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White's [Apr. 2nd, 2009|04:09 pm]
Economic Patriotism

yait100
Every year, the company gives me $110 towards a new pair of work boots.  I have abnormally narrow feet, and every year it seems that fewer and fewer boots are available in a B width.  In the past, I've always bought Red Wing boots, because they met my three requirements:  they lasted a long time, they were very comfortable, and they were made in the US.  Unfortunately for Red Wing, they have recently failed two of my three requirements.  The boots I used to buy almost annually are no longer available in B width.  Not only that, but they are now made in China.  Congratulations, Red Wing, you just lost one of your best customers.

It was time to come up with a contingency plan. 

I've always wanted a pair of White's boots.  White's are like the Cadillac Eldorado Rolls-Royce of work boots; there is no finer work boot in the world, period.  They have been hand-made in Spokane, Washington for over 100 years, and they still are today.  So I went to the shoe store, got measured and sized, and dropped $407 on a pair of White's boots.  Fuckin' A, Ray.  I would rather spend $400 on an American-made boot than spend $40 on a Chinese one, anyway.

I've been wearing them for two weeks now, and I can say definitively that these are the best boots I've ever worn.  They are comfortable, and extremely well put together.  Everything I've ever heard about them is true, except for the part about them being difficult to break in.  I seem to have the same type of foot that they modeled their boot after, so there was virtually no break-in required.  I've been walking along the ballast line at work (lots of loose rocks and generally poor footing) all week, and at the end of the day my feet don't hurt a bit.  I couldn't say that about my old Red Wings, even after they were well broken in. 

If you've ever been on the fence as to whether or not to try a pair of White's, I say go for it.  They are worth every cent.
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Wal-mart in Minnesota [Dec. 12th, 2008|06:37 am]
Economic Patriotism

yait100
Employees of Wal-mart in the state of Minnesota won a 54 million dollar settlement due to a class action lawsuit. You can read more about it here.

Some notable exerpts:

In his ruling in July, Judge King found that Wal-Mart repeatedly and willfully violated Minnesota labor laws or its contract with its employees on the issues of contractual rest breaks, statutory meal breaks, shaving time from paid rest breaks and failure to maintain accurate records.

In testimony before Judge King, former Wal-Mart workers described being forced to miss breaks so they could keep up with the work, even to the point of not having time to go to the bathroom.


The way Wal-mart treats their employees is dispicable, and it's a large part of the reason why I have not spent one penny at Wal-mart since 2002. I think that any reasonable person would be appalled by some of Wal-mart's shady business practices.
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Unite! [Sep. 19th, 2007|10:05 pm]
Economic Patriotism

yait100
I was just elected to be chairman of our union local about a week ago. It was a unanimous vote, with no other nominations. To be perfectly honest, there is no other person in the union who I would want representing me more than me. I'm not even 30 yet, and I have only worked here for seven months. Yet my coworkers - some of them in their forties and fifties - felt that I was most qualified for this position. I hope I won't let them down.

I am taking my new position seriously, and am basically starting from square one. The previous chairman was a bit of a loose cannon, and I think he stepped on a lot of toes while dealing with management. I am now faced with repairing these relations, while getting the best labor agreement I can for our union.

The chaiman is entitled to pay, but I am declining it until we get our contract settled. I told the guys that I don't feel like I deserve money that came from their paychecks until I can get results.

I strongly believe in the idea of organized labor. All around, we see evidence of what society would be like without it; people working 45-50 hours a week for $8 an hour with no benefits. We are already reaping the foul rewards with a generation whose parents both had to work, because one income in a family can no longer support our way of life.

It's late, so that's all my rant for tonight.
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Living the dream [Mar. 20th, 2007|05:33 pm]
Economic Patriotism

yait100
One out of every three jobs in America now pays $11.11 an hour or less.

http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/4517

The economists plotted low-wage work over time since 1979, and found that in the late 1990s low-wage jobs began paying more until 2001, when their wages were up by 5 percent over 1979's figures. But, according to the report, since then, low-wages have fallen back to almost the 1979 levels.
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Where does all that money go? [Jan. 22nd, 2007|07:36 pm]
Economic Patriotism

yait100
Wanna see an example of what China is doing with all the money we give them?

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CHINA?SITE=NYONE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
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(no subject) [Nov. 15th, 2006|06:20 pm]
Economic Patriotism

yait100
So...

I called Yellowstone Glove today about becoming a sales rep or a distributor for them, and they are supposed to call back tomorrow sometime (probably when I'm at friggin' work, but I told them to leave me a message). I'm excited.

I could sell four pairs (at $22 a pair) of gloves tomorrow, without even trying. Imagine if I actually TRIED! I could go around town to all the welding and fabrication shops, and probably sell... what, maybe 30 pairs? Then those 30 people will see how great of an item they have on their hands, and tell their friends, who will tell their friends....

It will be interesting to see what the discount is for a distributor. Like, what IS the actual profit margin? I've always wondered what the supplier actually makes on this stuff.

The thing that really gets me excited about this is that I believe in this product. It sounds corny, but I have never before come across something where I was like "Jeez, why doesn't EVERYBODY have this?" They are truly the highest quality work gloves I have ever encountered, and I've been through them all.

And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, they are American made. I'll keep you posted.
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Support for communist China grows [Sep. 13th, 2006|06:12 pm]
Economic Patriotism

yait100
Read it and weep.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/091306F.shtml

Why are we doing this to ourselves?
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the quest for good gloves, part 2 [Aug. 31st, 2006|07:41 pm]
Economic Patriotism

yait100
Well, I ordered those gloves in the above-mentioned post. I ordered a pair of welding gloves, and a pair of regular gloves. I also asked about becoming a sales rep for them; the guy gave me the number of the person to talk to, and I'll probably call next week.

Sounds like a pretty cool operation... they are CUSTOM MAKING gloves for me! Like, as I write this, they haven't been made yet! How cool is that? I'll be sure to post when I have an opinion on their quality/durability. Those shit Chinese gloves that you get for about $4 a pair last me a few weeks at best. If these new gloves last 6 months or more, it will be economical to spend the extra money on them ($22 a pair).

It feels good to not be doing business with China.
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a search comes to an end [Aug. 25th, 2006|04:04 pm]
Economic Patriotism

yait100
Wow... the first entry...

I have made a major discovery.

As people who read my regular journal will know, I am on a seemingly never-ending quest to find leather work gloves that are American-made. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, I live in the largest city in Montana, and there isn't a single pair of American-made leather gloves within 50 miles of here. It really pisses me off to have to spend a few bucks on a poorly-made Chinese pair of gloves, even if they are dirt cheap. Hey, you get what you pay for, right?

Anyway, I have finally, finally found some. They are made by Yellowstone Gloves, a company based in Idaho, and operating in Idaho and Utah. I am going to buy a pair of their regular elkskin gloves, and see how they hold up to the daily abuse of my job. Then, if they are worth the $22 a pair, I plan on looking into becoming a distributor for them, since they have no outlets here.

If you are interested, here's their link and phone number:


http://www.yellowstonegloves.com/index.html
1-800-953-6002
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