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PIWorld is providing an open mike for members of the graphic arts community, along with our own staff people at times, to take a stand, share an observation or just relay an item of interest.

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Why Not Keep Some Money in Your Own Backyard?

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How many of the gifts that you will buy for your loved ones this Christmas will be made here in the United States? How many of you will actually take the time to look on the package to see where the product was made?

Many holiday participants are unaware that the North Pole has moved. Santa’s gift bag and sleigh now get filled overseas. The elves are not little ageless men and women; many are underage children working for next to nothing. Christmas in America is a multi-billion-dollar business for China.

If the product itself was not made here, who do you think printed the folding carton that encases the item or the instruction pamphlet and warranty card inside the box? I highly doubt that we printed the packaging, assembled and shipped the merchandise here within the United States.

It’s ironic that if you look on the Forbes “Richest People in America” list, four out of the top 11 billionaires all have the same last name as the founder of the largest retail store in America. The same person who wrote a book titled “Made In America.” I’m sure that we have all shopped at his family’s store, but how many of the products on the shelves are actually “Made In America?”

Like many of the other retailers, its motto is sell cheap, lots of it and more profit for the company. Unfortunately, that motto doesn’t seem to work in the printing business. Many printers look to sell cheap, because if you don’t, your competitor will. This way of thinking usually results in little or no profit margin involved!

Growing up in a union environment and working for a union printing company years ago helped me realize and understand the importance of supporting the great people and country that we live in. I have always bought American-made cars and many other products throughout my life and have instilled that philosophy into my three daughters as well. Obviously, I haven’t single handedly saved Detroit, but if we don’t support are own country through these tough times more than ever; who will?

Do you realize that if every family spent just $64 this holiday on an American-made product to give as a Christmas gift, more than 200,000 jobs would be saved here in the United States? And how many of those jobs would be in the printing industry? With more and more printing companies going out of business today than ever before, why wouldn’t you want to take the extra step to help support your friend, your neighbor, or your customer?

My thoughts aren’t intended to offend or reprimand you for supporting other countries, shopping at the stores of your choice, or giving away your print services; it’s about keeping things going here in our own backyard. The U.S. manufacturers, printing companies or even the local stores in the town where you live all need your support. Our children and our grandchildren, not to mention our troops returning home, will all need a job and a place to work someday.

So if you have a chance to save a few jobs by spending less than a $100 on an “American Made” gift this holiday, why wouldn’t you?

Merry Christmas to you and your families.
 
Darren Gapen (darren@dgprintsolutions.com) is president of D.G. Print Solutions, a consulting firm based in Woodstock, GA, that supports printing companies of all sizes. He specializes in growth development planning, pressroom color management and pressroom training through specialty print applications.

Darren has worked in the printing industry for 30 years and spent more than 12 years at two of the nation's leading high-end commercial printers: Bradley Printing in Des Plaines, IL, and Williamson Printing Corp. in Dallas, TX.
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