cruze with your twisted logic.

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11JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

ladiesrule, I accept your apology, you are wrong about where the money go's:

Honda's growth, stability and manufacturing technology has become a critical force for Ohio and the Midwest. In only 25 years, Honda's operations were transformed into a "major economic engine for Ohio," producing "a total Ohio employment impact of 128,406 jobs," according to an in-depth economic study of the company in 2004.

Honda has become Ohio's number one vehicle producer, while the company has invested more than $6.1 billion in its Ohio facilities, and payroll taxes to local communities have exceeded $1 billion. The economic impact study summarized that, in Ohio, Honda had:

•Full-time Ohio employment topping 16,000
•Supplier employment at 40,000
•Value of annual goods produced at $17.1 billion
•Capital investment $6.1 billion
•Return on state investment $67 to $1

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12JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

"you need economic 101 without a doubt"

dhtj, please do some research on the topic, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Ask the former GM employees at the Moraine, OH plant that closed how they feel about GM putting it's profits back into the local city/county where the plant WAS.

GM would rather build a vehicle in Canada, Mexico, and other countries. They are less American than Honda or Toyota.

Do some research first before posting instead of using something out of the UAW's greatest hits manual.

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13JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

dhth, have you stopped buying gasoline for your Cobalt since it was made from foreign oil?

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14ladiesrule(18 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

JME, I agree that they employ Ohio workers and that Ohio workers do play the same taxes as you and I BUT Honda does not pay the same Ohio taxes that GM pays in Lordstown, nor the same federal taxes.

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15cambridge(3334 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Honda also doesn't pay American workers union wages and benefits but they do for their Japanese workers.

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16JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Cambridge, what are the wages for a Honda employee and GM employee?
Don't forget to subtract Union dues from the GM worker.
You'll find that they are comparable. You should also note that the benefits that UAW workers received help put GM into bankruptcy. Is that a good thing?

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17JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I should specify, Ohio Honda worker wage.

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18JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Another note, use the full-time permanent Honda employee wage, not the temp. positions.

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19dhtj(33 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

JME- Please answer these two quesions. Do you think that you were better off 40 yrs. ago, 30yrs. ago, 20 yrs. ago or even 10 yrs. ago than you are today? Do you think that you will be better off now or in the future with the way this country is headed? The issue here is IMPORTS not union jobs. Like I said your job next keep buying imports. It's here . It,s not going to leave until you people out there wake up.

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20JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Honda's are imported from Ohio. GM imports from Canada, Mexico, etc.

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21JME(801 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

To answer your question, I am much better off now than all of those years.
This country will gain manufacturing back when the cost to make the products is reduced, or the cost to make them elsewhere increases - which will come at some point. Labor, utilities, and regulations make the price of goods produced in this country higher thann the majority will be willing to pay.
In today's world, you need to get an education beyond high school. If not, you'll be left behind.
But to say Honda and Toyota are imports is absurd. They are produced in this country by Amercians at good wages.
Just to quick econ 101 for you, when the value of the American dollar is devalued, it makes purchasing American made products enticing, thus boosting factory output.

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22candystriper(575 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

The United States has the highest corporate tax in the world.

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