Not long ago my seven year old son made an incredibly astute observation about the current state of the US economy. He was reading the label on some sort of a package when he said “Daddy, this thing was made in China.” He went on to say that “They must make really good stuff in China, ‘cuz otherwise we’d buy stuff from other places, too.”
He did, however, point out that not everything comes from China: “One time I saw something that was made in the USA, though.” Turns out it was a manhole cover from near his bustop. What really struck me about this was that seeing something that had been ‘Made in the USA’ has become so rare that something as mundane as a manhole cover is now worth taking note of.
It wasn’t that long ago that Wal-Mart was trumpeting the fact that so much of what they sold was Made in America. It’s amazing how quickly things change, and even more amazing how much of an impression stuff like this can make on a first grader.