Coupons and other quandries….

Another 30-percent-off coupon from Kohl’s arrived this morning. So guess where we spent the afternoon? While my roommate was busy over in the women’s section, I, once again, was busy doing research in the men’s. Last time, I investigated where the products were made. Today my focus was on the brands being sold there.

The label on Levi’s Jeans, an American icon, read “manufactured in Egypt.” Hanes, another top-selling American brand, comes to us from the Dominican Republic. Arrow shirts, another popular American label, came from Vietnam. Then, there was Jockey shorts — a longtime, much-loved American product that is now … imported from Colombia.

And on and on goes the list of the longest-standing American favorites that are no longer manufactured in the United States.

I searched and I searched and I couldn’t find one single brand manufactured in the U.S. of A.

Who was it that said the American Corporations aren’t hiring? Well, he (or she) was wrong! The companies ARE hiring. They’re just not hiring Americans.

As our economy began to slide downhill, it didn’t take long for major companies to place a half-million workers on the unemployment line. During that time the majority of those corporations hired, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 729,000 workers from countries all over the planet.

In the interest of time and space I’ll limit my analysis to what I think are the top three reasons:

1) By manufacturing on foreign soil, these companies no longer have to deal with the hundreds of stringent workplace rules.

2) They waved bye-bye to environmentalists who were always on their case.

3) They greatly reduced labor costs by no longer having to deal with American unions.

There are celebrations about the recent news that unemployment is now at 8.8 percent, butlet’sface it: there are many, many jobs that will NEVER come back.

• • •

A recent letter from David Raisman asked for my opinion on where I think my government could cut spending. I could write volumes on that subject, but instead, I will offer you one at a time, and invite the rest of you to jump in with your suggestions.

Here’s my one thought for this week:

All over the United States there are elected officials that are fighting for civil service givebacks and union reform. I agree with some modifications and disagree with others, but I’d like to see those politicians themselves lead the way by reducing their own perks.

Reps all over America are paid $140,000 to $250,000 a year. Even though that’s a lot of money, I don’t have as much of a problem with it as I do with travel expenses, committee perks, office expenses, loads of non-productive time, super-sensational medical plans and mega-million dollar pensions all paid for by you and me. While an elected official is looking to take away from teachers, he (or she) might set a good example by cleaning his (or her) own house. Look for another suggestion next week.

• • •

Somebody please help me make up my mind. Is it Khaddafi, Gaddafi, Ghaddafi or Quaddafi? And if the screwball dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin Dada, was the Field-Marshal-Major-General-President, then I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net wondering why the Madman of the Middle East is only a Colonel.

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