Okay so, summer is coming, and it’s coming fast. We’ve already entered the big tornado season as we do every year in the Midwest. The temperatures are warming up in California, and people are headed to the beach. It’s time to go get a new barbecue because your old one is rusted. It’s time to put a new coating on your deck, and if you own a boat, time to get it all cleaned up for summer cruises. If you own a convertible top car, it’s almost time to put the top down – smile – the land of the free. Yes, it’s time for a little sun, and a little fun.
Because of all this, I wasn’t too surprised when I started getting ads in my mailbox about patio furniture for sale. It turns out that I do need some, and I wasn’t going to buy the cheesy plastic stuff which lasts for one or two years, becomes brittle, and collapses the first time one of your friends sits in it who happens to be a little overweight, meaning very few Americans can sit in those chairs after they are two years old. And speaking of us Americans, we hardly make any furniture in this country anymore. Yes, we do make some patio furniture, but not nearly as much as we used to not even a tenth as much.
Much of this furniture is made in other countries. Due to NAFTA many of our furniture makers in this country had closed factories, and the furniture was then being made in Mexico. Today even the Mexicans can’t compete, and much of the furniture that we buy is made in Asia, Southeast Asia, or Indonesia. Even furniture you buy from the IKEA store comes from there, you know, the kind you put together yourself, and make sure you follow instructions so you don’t have any screws left when you are completed, otherwise the furniture has the tendency to fall apart.
It is good to see the consumer sales of furniture up in the United States, but it is also unfortunate because all of this furniture isn’t made in the US anymore. All we’re doing is adding to the deforestation of Southeast Asia and the trade deficits here the United States. No, we don’t live in a perfect world, and I’d rather see our local retailers, and our box retailers that sell patio furniture making money, and providing jobs for retail sales assistants, along with all the people it takes to deliver those products to market. That would include the dock workers, truck drivers, and railroad as well.
It’s just too bad that we don’t make any of these things the US anymore. I mean how hard is it to make wood patio furniture when we have a tradition of woodworkers in our country? Further, we can get all the wood we need from Canada, and we are even re-growing the forests here in the US that we previously chopped down, and yet all of our furniture is made halfway around the world, shipped here, and put together by you when I. Just something to think about.