Readers Respond

A roundup of e-mail received by Home Channel News

HCN’s February cover story generated responses.

More on “Made in the USA”

“We are a single store that has recently won the Best of Long Island award for a hardware store. Since there are 3 million people on Long Island, we are very proud of that. One of the things we strive for besides unmatched customer service and having products in stock when others don’t is having unique items. One unfortunate thing we found was ‘Made in the USA’ were becoming a unique thing. We now have a program in the store where we identify on each hook if an item is Made in the USA. We use a simple ‘Made in the USA’ sticker placed onto the scanning tag. 

“When we were at the 2010 National Hardware Show we did notice that domestic manufacturers were placing more of an emphasis on being made here in the USA. We did find a customer is willing to pay a higher price on an item if they see it is made here in the USA. That is something we did not think we would see, especially in a down economy, but many see it as helping their own. 

“We also saw it work the other way. Once customers saw many Weber grills were made in China they were not as interested because they were now just like everyone else. They lost that edge they have of being made here. We do not bring in a product just because it is made here, but it does feel great to help a customer with what they need and be able to say to them ‘and it’s made here in the USA, too.’ That is what usually makes the sale.” 

— George Uribe

L.I. Hardware

Bohemia, N.Y.

“This will be a part of our 2011 marketing campaign. We will highlight products that are Made in the USA by stickers attached to the product shelf labeling, and identifying them in our circular and radio promotions.” 

— Tom Hardman

Spencer, W.Va.

“We have found our [retail] customers prefer Made in the USA. Partly for patriotic reasons but mainly because they are smart enough to know that price is comparable, quality is as good or better, and delivery and in-stock positions are much better. Any U.S. company that is following Lean principles will be able to deliver products better. No one has yet to perfect any software to accurately plan for three-month delivery times versus domestic finished goods’ positions. Those companies that import and have good fill rates also have too much inventory, which is a true carrying cost. Bottom line, why do global auto makers build factories close to their customers?

“Made in the USA, here to stay.”

— Randy Boonstra

The $3,728,686,000,000 question

(Here’s a sample of comments regarding President Obama’s $3.73 trillion budget blueprint for 2012.)

“Please accept my apology in advance for the following e-mail about an unpleasant subject. I tried very hard not to do it, but because it helped my perspective and made me feel much better, I thought perhaps it would do as much for you. It’s tough, but we all need to do our part. The President ordered the cabinet to cut a whopping $100 million from the $3.5 trillion federal budget. I’m so impressed by this sacrifice that I have decided to do the same thing with my personal budget. I spend about $4,000 a month on groceries, medicine, bills, etc., and now it’s time to get out my budget cutting ax, go line by line through my expenses, and get to work. I’m going to cut my spending at exactly the same ratio as the President — 1/35,000 of my total budget. After doing the math, it looks like instead of spending $4,000 a month, I’m going to have to cut that number downward by eleven cents! Yes, I know that’s a lot and I must somehow get by with $3,999.89, but that is what sacrifice is all about. 

“The President has requested that we get some of our own ‘skin in the game’ with everyone else. So we’ll just have to do without some things, that are, quite frankly, luxuries those eleven cents normally buy us.”

— Anonymous

(The above letter was discovered and forwarded to HCN by Mark Prigge, Oakdale, Minn.)

“It’s immoral to steal from our kids in order to fulfill left-wing ideology.”

— Name withheld

“I don’t feel it will help. I do think it will hurt — both short and long term.”

— Name withheld

Reform for Fannie and Freddie

(The following is a response to an article about calls for a more limited role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the housing mortgage market.)

“After the revelations of the last couple of years it appears that Fannie and Freddie were nothing more than a Giant Slush fund for the political party in power. Getting rid of it sounds like a good move, but after the smoke clears I think all will be the same people, same polices, same buildings, same, same, same, NEW SIGN, and that will be all that’s NEW.”

— Name withheld

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