The Water Cooler – Made in the U.S.A.?

January 8, 2013 12:00 pm · 56 comments


The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

If you look at the bottom of the manhole cover pictured above, you can see the words “Made in Mexico”.

Do you think publicly funded agencies should be required to purchase items that are made in the U.S.A., or do you think it’s ok to import from other countries?

Talk about it….

Dorothy January 8, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Not much is made here anymore. A lot of stuff is put together here and then tagged as made here. I do think public works materials that are paid for by our tax dollars should be used to buy really made here.

Still, not surprised – new Bay Bridge came from China.

What Securiy January 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM

More profits for the manufacture, Outsourcing at it’s best,.
I have to admit Americans do charge more for just about everything. Food, labor and products.

?????? January 8, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Go figure, look at where it is made… How many illegal aliens are here anyway?

Don't Censor Me Bro January 8, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Hecho en Mexico es bueno, verdad?

BagsFlyFree January 8, 2013 at 12:17 PM

I think this debate comes down to lowest bidder vs. keeping funds spent in the local economy. It appears time and time again that local, state, and federal agencies prefer the initial lower cost of projects without minding that profits are sent out of the area. You would think that we would come to the conclusion eventually that doing this time and time again shrinks local industry which drive cities like Detroit, Buffalo, and Baltimore into ruin as people flee. All potential savings end up spent policing the remaining populations while overseas companies enjoy their cheaper labor wages…. Tough circle we live in..

BFF Out!

Raiderforlife January 8, 2013 at 12:17 PM

It’s a shame you hardly ever see “Made in America” anymore. We need jobs too. Outsourcing should be illegal. I got laid off because my job is now being done in India. It’s a crime if you ask me. It’s very UnAmerican to outsource

Anon January 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Mexico/USA. I don’t see a big difference.

Wisecracker January 8, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Imports from other countries within limitations is okay.
I’m not the smartest person on earth, but I’m willing to bet other countries regulate imports a lot stricter than we do.

Once again, we’re taking care of everyone else first instead of ourselves.

So was my Ford January 8, 2013 at 12:23 PM

So was my Ford. Made in Mexico, or “assembled in Mexico”.

Too many people in the USA don’t want to work, think they should receive executive pay for entry level jobs, or the union protects deadbeats and slackers.

God Bless America….but nothing is made here because of the “politically correct” view that we all have to be enormous successes without earning it.

Howard K Mullins III January 8, 2013 at 12:25 PM

The city needs to accept the lowest bid for products and services. If America can’t produce a man hole cover that meets specifications for less than a Mexican company, so be it. That competition.

The cost of labor makes it tough for US companies to compete. Regulations and punishment levied by government bureaucracies across the board, hog tie American companies, driving the economy toward default.

Connie Dobbs January 8, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Yeah, what’s wrong with good ol’ American steel mills?

ChampagneKitty January 8, 2013 at 12:43 PM

The idea of publicly funded agencies being required to purchase items that are made in the U.S.A. is wonderfully idealistic, but unfortunately, not realistic. There are probably a lot of things agencies need that are not available within the U.S.A. because no one manufactures them here. And I’m sure there are things that can be purchased U.S.-made, but it is too cost prohibitive. It is sad.

Triple Canopy January 8, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Concur with HKM @10

Labor laws, the EPA, OSHA, etc. create an environment where US companies cannot compete. Liberals and the enviro-fascists (uber-hyprocrites) need to realize the totality of regulations result in manufacturing being off-shored… just like with smartphones.

Don't Censor Me Bro January 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

@ #6 Raiderforlife –

So you oppose the late Steve Job’s Apple, right?

jose January 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

The only way things will start being made in America again is to dump the environmental groups that hamper progress at every turn. The majority of them are nothing but some flaky job created from junk science to make us ‘feel” good about helping to save the earth, or some other non-sense.
Most of these groups care nothing about the environment anyway. There is huge amounts of money involved that they make. Keep the scams alive and the people scared…….they love it.

ptpauly January 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM

@Connie Dobbs, American steel mills put out of business by the Chinese and Koreans. Government subsidised industry to raise the standard of living for the people of other countries. See NAFTA, which has and still puts Americans out of work. We will not be attacked in a war, we will lose the ability to manufacture the items we need and become more and more dependent of other countries, until they turn on us and leave us high and dry.
Yes we should buy made in America and give Government agencies a price break for tax breaks, and tax overseas companies.

dilligafman January 8, 2013 at 1:15 PM


Kirkwood January 8, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Concord used to have it’s MH covers cast in a Central Valley town, I dont remember the name, nor when they turned to imports.

