Nicole McClelland conducted an experiment where she buys only American-made goods. It seems simple, but it's anything but. Going "Made in America" for a week left her hungry, broke, and half-naked:
In 1990, when I was in grade school, I watched a union-sponsored commercial in which a mother told her little boy that they would have to move because Dad had lost his job—too many people were buying imports. As union jobs dried up, so did that campaign; now, 14 years into nafta, buying local is hot, but buying American is, at best, a joke (though in August Barack Obama dusted off the sentiment with his "Buy American, Vote Obama" slogan). When I told Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, that I was going to buy only American for a week, he laughed. "I'm very sorry to hear that.
"It's exceptionally hard, if not impossible, to be 100 percent pure," he explained. "There are just some things you can't buy. It's incredibly difficult and depressing."