Opinion

Something American-made under the tree

Christmas gifts can be surprising, such as the pair of socks I received with “made in the USA” stamped on them. This was unexpected, like unwrapping a can of refried beans made in France. I had no idea they make socks in the USA.

Upon closer inspection, it became clear why these particular socks were American made. They were high-tech socks, something the Chinese don’t have the technology to produce. I have plenty of Chinese-made socks and they’re just plain socks, made of cotton with room for your feet. China may be a growing economic threat to the U.S., but it’s comforting to know that the sock gap is still in our favor.

My new socks don’t just wick away moisture, as presumably Chinese socks do, but they actually channel perspiration and moisture up and out of the footwear, where it can quickly evaporate. Wonder if your neighbor supports American jobs? If his feet are wet, the answer is no.

My new socks do far more than just channel moisture. They have terry ribbed legs for support, smooth-loop toe seams, ultra-dense terry soles, anatomically formed Y-heel, a wall thickness of .15 inch, weight of 3 oz., height of 10-inches, and a mixture of five different fibers, including wool, Spandex, Nylon, Lumiza acrylic and Polypropylene. They had to insert the socks into a colorful cardboard holder depicting a mountain scene just to have room to print all their attributes.

I can’t imagine the Chinese ever overcoming the sock gap, not when they’re cranking out billions of pairs of old fashioned cotton socks. They make our TVs and stereos, appliances, desktops and laptops, and pretty soon all our cars and planes, but they’ll never figure out how to make socks with all the features of American socks.

I proudly wore my new socks into Wal-Mart the other day, knowing they had nothing in their store of similar, made-in-the-USA quality. I looked at other people’s socks sagging around their ankles, or wet with perspiration, and knew my socks were better. It made me proud to be an American, as when I was in Everett recently and saw the USS Abraham Lincoln. Watching an American-made aircraft while standing in American socks is a genuinely patriotic experience, one that can’t be duplicated in Chinese socks. I felt like the rest of my clothes were traitors, as they were made in China and elsewhere, but I refrained from the temptation of simply standing their in my socks, saluting the Lincoln. A guy can get arrested for that.

I no longer listen to people who fret that we’re losing our manufacturing base. As long as we’ve got socks and aircraft carriers made in the USA, we’ll continue to dominate the world. Except for the parts where they wear sandals.

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