I decided to put this here instead of the political thread because I am hoping we can have a discussion on our collective purchasing power, how we got here and how to bring it home instead of another heated political finger pointing thread. I do point out a few "political" considerations at the end simply to try and put into perspective where we've spent most of our money. I recently decided to buy locally produced products whenever possible after going to the store to buy my hubby some socks, boxer briefs and a new ball cap. The first four stores had these items. Almost ALL of them were made in China. A few from Pakistan and India. I finally found one manufacturer who makes socks here. No luck on the ball cap orundies. I refused to buy them. We went to buy a compass this past Saturday and every one was Made in China! Curious as ever, I began looking at all the things in my house and guess what? China's taken over my closets, drawers, kitchen, basement, etc! I'm shocked! I think of all my holiday Dollar Store trips and cringe. I think of them making products with toxic materials that we all gobbled up. Even some of the sheet rock they exported to us was toxic to breathe in!!! It took people getting sick in their own homes to even discover it. What happened to Made in America? Why don't we make ANYTHING anymore? Is it too expensive for someone to operate a manufacturing business? Have we decided to just buy as cheaply as possible for every item we purchase so we can buy more cheap stuff? Honestly, I have so many "things" in my house that I don't really need. I have to admit I have some I've never used and only bought them because they were on sale for cheap. Why do I really need plastic Easter Egg's???????? Almost ALL the Back to School stuff has MIC stamped all over it. Check it out. With our unemployment problems, I would hope more people will begin to look at where and what we are really doing by blindly purchasing products. I don't know about China's presence in Europe, but I cannot help but wonder if it's the same there. I did some stats on the Worlds Largest Militaries. Guess who's numero uno? The UK doesn't even make the Top 10! They also own 40% of every American dollar. We really need to take notice of what we're doing to ourselves and the potential outcomes. We don't our government to create legislation about whatwe purchase. We each can choose to spend wisely at least. I hope!! Sorry for the uber long rant too. I got carried away, as usual.