I did not buy any toys for the many children in my life this year. Admittedly, money was very tight after the economy collapsed from eight years of Republican mismanagement. However, the main reason I did the scrooge thing this Christmas is that I simply refused to buy Chinese made toys for the American children I love so dearly.
The American children I love so dearly need to inherit, from all of us, a nation with a strong manufacturing base. These children need to grow up in an economy that will pay good wages to all our citizens and that actually makes things. Buying cheap junk made in third world nations for Christmas presents is not doing these children any favors.
I cannot understand why no American toy companies are making toys in America. Obviously, the greed of the corporations and American governmental trade policy has combined to destroy toy manufacturing in this nation. If both our corporate leaders and government officials cannot change their behaviors and start making toys in America, we should boycott completely imported toys and change our elected leaders at the first opportunity.
Making toys in low wage nations does fatten the bottom line of corporations at the expense of the future of the American economy. It helps pay the outrageously bloated salaries of corporate CEO's but actually does little to reduce the cost to consumers. It often means shoddy and unsafe toys are being given to our children. The corporate CEO's need to curb their greed and start thinking about the future of the American economy!
One of the first things we can do, starting right after the beginning of the New Year, is to visit as many retail stores as possible and file written complaints about the non-availability of American-made toys this past Christmas. Every Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target and toy store in America should be getting hundreds or thousands of complaints from patriotic Americans. We owe it to our children to demand that the toys that we buy for them actually contribute to a better future for them when they become working adults.
Imported toys do not contribute to a better future for today's children. They do not contribute tax revenues to provide healthcare and better schools in the way American-made toys do. They do not provide decent paying jobs for their parents in the way American-made toys do. They are certainly not as safe as American-made toys.
American-made toys help pay the national debt and reduce the trade imbalance with foreign nations by reducing imports. American-made products help build the American economy. They help pay for our police forces, emergency services and military.
Retailers who do not sell American-made toys should be boycotted. Toy companies who do not manufacture toys in America should be boycotted. Toy imports should be taxed heavily. Imported, cheaply-made, often unsafe toys are not in the national interest. Our governmental policies should reflect clearly that reality.
Toy companies need to hear from consumers that Americans want to buy toys made in America. I urge consumer groups, labor unions, church groups, political activists and patriotic individuals to organize efforts to get this message to the toy companies. Our political leaders need to hear the same message.
We can all circulate petitions at work and in our communities. We can all write members of Congress and President Obama. We can write our local newspapers, blog on the Internet and call radio stations. A little picketing of toy stores, Wal-Marts, corporate headquarters of toy companies and Congressional field offices might help us deliver the message that American-made toys are one of the many changes we need to make in the American economy.
I will certainly be talking about this subject on my Democratic Talk Radio program in 2009. I hope other patriotic talk radio hosts regardless of ideology will join in these efforts along with writers and grassroots political activists. We owe it to the children of America.
Greedy, unpatriotic corporations should not be forcing me or you to choose between disappointing the children we love or being unpatriotic consumers mortgaging the economic future of those same children. We are willing to buy American.
The challenge to Wall Street and corporate America is simply stated, "Are you willing to manufacture and sell us the American-made products we want to buy?" Those companies smart enough to accept the challenge will certainly have a ready and willing market of patriotic Americans who love our children.
Written by Stephen Crockett (Host of Democratic Talk Radio and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com).