The American way of life is an expression that refers to the lifestyle of people living in the United States of America. It is an example of a behavioral modality, developed from the 17th century until today.
It refers to a nationalist ethos that purports to adhere to principles of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It has some connection to the concept of American exceptionalism and the American Dream.
During the time of the Cold War, the expression was commonly
used by the media to highlight the differences in living standards
of the populations of the United States and the Soviet Union.
At that time, American popular culture broadly embraced the idea that anyone, regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth, could significantly increase his or her standard of living through determination, hard work, and natural ability.
In the employment sector, this concept was expressed in the
belief that a competitive market would foster individual talent and a renewed interest in entrepreneurship. Politically, it took the form of a belief in the superiority of a free democracy, founded on a productive and economic expansion without limits.
It’s hard enough these days to find things that are actually made in the USA. With so many products being made overseas (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brazil), trying to find an authentically “American” product can be like finding a needle in a haystack. However, due to our own laws, it’s even more difficult than the average person can imagine.
It may sound unbelievable, but the federal government had to pass a law in order to determine which products sold in the US can actually be labeled as being “Made in the USA”. Made in the USA sounds like a basic concept: if something was made in the United States, can’t a “Made in the USA” label just be stuck on it? Ah, not so fast.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are certain standards that an item must meet before it can proudly wear the label “Made in the USA”.The first, and often most confusing, standard is the part of the law that states “’all or virtually all’ of the product must be made in the United States.” (www.ftc.gov). But, what does this really mean?
This is not easy to define, since the FTC, itself says, [it] “means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.” There’s no exact amount—no percentage stipulated in the law that deems an item “Made in the USA”. Why such a broad standard?
This is probably due to the fact that if the FTC only put the Made in the USA labels only on products made of materials and constructed only from the United States, there wouldbe almost nothing on the market that is “Made in the USA.” Therefore, there has to be some flexibility in the rules.Manufactures have to consider things such as where the bulk of the item, or the primary parts were made before putting the Made in the USA label on their product. This is not the only factor, though.
Where the product was assembled is also a factor that plays into the country of origin listing. It can be confusing, and product makers really need to do careful investigating into the origin of parts that go on a completed item.The FTC, while broad in its standards, does have the intent on protecting the consumer from false claims of Made in the USA products. Especially since September 11, 2001, when more people have become aware of their patriotism and devotion to all things American, the people of the US want to be assured that if they are going to go out of their way to buy products with the label of Made in the USA on it, that they are getting what they pay for.However, it should also be made more clear by the government what Made in the USA really means—as the majority of citizens probably aren’t even aware of how small a percentage of a product can be to be deemed “Made in the USA”.