Monday, March 07, 2011

Made in America?

ABC television has done a series on American manufacturing that is discussed in this article MIA: Made in America or Missing in Action? It can be a tough choice if you are poor in America, whether to buy something from China, far cheaper relative to American goods, or something better crafted to last generations made by an American... Let me correct that. There actually is no choice for some or for most. And of course, we know that the better choice is not to buy at all, but to make, make do, fix up old, and to invest thereby in the development of skill.

Buy something and it will help to fill up your house. Buy something cheap and it will help to fill up your house with cheap meaningless stuff. Make something and you will develop skill and add to the cultural and economic strength of our nation.

It is interesting at this point, that consumers give very little thought to where things come from, or who made them, and my point is not to disparage Chinese made goods.

In the ABC TV show, Made in America, a family home was stripped of all those things that were not made in the USA, and the family found that their home was nearly bare. There is much that can be said for making things yourself, and for knowing who made the things that you did not. Each and every object can represent relationships with others who have grown in skill and craftsmanship due to your investment in them and their creative efforts. Those investments are the foundation of sustainable community. As we watch what some describe as decline in the US, we should at least be aware of its cause: carelessness, a cultural descent to the bottom line, in which people are far more concerned with getting by cheap than with building a community of craftsmen.

Today in the Clear Spring School wood shop, the 4th, 5th and 6th grade students worked on looms as shown in the photo at left.

DIY, TIY. Make, fix and create...

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