Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

U.S. museums (Smithsonian) agree with U.S. senator (Sanders) to sell more products made by U.S. workers

Smithsonian talking bobblehead of Vulcan Spock says buy American made productsIt took a senator to get the message across to the Smithsonian folks about a growing movement to buy products made in America.

Vermont's first-term Bernie Sanders is an independent who calls himself a democratic socialist and caucuses with Democrats.

He says he's extracted a commitment from Smithsonian Institution officials to begin selling more USA products within 90 days.

Or else, Sanders says, he's prepared to introduce legislation to force such a policy on the vast conglomerate of 19 museums and nine research centers with some 30 million visits annually and gift shop/catalog sales above $40 million.

In a January letter to the museum, the mayor-turned-senator wondered why a museum system owned by the people of the United States celebrating the history of the United States could not find United States companies employing United States workers to make mini-busts of United States Founding Fathers, among other things.

The word "pathetic" also appeared in Sanders' letter.

Many products on sale in the Smithsonian's network of shops, from stuffed space bears to jewelry and computer gear, are made you-know-where by you-know-Hu.

Initially, museum representatives made the familiar claim that American-made products were too expensive or hard to find. ABC News' Jonathan Karl and Ben Forer found one thriving USA-only shop just blocks away that helps support some 400 American craftsmen. 

However, now that politicians on committees controlling the museum are interested, museum officers this week decided to compromise and do it Sanders' way -- to do a better U.S. job of helping the U.S. economy with U.S. products on sale in the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum and museums housing American artworks.

Sanders announced the museum commitments Wednesday, including one to open a new shop, called the Price of Freedom, selling only U.S-made products in time for this summer's busy Capitol tourist season.

Sanders, whose term expires next year, is himself made in the USA, having been born in New York City almost 70 years ago.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Speaking of American-made, click here to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends. Very few animals were slaughtered in the production of this item.

Photo: Smithsonian catalog (Even Vulcan Spock urges online customers to buy American-made).

 
Comments () | Archives (3)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I agree with the Senator on this one. I was in the Air and Space gift shop this past fall and couldn't find anything made in the US. I would have paid a sigificant premium for a plane or space model made in the US.

Smithsonian should purchase ornaments that Made in the USA. I

Have you forgotten the experiment carried out by someone...like "can we survive without buying Made-in-China for a month?". Face the music, man.


Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics


Categories


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: