Give American This Holiday Season

Scott Paul

Scott Paul Director, AAM

First comes Black Friday.

Then comes Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

Today begins Made in America December. That’s right; It deserves a whole month.

We all know the deal by now. For the next few weeks people will be flooding big box stores, perusing outlet malls, and surfing Amazon, in search of deals ahead of the holidays. And every year, we get the rush to the register started a little earlier than the last time. It’s no longer uncommon for people to push back from the Thanksgiving table in order to start shopping.

That’s a lot of our time and energy spent on consumption.

Just imagine if we redirected just a little of it toward conscious consumption.

This holiday season, shop American.

There’s no secret to this: Americans like American-made stuff. And the proliferation of “Made In USA” ad campaigns shows that companies are paying attention.

There are plenty of options. Manufacturing has truly gone global in the past few decades, and some product categories have gone completely offshore in the process. But with just a modicum of effort, you can still find a lot of stuff made in the United States.

You can find a selection of American-made goods at an index we’ve put together at the Alliance for American Manufacturing website. And you can find more still in our annual holiday gift guide.

The nicest pair of flip-flops (excuse me; slippers) you’ve ever seen? Aloha! Hawaii has got that. Excellent Detroit-made headphones? Michigan’s got that. Vermont’s finest flannel? We’ve definitely got that.

Lincoln Logs? Yeah, we’ve got those too (thanks, Pennsylvania).

And here’s what makes seeking out an American-made label worth the effort: If every shopper hitting the stores out there (and online) spent just $64 of their total budget on such goods, it would be enough to support an additional 200,000 factory jobs in the United States.

That would go farther than a vindictive tweet or mean-spirited comment to the press ever could.

The holidays aren’t really about overeating, bad football, ugly sweaters, and braving the hordes at the mall; they’re truly about community, volunteerism, and gift-giving.

In 2017, when the country seemingly can’t agree on anything, we should agree on this: There is never a better time than now to purchase an American-made gift.

That gift will mean the world to the person receiving it, and it will mean nearly as much to our fellow citizens who made it.

Please peruse our gift guide! Drop in on the Made in America index. And send us suggestions. We’re always looking for more American-made products to share.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

The Big Drip

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

A rash of water main breaks in West Berkeley, Calif., and neighboring cities last month flooded streets and left at least 300 residents without water. Routine pressure adjustments in response to water demand likely caused more than a dozen pipes, some made of clay and more than 100 years old, to rupture.

West Berkeley’s brittle mains are not unique. Decades of neglect left aging pipes susceptible to breaks in communities across the U.S., wasting two trillion gallons of treated water each year as these systems near collapse.

Comprehensive upgrades to the nation’s crumbling water systems would stanch the flow and ensure all Americans have reliable access to clean water.

Nationwide, water main breaks increased 27 percent between 2012 and 2018, according to a Utah State University study.  

These breaks not only lead to service disruptions  but also flood out roads, topple trees and cause illness when drinking water becomes contaminated with bacteria.

The American Water Works Association estimated it will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years to upgrade and expand water infrastructure.

Some local water utilities raised their rates to pay for system improvements, but that just hurts poor consumers who can’t pay the higher bills.

And while Congress allocates money for loans that utilities can use to fix portions of their deteriorating systems, that’s merely a drop in the bucket—a fraction of what agencies need for lasting improvements.

America can no longer afford a piecemeal approach to a systemic nationwide crisis. A major, sustained federal commitment to fixing aging pipes and treatment plants would create millions of construction-related jobs while ensuring all Americans have safe, affordable drinking water.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work