Mar 28, 2017

Made In The Lehigh Valley

The other day I was self checking out of the grocery store, and across the aisle was Bethlehem Steel T-Shirts.  They were made to look retro, with pre-faded logo and copy, which said MADE IN USA.  Although, I knew the phrase referred to the steel,  I couldn't resist looking at the shirt's label.  Needless to say, it was made in China. Ironically, Bethlehem Steel was a self sufficient company, which even  produced ships with its own steel.

When I was a boy I worked in my father's meat market located at the foot of Union Street, where the Hamilton Street Bridge crossed over the Lehigh River.  Saturday was busy, with many customers who worked at the Steel, Lehigh Structural, Black and Decker, Western Electric, Mack and dozens of sewing factories.  A couple of guys who worked during the week at Arbogast & Bastian helped my dad out on Saturdays.  Both Swift and Wilson meat packers had wholesale branches near by.  They would be supplied by rail sidings,  which  criss-crossed that area of the city.  At that time everything was made in America, except for cheap novelty junk.  Now, in addition to losing our manufacturing,  we're even losing our retail,  as everything comes directly from online ordering and warehouses.    I suppose that soon the cashiers at the supermarket will be a relic of the past.

3 comments:

Dave said...

As the minimum wage laws mandate higher and higher wages, you'll be seeing less and less cashiers at the supermarket. There is a price to be paid for a "livable wage" and for "free trading".

Although the shirt is likely made in Red China for about $1.00 each, it may be printed here.

doug_b said...

Brick laying machine - does work of six masons:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-27/meet-sam-brick-laying-robot-does-work-6-humans

TRENT HALL said...

Minimum wage laws, which are not even sufficient to live on, are not the cause of lost jobs or the coming elimination of cashiers. Automation/technology/smart phones are why cashiers will be eliminated. Folks will review/select/order and pay via their phone. This will be considered by all, save for the displaced worker, as progress. Prices can be maintained because of reduced personnel costs, less need for inventory stored in a retail brick & mortar spot, and less crime/robberies, as no need for staff to handle money. What will be in stores will be mostly self service items. Not the shopping experience of our generation, but, the kids of today, 40 and under, shop this way now.

And, Mr. M, all of Trump's "Make America Great Again" red hats are made in China.

Also, try and pay attention Mr. D. "Red" China only really applies to the party now.....the economy is capitalism. Only Cuba today can be said to be primarily Communist (i.e., severe restrictions on private property ownership).