Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Getting to the crux of the matter…is that really a word?

If I were to sum up my venture in a paragraph, it would sound something like this: “A thoughtful, provocative, and humorous narrative of one couple’s efforts to give up China for a year.” We’ll see how that goes…

It’s probably time that I fill you in on our reasons for doing this crazy thing. The deciding factor for me was this: while we save hundreds of dollars on our Chinese purchases, there are folks on the other side of the globe who are suffering. For several years now, the thought of those Chinese workers has hovered faintly in the back of my mind, but I would quickly push it away when facing a pair of leather boots or a new keyboard or yes, even a sponge, all made in China.

Buying from China…

Supports a communist dictatorship
Enables that government to control the wages & living conditions of its workers
Takes away from my local economy
And frankly, some of that merchandise is poorly made crap

I’m tired of seeing everything I pick up stamped with a “Made in China” logo. Our country went from proudly making everything in the good 'ol U.S. of A. to importing an enormous percentage of its products (and yes, sometimes even produce). This slow trickle of imports has grown into a raging river in the past few decades.

Stores such as Target, TJ Max, Walmart, the Dollar Store, and many others are loaded with aisles and aisles of inexpensive, “Made in China” stuff. I, for one, happen to love TJ Max. I love browsing the aisles for kitchen gadgets, brightly colored shoes, candles, and clothes. I like finding great bargains on name-brand items. But when I sit back and think about what I’m buying, I come up with a paltry list of knick knacks and cute gadgets; things I want but don’t need.

My New Year’s resolution is to not only give up China, but to start asking questions about the items I’ve been buying.

Where did it come from?
What are the living conditions of the person who made it?
Did he or she receive a fair wage?

My hubby and I don’t make a lot of money and I realize this could become a pricey venture. It’s easy to say no to a pair of shoes when I don’t need them. But what about necessary items like toilet paper and light bulbs? What if our toaster oven breaks? Or we need a car part? That right there, folks, is the adventure that lies ahead! I’ll fill you in on what happens when I go a-shoppin’ for that toilet paper…

P.S. “Crux” IS a word. According to m-w.com, it is “an essential point requiring resolution or resolving an outcome.”


  1. I almost used "crux" in my blog post today... i.e. "Now we arrive at the crux of my existence"... Your use works better. Much luck to you in this venture. You are an inspiration to me. I'm going to try my darndest to ponder along with you, even if I may fail a bit more often...

  2. By the way, is that Tups or Trixie?

  3. Also, am I allowed to call her "Tups"? I hope that's ok and doesn't offend you... lol ;p