Made in America: Creating Jobs for Christmas

Nov 29, 2011 6:38pm
gty made in usa toys thg 111129 wblog Made in America: Creating Jobs for Christmas

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Christmas, the biggest holiday of the year, is a time when families decorate their tree, write their wish lists and get ready to come together for the holiday.

Today’s pre-holiday preparations also came with predawn scraping and clawing in Black Friday shopping melees. While those shoppers likely had little time to check the labels to see where their products are made, we took the time to crunch the numbers.

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In the 1960s, nine out of every 10 products Americans bought for the holidays were made in America. Today easily more than half of what we buy is foreign-made.

So after nearly a year of crisscrossing the country as part of our Made in America journey, we remembered what economists across the board told us at the very start: If every American spent $64 on something made in America, we could create 200,000 jobs right now.

That might sound like a lot to spend until we heard that the average American spends $700 on Christmas or holiday gifts.

So where will you spend your money this year?

Made in America Gift Ideas

If you’re looking for a toy train, the choice may come down to Indiana or China, both the same price.

The difference is that if you choose China’s train, you’re supporting China’s exploding middle class. Factories there are already geared up: These next four weeks are their most profitable of the year.

On our tour through Yiwu, China, last November we saw firsthand some of the more than 1 million products ready to be shipped to the U.S. There were balls, balloons, baby dolls and even Santa Claus.

We know you might not be able to find American products for everything on your list — video games, TVs, stereos and other electronics are virtually impossible to find — but remember, economists told us it’s just one thing. It takes just $64 of that $700 many of us spend to create jobs for Christmas.

Are you in?

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