Now that I’ve shared my experiences about buying my first union-made car on this blog – how easy and difficult a journey it was buying my Ford Escape – it’s time to introduce myself, for those of you who don’t know me or my what we do here at Senders Communications Group. I’ve been a union activist for almost 20 years now. My company – including my crew of reporters, photographers and graphic designers - has been fighting the good fight in favor of union-based political and social causes for more than 16 years now. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of stories, campaigns and elections we’ve done over the years. It’s been an invigorating, wonderful and sometimes frustrating journey in so many different ways. You take your victories where you can get them.
Something I can tell you is that I’ve never seen times like these before. I was particularly taken by a recent Newsweek article by Daniel Gross that talks about how our lowball culture will be the death of us. We all know that cheaper doesn’t usually mean better quality, but he lays out a convincing argument how our endless quest for bargains is absolutely hamstringing the economy.
I’ll admit it. I love a bargain. (Who doesn’t, right?) But there’s a time when enough’s enough. This mission to buy a union-made car has really got me thinking, especially as I learned that many of the American-made, even union-made vehicles out there contain a lot of foreign parts. Just what is union-made? Just what is American-made anymore?
All I know is that I’ve suddenly found myself pausing before I buy something at the store to see where it’s made. I’ve become increasingly convinced during this economic meltdown that each of us needs to spend our consumer dollars wisely if we are ever to recover and rebuild the middle class in America. Is “buying American” enough – even if it means supporting businesses here who exploit their workers in marginal, poverty-based jobs?
For years I’ve worked week in, week out to support union causes. But now it’s becoming increasingly apparent that I’ve got to do more. It can’t just be during business hours. It’s got to become a way of life. A way of thinking about the decisions I make on a daily basis in support of myself and my family.
Right now I’m inspired by a delightful book I’m reading - A Year Without Made in China. It’s made me think, “What more can I do?” Hmmm...
More about this next week!