Skip to comments.One American Year Project, One year of living with only American products
Posted on 12/16/2010 10:40:54 AM PST by Nachum
The One American Year Project
1029 Commercial Street Waterloo, IA 50702 (319) 572-6269
December 15, 2010
To whom it may concern:
My name is Shaina Gaul and I'm writing to inquire as to your possible interest in a project currently underway called One American Year. One American Year was conceived of, and is being executed by, Zachary Beschorner and Shaina Gaul of Waterloo, Iowa. It was formed on a simple premise: to see whether it was possible to go one full year without purchasing any products made outside of the United States of America. Each day from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, we will chronicle the hurdles and struggles we face simply by shopping for only American-made products at http://www.oneamericanyear.com. At the end of the year, we plan on releasing a book that details the experience as a whole.
The aspects of the project we plan to report on include the cost of items purchased, the ease of finding such products, and the quality of the items we find. Wed also like to provide commentary on the specific interactions we engage in as we complete this journey.
Of course, the involvement of American companies is an important factor in our success. Not only do we advocate their products and services to our followers, but we also make it clear on our website which businesses do NOT engage in honest practices a sort of corporate black list, if you will. So if you are interested in becoming one of our featured companies, we will do a full profile on you and advertise your products to our fans. In return, we expect a reciprocal relationship in which we have the opportunity to utilize your products or services for a discounted or non-existent charge.
This project was conceived as a response to the recent economic recession and a way for American citizens to more closely examine what we perceive as several possible causes and solutions to what has become a full-blown crisis. It is not about domination, imperialism, or supremacy. It is about common sense and the desire to improve the living conditions of our fellow Americans. It begs the question; could you survive one American year?
Please feel free to respond if you would like to be a part of this movement. Thank you, Shaina Gaul
Hmm buy union made products and support unions and their members by paying too much for stuff that probably had most of the components made elsewhere anyway. Seems like the concept of fungible is not clearly understood by the person who came up with this idea. I'll give it a pass.
Question: Is it better to buy a Honda which is 95% made in America (as my last two were) or to buy a Ford which is 100% made in Canada?
I would only do this if I could be guaranteed that no union hands at any time touched any of the products I would buy.
Good question. But what about other products?
Unless every single piece has the origin stamped, it's impossible to know if something is American made.
I feel it is wrong of the author to request a discount from American companies. Why should the companies talk a loss or go broke? They might as well outsource.
The point would be to pay higher prices for American products and the companies can stay a float. The companies MUST create long lasting products though, none of this disposable plastic stuff that falls apart withing a few days.
I want real blue jeans!
That could be difficult.
Nothing shipped (even parts/components) by UPS/Teamsters.
No food harvested by any United Farmworkers?
No fuel delivered by a Teamster driver?
Maybe someone could help compile a list of companies that are non-union made in America products.
Although I think by “made in America” you really mean “assembled in america”. The final assembly process is only a part of the overall picture. Most of the components are sourced from outside suppliers that may manufacture them elsewhere. Then there is the design work, marketing, finance. Also, where do the bulk of the profits and taxes go? Plus, there are all the people in peripheral industries, like transport, restaurants, local economies, etc.
It’s not an easy question to answer.
Are DHL or Fedex viable shipping options?
I’ve had a couple of heated discussions over what “American made” means anymore.
Kia (a foriegn car company) has a plant in my state that assembles their cars. By purchasing a Kia, I am directly supporting the people that live in my state (and indirectly people in another country).
Ford, GM, & Chrysler products are made half way across the country. Yes, I would be supporting Americans by purchasing a Ford, but none of that support would go to the Americans living in my state.
So which is better? Buyng a Kia, and dividing my support between local Georgians and overseas Koreans, or buying a Ford and giving all of my support to Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois?
I’m under the impression Fedex is non-union; DHL - I have no clue.
And, I believe that Fedex ground is very competitively priced.
My point is just that it’s harder than it looks. Many brands which seem American aren’t (Budweiser, for example, is now owned by a Belgian company). Dell computer is American, but all the computers are built overseas. Ditto Apple and all their products.
Americans no longer produce shoes - maybe your shoes will last out the year, but if they don’t, you’re sunk.
Unless you limit yourself to buying Caterpiller front loaders or a Boeing 787, you’re going to end up with a lot of stuff that was produced elsewhere.
If you limit yourself to fresh, locally grown meat and produce you should be okay. Other than that, though, you’ll undoubtedly end up supporting workers in China or Guatemala rather than workers in the US.
You can check out this link for some other stuff that we still produce here:
This flies in the face of trade theory.
and think about it.
Is the answer really to continue trying to do things in the US that others can do better/cheaper - or to focus our energy on creating the next big thing that WE can do better/cheaper?
I'd say it's wrong for another reason: if the database is going to be used to demonstrate that America-only is affordable, the discounts will skew the figures. Boosting is fine, as is taking care of people willing to go through with the plan, but there's a line between boosting and misleading. I hope they don't cross it.
A more useful approach:
Indeed. The recovery of the American economy depends on our making more of what we import. Importing is draining the country of money and working skills. Countries where the trade balance is large should have a trade balance equalizing tariff imposed on products coming from that country.
It seems to me the authors involved in this project are trying to get corporate support for this stunt and haven’t really got a moral concept in mind. Free trade is a blessing to all — yes, I know it can be corrupted, but the concept is one of the great building blocks of capitalism, freedom and liberty.
I’ll wait breathlessly for when they publish their book about their experience... NOT.
I can do this for almost everything, since I live abstemiously and try to buy locally. But this year I have to buy a computer. And as far as I know, nobody is making computers in the US. Am I mistaken?
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