Apr 02 2012
This book was really interesting to read. The idea of how regularly Americans consume Chinese goods is no secret to anyone, and there are plenty of people out there who do try to only buy American made goods, at least when it’s convenient. You can find their websites or their bumper stickers quite easily. There are also ‘Made in the USA’ stores, I believe there is one in downtown Fredericksburg, where you can spend all the money you like on good old fashioned American (novelty) goods.
In the book, Bongiorni doesn’t rule out all products that aren’t American, just ones from China. At the beginning of the project I don’t think she had a realistic idea of what that meant, as she comes to realize when she gets gifts from friends and family that are made in China, and has to succumb to using some products with parts from China that were ‘made’ in the USA. I think the book really proves that it’s nearly impossible to live without products from China in this country, as illustrated by the husband’s subversive shopping techniques and even the author’s exploiting of the idea of ‘gifts’, for example when she asks her sister in law to buy her husband an inflatable pool for his birthday. She is purposely obtaining products from China, and she knows it — just not buying it herself. I do give the author credit for trying the boycott, and for documenting the struggles her family went through and all of the research that went into the book that made it interesting and educational. I also think that a middle class American family on a moderate budget could not afford to live without ‘Made in China.’ I personally can live without Wal-Mart and K-Mart, but I could never like the idea of buying a four year old $70 shoes that they will tear up within months, or give up my collection of cheap sunglasses. There are just too many things that I refuse to spend too much money on, and Chinese products make it easy for me to be that way.
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