Made in the USA: Why It Matters

If you read the news even a little, you’ll see that the US relationship today with two countries – China and Russia – comes up repeatedly.

Whether Russia is winning or losing today on the battlefield on Ukraine, they’ve definitely wrought a ton of devastation in their quest for control. They also seem pretty determined to portray their invasion of Ukraine as a battle with the West – including Western values and democracy.

With China, talking heads in our own country seem to do a ton of hand-wringing, and maybe some saber-rattling too, but much of the discussion all comes down to one question: how did China get this big and powerful, and what does this mean for the future of democratic institutions? (If there’s one thing people seem to agree on, what it means is this: it ain’t good.)

People way smarter than me work on this stuff every day. Still – as a simple online seller of Made in the USA organic & recycled men’s pants & accessories – it seems to me that the power these nations have around the world – and their ability to threaten democratic institutions – is largely a function of the wherewithal they have … that has been provided to them voluntarily by their trading partners … which includes the US as well as countries in Europe.

Let me explain. If Europe hadn’t bought Russian oil and gas for so many years, where would Putin have gotten the money to buy the weapons he’s used to blow up Ukraine? And if we didn’t buy so much $h!t from Chinese factories (a not insubstantial percentage of which is made with slave labor) – via Wal-Mart, Target, and (name your favorite big box store here), how would China have attained the economic power it has today?

Look, I love Wal-Mart too – but if we’re ever going to take control of our own economic future, we have to start being more intentional about where the stuff we buy comes from.

Having received my first legit hate mail the other day, I’m sure someone will hate what I’m saying here … but honestly this just seems like an issue that should unite folks from widely divergent political stripes.

There surely are things that our political leaders can do, but ultimately all we can do as consumers is to be thoughtful about the choices we make as consumers. I started Mill & Mountain to provide choices for people when it comes to buying things made in America. More to come on this in future posts ….

Anyway, thanks for your support!