I love tackling home projects myself so I need a solid staple gun to (for instance) reupholster dining chairs that my kiddos ruined. The stained fabric resembles modern abstract tapestries rather than monochromatic Jacobean prints.
Yesterday, after detaching tired fabric from wooden dining chair frames, I remembered that my staple gun had crapped out after an attempt to secure four-hundred feet of chicken wire to fencing back in April. The poor thing didn’t well withstand galvanized poultry netting but I suspect it never aspired to anyhow. It was purchased at Michael’s craft supply store…no doubt made in China by a poor individual who would gladly relieve me of my young hens in a heartbeat.
So T-Rex (3) and I headed into town to browse isle four at True Value for a staple gun. He wanted me to get the electric model–more like an belt-fed weapon than a stapler. I considered it for about a minute before realizing that our older son, Q-Tip (6), would likely use it on an unsuspecting toad.
But there was a better reason for choosing the silver metal manual model over the automatic model. Unlike the manual model that boasted "USA Made", the electric stapler was made in China. And I have zero desire to acquire another piece of junk. So we took the manual model and coordinating T-50 staples back up the aisle and placed them on the counter.
The 80+ year-old seasoned gentleman with spritely blue eyes, tattoos, and a buzz cut began to scan the stapler and asked, "Did you find what you were looking for?"
"Yes, I did, thank you. I was looking for an American made stapler. I think they must last longer than the ones made in China. My last staple gun didn’t last but one project…"
"I learned a long time ago that buying good tools is a good investment…"
"It’s hard to find well-made things now…everything is made in China and it’s all junk…besides, I’m not thrilled about supporting regimes…"
He interrupted my rant with, "You know, China’s the oldest known civilization that’s still around. They were the most sophisticated…what they built, their societies…they were here thousands of years before us…and they have their way of doing things…China’s not a democracy. Never was".
I looked at the total on the screen then handed him my credit card and smiled. I’m not about to argue with a man who has likely lived through and seen much more than myself, who resides in a comparatively smaller box. He made his point and I respect his take.
The Chinese are indeed an ancient people but so are the Jews. And at least when I buy Israeli feta I know that some poor eight-year-old child isn’t being forced to forgo school to milk sheep all day for my cheese. I choose to support like-minded, pro-democracy modern governments and people, regardless of whether their emperors encouraged cultural transmission through the Silk Road or not. So despite my frugal tendencies, I spent more for a staple gun that was made here, in a democracy, by an adult.
Because I am a staunch conservative, I naturally disagree with much of our current U.S. government policies, especially their overt embrace of China. But at least I am blessed to live where there are many staple guns to choose from, and my government does not dictate what I buy and who I buy from.
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