But They Saved Money January 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM
Your mother wants me to keep it on the low January 8, 2013 at 1:31 PM

America is not the best country in the world anymore

The Grant January 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Goods manufactured in the United States seem to be more expensive for a variety of reasons, most notably due to unions (costs associated with union labor) and government policies that hinder production. Ever wonder why businesses move out of state or are incorporated in Delaware?

But They Saved Money January 8, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Since 1872, Neenah Foundry has been a consistent leader in producing durable castings that are used across the country. distribution yard EL Monte, CA

But why should an American city buy from American manufactures?

The Grant January 8, 2013 at 1:42 PM

ptpauly presents another reason

goods that we buy from China are more / less made by slave labor and heavily subsidized

SF Citygirl January 8, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Hello! Support U.S. made products = supporting our economy!!

The Mamba January 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM

It’s tough to say, I’d rather my tax dollars stretch as far as possible, but then give a preference to items produced in the USA and California as a secondary consideration.

ClayCord Dad January 8, 2013 at 2:14 PM

@SF Citygirl – So when our government pays more to get U.S. made products, who is paying for that extra cost? Are we going to take it out of government programs or tax the citizens more? Please explain how this will work.

The Family Dog January 8, 2013 at 2:22 PM

CEQA the California Economic Quagmire Act. You can’t build or make anything in CA anymore. CEQA won’t allow you.

Parsnip January 8, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Maybe it’s time to force our politicians to have to outsource for voters.

Got Garbage January 8, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Check and see if city got a check from the foundry in Mexico.

Howard K Mullins III January 8, 2013 at 2:47 PM

@ 28 Parsnip

They already are. No id required to vote, anywhere.

Illegals, felons, the dead, people can vote often, so can dogs, cats and birds.

The corruption of government has no limit. Its evil run by evil.

AmericanMade January 8, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Everything should be made here. We need to bring back manufacturing and everything else. No more outsourcing.

Free Market Baby January 8, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Buy at the lowest price and use our tax dollars for other things.

american byer January 8, 2013 at 3:00 PM

american consumers should lead the way and only purchase goods produced by american manufacturers.

Antler January 8, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Buy the highest QUALITY… the lowest price (bid…whatever)……no matter where it was manufactured. It will take that attitude to make the manufacturers in the US wake up and COMPETE. It’s fine for us to yammer on about the superiority of Capitalism, but now we have to man up and play that game at least as well as manufacturers in other countries.

KAD January 8, 2013 at 3:08 PM

It is not OK to buy goods made outside of the U.S.A. I buy goods made in the U.S.A. as often as I can even if it means paying a little more. Support US workers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DoReMi January 8, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Only buy goods from countries that display good will. Mexico does not extend the same favors to our people that we extend to them.

If our country cannot afford to buy American, then we need to take a serious look at what unions and politicians have done to drive up the cost of living. We need to create and environment that encourages our business to stay home…Ya hear me Jerry?

the last American January 8, 2013 at 3:56 PM

This is not a municipal issue, it is a national one. The City of Concord doesn’t have the jurisdiction or clout to effect trade policy. The capitalists sold the voters on the notion that free trade was good for everybody and falsely said that American workers are the most productive in the world and could compete against anyone. I don’t want to compete against a worker that makes $5 a day and works 80 hours a week. They also sold America on the false notion that globalization was inevitable and we’d better get on board. A global economy was not an inevitable force of nature, it was a choice that was orchestrated by those who would profit from it. America was poised to run the world on IT’S terms. Now instead Beijing is looking like a possible capital city of the world government. We’ll still get to keep our American pride, but it will be as a second tier power like Italy or Argentina.

Don't Censor Me Bro January 8, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Where are Nikes mass produced?

Randome Task January 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM

shaka when the walls fell………..and we keep buying this crap and until we stop buying things made elsewhere we will wind down to nothingness and be another fallen power …..great huh we will be in history as a bunch of losers who blew it all ….and we will be right next to MC Hammer in the history books as the worst fails in history ….see you on the other side …hey anyone seen how much rosetta stone ( chinese ) is going for …gonna have to learn it eventually

Fred January 8, 2013 at 5:38 PM

The real question should be is how much more are you willing to pay for “Made in the USA?” A second question would be “Are you willing to have an iron foundry in your town?”

