From the Desk of

Michael Blichasz

Host of the Saturday Variety Program at 11 A.M.
1540 AM Radio WNWR • Philadelphia, PA

Commentary from Saturday, December 5, 2009

If We Don't Speak Up - Who Will?

Over the last week, I received numerous contacts from people reporting on their experiences shopping for the holidays. The majority of people expressed major disappointment in not being able to find toys, clothing, decorations and traditional holiday gifts made in the U.S.A. People are asking me if I can recommend stores that are featuring American made items. Unfortunately, I don’t have a quick and simple answer to that question. It’s a matter of taking the time to check out as many stores as possible in order to support quality American made products which you will be proud to give as a gift.

The unfortunate part of the situation we find ourselves in today is that shopping for holiday gifts forces us to support products made in foreign countries due to the imbalance of American made and foreign made items being sold in our stores. Adding to this unfortunate situation is that when these gifts are opened, recipients, especially those who may be currently unemployed, will be reminded that Americans were not employed making these gift items.

When I first spoke up about supporting American made items and American workers, people told me that things were good in the American job market and that I should not try to convince people to feel otherwise. The fact is that the American job market is not good. At this point we can’t change history, but you and I can join together to make positive changes possible by spending our money on American made items when we shop.

I recently heard some interesting statistics on a radio program. The caller stated that the U.S. now has thousands of empty factories, thousands of shipping trucks no longer being used, thousands of machine shops not producing new machinery for manufacturing businesses and millions of American workers who are unemployed that could be working for downsized or closed businesses. These are unfortunate facts to hear, but they are a reality for a growing number of unemployed Americans.

Let’s not permit this to continue. Let’s spend our money wisely and speak up so that store owners, sales clerks and cashiers know that American consumers want a balance between American made and foreign made products. Only you, the consumer, can make positive changes happen through your purchasing power. If we don’t speak up for American workers, who will?

This is Michael Blichasz. I appreciate receiving your comments and suggestions. You can print out a copy of my commentary, email it to a friend or email me from my Internet site at: or