Made in America Week


It's Made in America" week and Mr. Trump is talking about how great it is that all these great products are made here. Except, of course, his and Ivanka's.

It’s Made in America” week and Mr. Trump is talking about how great it is that all these great products are made here.

I know you’re all waiting for the second installment of my set up post but I’m afraid it will have to take a back seat to President Trump’s “Made in America” week. With our country being run by a reality TV show host and his made for TV (Dynasty?) family, it’s no surprise that PR stunts are part of the program. I can’t wait for “Income Equality” week or maybe “Give Me your… Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free” week. Mr Trump’s personal approach is, of course, “do as I say and not as I do” so we’ll probably see these “theme weeks” in the weeks to come. Emma Lazarus would not be proud. But President Trump would probably say that “she is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.” Just like Frederick Douglass. But, it’s “Made in America” week and I couldn’t be more proud.

Each state offered up it’s very best. Tennessee, of course, dropped a bunch of Gibson guitars off at the White House showing the world that we Americans still make the best guitars on the planet. New York offered up Steinway Pianos-a great product even if it’s not quite as American as Apple Pie. But there’s good old Vermont maple syrup and California wine. There are helicopters from Sikorsky (also an immigrant like Mr Steinway) in my home state of Connecticut and Stetsons from Texas.  It’s pretty clear that some great stuff is made here in America.

It’s largely about pride. Even if your product is New Hampshire’s Cider Belly Doughnuts-not exactly a household name-they should be proud that the doughnuts they sell here in America were made in an American factory with jobs for American workers. The money they make here in America is spent here in America. When you buy American, you aren’t just supporting the American companies who make this stuff, you’re supporting the businesses big and small that make the American economy work. Florida sent along Tervis tumblers-you know those insulated plastic cups that keep your cold drink cold and your hot drink hot? They’re a big deal in Florida but most of us have never heard of them. You can go to Amazon and buy a set of Chinese knockoffs for $18 for four of them or you can pay $38 for the real thing, made in America. Why spend the extra $20? Because you are supporting all of us here in America. Because it’s almost certainly a better product. Because who knows what the Chinese are putting in their plastic-especially plastic you are drinking from?

I sell American guitars and American amps. They were made by folks who are probably dead now but they are a great source of pride for an America that often doesn’t seem to exist except in the memories of old guys like me. When I was a kid, every appliance in every kitchen was American. No Miele dishwashers, no LaCornue or Aga ranges, no Gaggenau ovens. When I was a kid, the only non American cars you would see on the road (and not very often) were sports cars. An MG, a Triumph, maybe a Porsche 356 like my friend, Gil’s father owned. No Toyotas, no Lexus’s (Lexi?), no Fiats or Alfas either. As a teenager, the only guitar you ever wanted was a Fender or a Gibson or maybe a Guild or a Gretsch or a Rickenbacker. All American. There were plenty of Japanese guitars but the only time anybody bought one was if they couldn’t afford “a good one” meaning an American one. Nobody and I mean nobody dreamt of owning a Teisco del Rey.

Now, of course, the Asians (and others) make some great guitars and some great cars and great TV sets and maybe even great doughnuts. OK, maybe not the doughnuts. But, if you really want to make America great again, you don’t have to be a Trump supporter. You just need to take some pride in what you make or what you sell and take a little pride in what you buy. I’m going out to my local Sikorsky store right now to buy a helicopter. Made in America.

My state of Connecticut sent along another great American product. The Sikorsky company was, of course, founded by a Russian immigrant. Does the president need any further proof that this country was made great by immigrants?

My state of Connecticut sent along another great American product. The Sikorsky company was, of course, founded by a Russian immigrant. Does the president need any further proof that this country was made great by immigrants?

10 Responses to “Made in America Week”

  1. James says:

    I believe we also made Ovation guitars. Not exactly the quality of a late 1930’s Martin, but pretty impressive considering the back and sides are one giant hunk of plastic. Hammer guitars is now in the old ovation factory. Most of the big name firearms manufacturers were in CT. Although we can rest easy, Wiffle Ball is alive and well in Shelton, CT.

  2. Jose SG says:

    I’m glad to see you posting on this. Completely agree with supporting local economy, even more so when said local products also happen to be the BEST in the world (Fender and Gibson -especially Golden Age stuff- hands down). It’s good to see Gibson finally get a break (after 8 years of Obama raids and regulations, at the very least questionable) and actually made it to front row center in the White House!
    I also agree the big role immigrants played in the growth of 19th-20th century America (Les Paul, Mr. “Epiphone”, etc). Except I’m pretty sure the Polfuss, Epis, and many other families didn’t pay people smugglers to enter the US illegally. They went through the process of becoming legal citizens, paying taxes, etc. Indeed those and only those kind of immigrants are the catalysts of a nation’s growth.

  3. RAB says:

    And we shouldn’t forget that even the Golden Age Gibsons we love had foreign materials in them, including Brazilian rosewood and Honduras mahogany! And wasn’t the LP Standard inlay material from Italy?

  4. cgelber says:

    The law that Gibson violated was an export law put in place by the government of Malagasy regarding the export of unfinished ebony.

  5. Rob says:

    A real president would have told Malagasy to go pound sand. Or coconuts. Or whatever.

  6. DaveK says:

    As a Brit I have to be unpatriotic and agree that US guitars, especially golden era Gibson and Fenders, are the finest ever made and the only ones I own and play. UK guitars from those times were terrible – Watkins Rapier 44 anyone?!!

    And the Russian contribution to the US didn’t end with Sikorsky according to the reports we read here about their influence over the recent presidential election!!!

  7. Larry says:

    Make America great by following the example set by the trump family. Only sell products made in the USA!!

  8. James says:

    I thought it was unfinished rosewood. There are ways around it though. Instead of buying raw rosewood blanks, they will sell you rosewood legs for a table, which happen to be pretty much the same dimensions as the raw blanks we wanted to buy. It’s all about them exporting a finished product, rather than selling off their materials and some other country using it to make a finished product. It’s all non-sense to me. If it’s that big a deal, then sell less and charge more for it. To be honest, I think the amount used for fretboards is minuscule compared to the amount for furniture. All my furniture is press-wood and super thin imitation oak veneer so don’t blame me! LOL. Charlie, great post! I always look forward to reading your blog.

  9. Mark says:

    I detect the subtle sarcasm above from Larry, about their total hypocrisy.

  10. cgelber says:

    There’s facts and there’s alternative facts. I know which one I like better.

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