DUHHH3x DUI January 8, 2013 at 6:07 PM


A.M. January 8, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Quit whining,we all let this happen!
While we all watched T.V. . We let
un- fettered Capitalism run rampant.
It all started long ago. And the Capitalist
controlled Media sold it to us lock stock
and barrel . No, I am not a Communist,
But look at the i-phone for example.
A device that costs around Ninety
dollars to get to your nearest store costs
the consumer four to six hundred dollars.
And the newest one arrives tommorow!
Lets not blame the one percent that
Controls our lives when we aspire to join
We need to work harder, for less pay and
Just be glad for what you had. In our current
economy, you may need to get three part time
Jobs just to survive. How am I gonna
Afford my Tahoe ?

JLG January 8, 2013 at 9:28 PM

It was at one time all or most the man hole covers were made at the Phoenix Iron works in Oakland. I guess they are gone. I don’t know. If you look at all the old covers they tend to be interesting works of art.Check them out. I have spent a lot of time looking around Oakland Berkeley and SF.

Anon January 8, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Are you an illegal alien? Maybe your bleeding heart is just easily offended. LOL

... January 9, 2013 at 4:18 AM

More of our tax dollars supporting Mexicans rather than Americans

JG27 AD January 9, 2013 at 7:22 AM

Yup, it’s those darn capitalists!! We ought to switch our system to the alternative one so we can live the high life like those folks in China or Cuba, or North Korea.


DoReMi January 9, 2013 at 8:07 AM

@ #42 A.M.:

I agree for the most part. Americans sat in front of their TV’s so long that they actually expected to live like hollywoods version of our life. Sick!

The first step towards recovery is to turn of the boobtube and confront your media addiction.

Geezer January 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Guys!… Mandating what products a municipality (or person, or gourp) can buy is not the answer to the problem. We live in a world economy now. It’s been show over and over when American Workers compete on a level playing field (without mandates, and special tariffs, fees, and or taxes), that we can produce products that compete with any other contry. The Ford Focus is the largest selling car in the WORLD. BMW builds thier line of Z4 cars in the US for EXPORT to Germany and the rest of the world. China is buying US companies because we have skilled experience labor. We just need to focus on a level playing field, and continuing the trend of “INSOURCING” job that started a couple of years ago.

Geezer January 9, 2013 at 10:26 AM

(please forgive the typos above, I was typing fast. No grammer police please!

KAD January 9, 2013 at 10:33 AM

The Concord City Council wants the residents of Concord to shop in Concord so the taxes paid stay local so they should also pay for goods, at least, made in the U.S. of A.

What Security January 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I went to hire a guy to fix my fence. A white guy shows up in 2011 new ford truck fully loaded, had a bad attitude wanted an outrageous amount of $$
He was the expert with an expert attitude been in construction for a zillion years so he wanted top dollar.

I hired a Mexican who was pleasant a hard worker and did a great job for three times less $$$ go figure

Concord1963 January 9, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Most of the commentators above have expressed some very real and intelligent facts and opinions – nothing much left to say except thanks to Bill Clinton for signing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Anon January 9, 2013 at 5:02 PM

LOL, you deleted the one saying I might offend you. You’re better than a push button toy.

TIME January 9, 2013 at 6:57 PM

I have made a point to not buy anything MADE in China! It’s hard to find only USA made products but we try. I have made a huge effort to buy USA made they are out there and surprisingly, not more expensive as I might have thought they would be.

Oh please January 9, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Haven’t you all heard? We are a nation moving away from manufacturing. We don’t need to buy American. We already live here, thats enough America for most of us. American made products, in general, cost more and are of lower quality. Remember the term: ‘built in obsolence’? It hasn’t gone anywhere…it still is an american specialty. We don’t deserve the business if we can’t do better than that.

#52: Sure, when all else fails…blame it on clinton. It’s all bill’s fault that American manufacturers are cheap and greedy and produce inferior products. Isn’t it funny that our biggest national competitors just love Bill Clinton? Maybe some of us Americans can learn a thing or two from him (and them)?

Kazik January 15, 2013 at 2:04 AM

USA is still No. 1 manufacturer in the world. Why we don’t see this? Because most of this production is not consumer goods. USA manufacturing sector buids ships, airplanes, very advanced electronics, weapons, farming equipment, machinery, and many, many more. But there are also many consumer-related products made in USA. Look at – cars, home appliances, audio, perfumes, consumables. Wanna buy American-made goods – you just have to open your eyes and search!

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