Banter Bites

Label Yourself An American?

Should Made in the U.S.A. be the first – or last – thing to ask yourself?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: If you were to ask us how we show that we’re proud to be an American, Red would tell you about the large bear in her entry hall that displays an American flag for July 4th and cheering for American teams in world sports competitions; but Black tends to work on holidays (and her birthday) so it’s not surprising her answer would include a major business decision.

Before Black turned Red’s “crisis” into a book (what are big sisters for?!), Red never thought about buying American-made products, focusing solely on price and quality. But when Black insisted on printing in the U.S.A. (even though it doubled the cost), Red listened to logic and decided she’d try to buy American more often. However, it’s never happened,

I know I should, and I want to, but I just don’t seem to be able to turn my “good intentions” into actions. I wonder if it’s because I try to be very cost-conscious when buying things and, let’s face it, most products made overseas are usually cheaper.

Black is quick to point out that cheaper is a relative term. How it might be true in terms of the price tag. But often not when you consider quality. Something that may be cheaper at first may not last as long, so needs to be replaced more often and may become more expensive in the long run.

Black does understand Red’s focus on cost and that calculations such as “cost per wearing” aren’t how Red’s brain functions. So, she suggested Red think about “why” (probably Black’s favorite word, especially when it comes to guiding decision-making) she’d like to “Buy American”,

Are you doing it to be patriotic? Is it to show your support of American workers and local businesses? Is it for environmental or social reasons? Knowing the “why” can remind you it is more than looking at the price tag. At that point, you can decide (if there is a premium) how much extra you are willing (and able) to pay. It does not matter whether it is a big purchase (like a car or major appliance) or smaller items (like clothing or household items); the key is getting into the habit of thinking before spending.

And the single best and easiest way to start to buy American? Simple! Just get in the habit of checking labels.

No matter what holiday you may celebrate, Red can’t help but quote a line from one of her favorite Christmas songs, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light. From now on, your troubles will be out of sight.”

And Black can’t help but point out that the song wasn’t introduced in a Christmas movie but in the movie "Meet Me In St. Louis."

Wishing you a merry everything and a happy always!

This is one of Red’s favorite Banter Bites in large part because of Black’s “corny” puns, but also because fresh corn is a summer staple – whether cooked on the grill or in the microwave, whether eaten on its own or as a primary ingredient in refreshing summer salads

This may be one of the corniest things you’ll ever read.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It’s just a vegetable, so how can it possibly elicit such a strong reaction from Red, while, for Black, it’s more a source of amusement and even, it turns out, admiration?

Keep Reading ...Show less

Think you can avoid artificial intelligence? Think again …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red already fights technology at every turn, preferring to keep her ostrich head in the sand, plus, she finds Artificial Intelligence (AI) scary; whereas Black knows ignoring reality merely postpones the inevitable, so she’s started playing with AI to understand it better …

Keep Reading ...Show less