I’m a bit flabbergasted by all the fussing over the revelation that the U.S. Olympic team uniforms are made in China. Only a “bit” because I know that’s not the real issue at all – just a convenient whipping boy that a lot of folks who ought to know better are piling on over.
The real issue is simply that Americans are pissed off. And have been for four years. Millions are unemployed and it’s not looking good for a full recovery any time soon. Millions fear they may soon be unemployed. Millions have lost their homes. Millions are financially “underwater” on their homes. Millions have no idea how they will afford their retirement.
So when something like the Olympic uniforms comes along, it gives all these folks something to vent their anger on. When they should be spending that energy on something that really matters. Except that ranting is easier…
I invite all the folks frothing over the Olympic uniforms to examine their closets. Are most of your clothes made in the U.S.? Probably not. And if not, I suggest you are throwing stones while living in a glass house. Not a good idea….
We all know why so many products are made in China. Folks do not want to pay higher prices and so the market responded. If folks didn’t buy all those Chinese products because of low price, there’d be no market for them. Folks talk the talk about “Made in America” but don’t walk the walk. (I don’t care where something is made; my buying decision is based on other factors.)
Our federal politicians in both parties are hypocrites on this issue. ABC News did a “Made in America” segment on the national museums’ gift shops months ago. And guess what? Most items in our national museums, which receive government funding, are not made in America.
They showed one cap that was made in America. It was the most expensive of all the caps available and…surprise… it did not sell well compared to the cheaper caps made in China. The free market that “Made in America’ jingoists claim to support is speaking very loud: Americans do not want to pay the higher price of Made in America products.
Of course, after the segment aired politicians began doing what they do best – grandstanding. But why were these elected officials not on top of this issue long before ABC News brought it up? The “Made in America” issue has been around for a long time. Instead of wasting time involving themselves in the Olympic uniforms, which they have no authority over, federal politicians should focus on the many pressing issues the country has and which is their business.
Americans are speaking the only language capitalism understands – money – and that is why so many items are coming from overseas. You may have seen the “Shark Tank” segment where the sharks loved a product someone wanted to develop. But he wanted to have it made in America. The sharks would not provide financing unless it was made overseas. He left without a deal. That’s how capitalism works folks!
If you want to support American producers, that’s fine with me – just walk the walk by buying American products instead of fussing like a wussy. Set a personal example. We can’t see what you say; we listen to what you do. Money talks, platitudes walk.
The Olympic team is privately sponsored. Private organizations can spend their money as they like. And only the donors to the Olympic team have any basis to make a fuss. If you didn’t donate, you don’t have a say. That’s how “private” works.
And let’s consider some history. Does anyone recall where the 2002 Winter Olympic uniforms were made? Not in the U.S. But in a Burma sweatshop. And who was the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee then? The Republican Presidential nominee – Mitt Romney.
Why was there not a national brouhaha then? Why indeed… I sure hope Romney is not one of those throwing stones about the Olympic uniforms. He lives in a glass house.
I suspect that if you look at where historically Olympic uniforms have been made, I’d bet that for the most it was not in the U.S. So why the fuss now?
Because it’s a red herring….