September 06, 2007

This fade will last five minutes, maybe.

Being a native of the "Rust Belt," I should say this to these latecomers with much gusto: "oh for heaven's sake" but really I am going to say fuck you!

Love It? Check the Label - New York Times: "Everything I buy now, I look at the label,” said Mr. Allayaud, 56, who explained that the “buy American” movement — long popular among blue-collar union workers and lunch-pail conservatives — no longer seemed so jingoistic, and was actually starting to come into vogue for liberals like himself who never before had a philosophical problem with Japanese cars or French wine. He said the reasons for his change of heart are many: a desire to buy as many “locally made” products as possible to reduce carbon emissions from transporting them; a worry about toxic goods made in the third world; and a concern that the rising tide of imports will damage the economy and hurt everybody. “Every time you see ‘Made in China,’ ” he said, “you think, ‘wait a minute, something’s not right here.’ ” “Made in the U.S.A.” used to be a label flaunted primarily by consumers in the Rust Belt and rural regions. Increasingly, it is a status symbol for cosmopolitan bobos, and it is being exploited by the marketers who cater to them.
For many the label represents a heightened concern for workplace and environmental issues, consumer safety and premium quality. “It involves people wanting to have guilt-free affluence,” Alex Steffen, who is the executive editor of, a Web site devoted to sustainability issues, said in an e-mail message. “So you have not only the local food craze but things like American apparel, or Canadian diamonds instead of African ‘blood diamonds,’ or local-crafted toys.”

Of course, this being in the NY Times, it is bound to be at least vaguely annoying, and this article certainly is that.

"lunch pail conservative" what is that?

But is there anything more irritating than fancypanted well off nabobs suddenly "discovering" that, maybe, it would be good if things were still made in the USA? That maybe asking to have products produced by your neighbors instead of in foreign factories might actually yield both better products and ones that do not have poison as one of their primary ingredients?

Or that maybe free trade is not a sign of pure sophistication that is required of the striped pants m-f''ers who live on the coasts.

Since this is suddenly a hipster sensibility, it will last a few minutes and then they will move on to something else.

And if luxury goods are made here, or specialty items, it is not going to do much. What there needs to be is a movement in which people don't just buy hipster merchandise to feel good and/or protect their little baby Einsteins or for something as flavor of the month as "sustainability", but people who also recognize that if you buy stuff made in the USA it actually gives jobs to people who need jobs, like your fellow citizens.

Or recognize that the ever widening race for more, more, more goods cheaper and cheaper is actually a spiral, much like the flush of the toilet in which all shit flows downstream.

Sustainability means not just making sure there is enough carbgon to heat Al Gore's house, but a fer-real (as we say in rustbelt) sustainable economy in which there is decent paying work for everybody rather than just for the small class of educated, liberal elites who will do well anyway
(I don't include the elite on the right because a) they don't care about the poor anyway or b) those are the supposedly nativistic/ xenophobic/buy American crowd anyway)

Many of the American designers now showing collections at New York Fashion Week, which runs through Sept. 12, will have their goods stitched in foreign factories, a reflection of the battering of American garment manufacturing. From 2001 to 2006, clothing production in the United States declined by 56 percent, the American Apparel & Footwear Association said.

That is a pretty huge drop for people to suddenly look up and say: wow, maybe this is something to consider.

Of course, it goes without saying that Undismayed has been pushing consciously pro-American buying and some form of protectionism since the very beginning. And we still will be when these people go sheeplike to vote for the free traders nominated by both parties.

p.s. If you are going to be buying American, start with honey.

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