Monday, April 28, 2008


We live in the middle of a vast economic empire that takes advantage of meagerly paid overseas labor. Since the world's economies has become interconnected globally, it makes sense that kindergarten should teach about the globe. Global literacy is more important to teach than computer literacy; the latter happens automatically thanks to games.

Our recent study of the globe has made the kindergarteners interested in reading labels. They look at the labels of their clothing and they find words like "Honduras," "Vietnam," "El Salvador," "Mexico," "Guatemala," and "Dominican Republic." They want to know where to find these places on the map.

I'm glad to show them.

Of all labels, probably China is the most common—for shoes for sure. Just about every kindergarten shoe I've seen carries those three magic words: MADE IN CHINA. (What would we do if China suddenly stopped sending shoes to us? Send kids to school barefoot?) A homework assignment almost impossible to complete: bring in a kid's sneaker made in the USA.

These days, it's easy to find things made in China. Fact is, it's getting more and more difficult to find anything manufactured exclusively here in the United States. My cousin, Dan Gurney, makes All American Race cars. A lot of military hardware is made domestically. Ford Trucks, I think, some of them. Chrysler is owned by Mercedes Benz, isn't it?

In getting a photo for tonight's homework, I leaned the paper against something "made" right here in Sebastopol, California: my cat, Frank.


Culmom37 said...

This is a very touchy subject which I could go on and on about, but I won't for your sake! I will, however, say that I am very proud to be an American (I am not saying there are not plenty of issues I don't agree with) and feel that we should be able to be more self-sufficient. The unemployment numbers are outrageous yet we continue to let China profit off of us. I understand labor issues and cost are involved, but if we are a country strong enough to fight FOR other countries, then we should surely be able to not have to import so much "stuff".

I better stop at that because I can already feel my blood pressure rising!!!!

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

I don't want anyone's blood pressure to go up, mine included. Hopefully visiting this place lowers your blood pressure and opens your heart, especially to young children!

It's way beyond the scope of this blog to figure out why so much manufacturing has gone overseas.

But I will share that my wife and I go out of our way to buy things made close to home. We bought some furniture made here in Sebastopol. Was it was more expensive than imported furniture? Yes!

We could afford just a few pieces, but at least we know the craftsmen earns a decent living (we met him), and that's a comfort right there.

Some stuff (tea, bananas, coffee) just ain't made locally, so we limit our purchases and try to buy only fair trade products.

Culmom37 said...

Yes, my family is very BIG on buying local and made in the USA too! I will not only pay extra to support local, but will pay it happily and with pride! Too many people take our home for granted. I am proud to be an American and not afraid to show it!