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How Patriotic is this Patriotic Military Cap Design Contest?

CafePress is currently holding an “All-American” “American Patriotism-themed Military Cap” design contest to celebrate Independence Day. Entrants are asked to design “patriotic” images in line with the theme of Independence Day and put them up for sale on CafePress’ military caps, which look like this:

Military Cap offered by CafePress, Made in China

Thing is, I just checked in with a CafePress sales associate, and it turns out that these Military Caps are all made in China. This is a fact CafePress neglects to mention on its website.

How does that fit in with the theme of American independence? How can designers possibly make the caps “All-American” when they are anything but?

Now personally, I don’t care whether an item is made in the USA or not, holding other things constant. I do care that CafePress is depicting its contest as “All American” and the creations of the contest as “American patriotism-themed military caps” when the caps are not American. That’s deception in marketing right there.

More important to me than that is that when you compare made in the USA products to products made in China, you are not holding other things constant. There are differences between clothing manufacture in the USA and clothing manufacture in China. How do the very low wages of textile workers in China reflect on American values? How does the disregard for environmental protection by Chinese textile factories match American idealism? How does the use of a system dissonant with American values of production qualify as patriotic?

No, I will not be entering the contest. I encourage you to avoid it as well. More than that, I encourage you to ask CafePress questions about its values in production. Consider it part of your patriotically-themed All-American duty.

You can call CafePress toll free at 1-877-809-1659, Monday – Saturday, from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

9 comments to How Patriotic is this Patriotic Military Cap Design Contest?

  • Sam

    Want these products to be made by Americans where we can control the work enviroment? Great! Let’s muzzle the unions for driving wages for manufacturers out of reach for a competitive market place then let’s talk. Until then…I’ll buy them….regardless of who makes it and where it’s made….

  • Jim

    Well, clearly YOU don’t give a crap about other people or American standards of labor. You’re not really my audience here, Sam. It’s patent bullshit, by the way, to proclaim that unions have made it too expensive to produce in America. There are union producers that make jeans, jerseys, t-shirts, denim shirts, etc… (and we offer our designs on some of these) at prices that are the same you would have paid thirty years ago, adjusted for inflation. It’s not that union shops have resulted in higher prices over time… it’s that overseas producers have cut their prices despite the huge expense of shipping clothes across the entire Pacific Ocean by immensely “cutting production costs.” Again, I know YOU don’t care about what that implies. I’m speaking to the Americans who actually do give a shit.

  • Fruktaka

    A “competitive market” as defined by people like Sam includes prison labor, child workers, and military crackdowns to keep wages low.

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t matter…what’s made overseas is the buisness of THOSE other nations. Don’t like how they produce things…don’t buy them. And just as you try to pressure people like CafePress not to sell stuff…”I’ll take two please…” to offset your arrogance. Money talks folks….and your boycott means nothing to the US consumer. Cheap goods will ALWAYS trump your ideologies.

  • Sam

    Yes unions make the cost of goods and services high. I’m a contractor. I never higher union workers. They cost me too much. I higher independents with a license. They cost way less and are motivated to work because they operate on reputation and not seriority. And I NEVER high illegals. My customers don’t want them around. And sorry…but ecomonics 101 states clearly…the best quality for the lowest price is the rule. And simply put…for the most part….you can get a better quality at a low price from oveseas…then people will buy it.

  • Jim

    Yeah, that’s what the Brits used to say about the slave trade, Anonymous.

    People are buying those union-made shirts, Sam. I guess they’re violating those iron-clad laws of economics. You should issue them some kind of ticket, I guess.

  • Fruktata

    You never would “higher” a teacher to instruct you in the proper use of the English language either, would you Sam? No, no, that would not be regarded as a quality worth the price for you, who just values a dollar, even if it comes on the back of forced child labor “highered” by the Chinese factories working to produce cheap things for American companies.

    If you operate your life only according to what you learn in economics 101, you’ll be poor man your whole life, Sam.

  • Sam

    Fruktata…a misspelling…I see that invalidates my post huh? Since one can’t edit a typo then I must be aware of the spelling Nazis…but I do bring in a six figure income for the most part. And have done it successfully for 5 years…even in a bad economy. (Funny how people can still add on to their homes in a recession)

    And as for Union made goods…I have no problem with that. If they make a good product at a reasonable price then I’ll buy it. That still exists. ie. the Auto industry.

    But this is like the Rain forest issue. “STOP CUTTING DOWN THE RAINFORESTS!” You can yell that all day. If Brazil wants to mow down all of it within their national boarders…what are YOU going to do about it? Send in the Marines? You can do nothing. Same with foriegn made goods. Untill the US can make the same goods at the same price….then it will not change until then…you’re talking to yourself.

    Cry a tear for the poor workers….great you do that. But if you won’t allow the US to go in and stop known national scantioned torture and executions…do you really think anyone will care about sending in force to stop a poor working envirnment? No they won’t.

  • HareTrinity

    That’s a very defeatist attitude Sam. Tell me, what DOES cause most political changes if not a slow sway of public opinion?

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