Sunday, September 4, 2011

Choose a job you love,

and you will never have to work a day in your life.
~ Confucius

Happy Labor Day weekend...for those of us in the shore communities, it is the "official" end of the season. Here summer does translate to jobs. Jobs...the buzz word for the U.S. economy. I try to supplement the vintage/antique in the store with products made in the U.S.A., and I attempt to find the artisan who is not a big production company. I know these people are doing what they love...

These sweet little pillows come from a woman in Iowa.
Halloween is going to be fun with these handcrafted bags, tag, and cards.

In previous weeks I have featured soap from New Hampshire, origami from California, wreaths from Chicago, and stamped spoons from New Jersey.So many retailers have to depend on China for their inventory, but I read a report from NPR that less than 3 percent of personal spending in the U.S. goes to China.

We buy a lot of cheap stuff from China so we notice the volume of stuff, but not the fact that it accounts for a small chunk of our overall spending. The article also considered food, health costs, housing, and durable goods like cars and furniture. Companies in China produce about 80 percent of the world’s wheat gluten, common in most breads, cakes and cookies, and 80 percent of its sorbic acid, a preservative used in just about everything.

Chuckled over this line: "The classic capitalist board game Monopoly still qualifies, though with a caveat. 'Made in the USA with dice and tokens made in China,' the box reads."

There is a book called A Year Without Made in China.She discusses how difficult not to mention expensive it was to try to eliminate Chinese products. In an interview, she said that she learned "that we are so closely connected to the rest of the world for what we want and need. And as you know from reading the book, sometimes there's ambivalence about that, but there's also big part in me that likes that and wants to embrace our connections with the rest of the world. So I found it very satisfying, I guess, to find out how connected I am to this big, fuzzy concept to the global economy."

It seems that Americans innovate, but Chinese manufacture. The middle class made up the manufacturing class in America...we have lost that...I try to find the artist crafting in a spare bedroom or in a studio. It is difficult for them to compete with Chinese products because Americans have been turned on to cheap product. Look at antiques...produced in America by Americans...where are the McCoy potteries of today?
From 1948 until 2010 the United States' unemployment rate averaged 5.70 percent reaching an historical high of 10.80 percent in November of 1982 and a record low of 2.50 percent in May of 1953. (Note how unemployment was high during the 1980s global recession and greed grab like today's times...and how it was super low in the 50s as we built roads, bridges, infrastructure?)

But, I must confess that I do love something that was made in China ...granddaughter Paige...
Still I like my jewelry elf's creations...
and it seems the magazines provide ideas and highlight the work of others who are trying to survive in the new economy. Thank goodness there are still printed words and pictures!

So, perhaps on this Labor Day when the unemployment rate in the United States is at 9.1 percent, we can appreciate why writer bell hooks wrote: "Work makes life sweet".

1 comment:

Mary Ann Potter said...

Yes, it's very sad that places like McCoy Pottery no longer exist. But here in North Carolina there is a lovely area that's devoted to American artistic pursuits in pottery. Here's a link if you're interested:

Seagroves Pottery

I'm enjoying your site. I was struck by the title "Dutch Rose" since my grandparents were Dutch immigrants. Have an artistic day!