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Friday, December 30, 2016




Friday, 900 AM.  17 degrees F at the ferry dock, 12 on the back porch.  Wind variable and mostly calm, with occasional light gusts.  The sky is overcast.  The humidity is 81%, and the barometer 30.01" and falling.  The week ahead will be mostly warmer,  cloudy, overcast and snowy, with heavy snow predicted for New Year's Day.
   I have had another small victory in my in my quest to buy American made products. Having pretty much neglected bird feeding so far this winter I have been looking to buy American made bird feeders to replace those that had pretty much become unusable. I found some good ones at Walmart, of all places, and got them filled and hung up on the back porch yesterday afternoon. They are well made and competitively priced.
   On the other hand, all the clothing purchased for Christmas presents was imported, mostly from China.  Iconic American clothing brands, such as Pendleton, Woolrich, etc., are no longer made here, and clothing manufacturing will be the hardest commodity to bring back to American shores.   Sewing clothing still requires a lot of hand labor, and it will be difficult to compete with foreign labor costs, and if appropriate tariffs are imposed the prices will be too inflationary.  I find the Pendelton brand clothes, at least, usually of far poorer quality than years ago when made in this country.
   I think all American corporations that produce things out-of-country should be required to retain enough productive capacity in the USA to give customers an opportunity to buy American if they wish.
   I would like to see American manufacturing emulate that of Germany, which has such a reputation for quality and innovation that people will pay a higher price for its products.  It is a shame, as we once had that reputation ourselves.  American tractors, turbines, airplane engines, etc., used to be the quality leaders of the world. Now we cater to a throw-away society. and we are throwing away our jobs and reputations in the process.
   There's many an Allis Chalmers or John Deer farm tractor still plowing the fields that is seventy or more years old.  That's the kind of quality I am talking about.

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