Posts Tagged ‘current news’
Tommi Crow, owner of Crow Erickson, Inc and inventor of the InfoTube and InfoBox battled Home Depot and Lowes…and WON!!! Now, she and her company get to keep selling their American Made products and her US workforce will stay employed.
To Read About this David vs Goliath Victory …CLICK HERE!!!!
Bank of America has come up with a new tool to deal with its glut of abandoned and foreclosed homes…. a Bulldozer.
Bank of America, the nations largest mortage servicer, plans to “donate” 100 blighted homes in Cleveland, OH and contribute cash toward their demolition. The bank has a similar plan for 100 homes in Detriot, 150 in Chicago, with 9 more cities to follow. Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Fannie Mae are also considering their own bulldozing programs.
Getting rid of repossesed homes is the biggest headache for US lenders. 1,679,125 homes ( 1 in every 77) are in some stage of foreclosure as of June. Lenders feel that no one will buy many of these homes and they”re trying to cut their losses. Bulldozing the problem away means the banks won’t owe property taxes to our floundering cities and it won’t have to pay for repairs, maintenance and upkeep on the property. In addition, there are some perks for giving away a house. The banks get a bunch of tax write-offs and best case… they may even get a pat on the back and some nice PR, too.
The idea of Bulldozing houses is nothing new. Although the banks are not blowing up homes for alturistic reasons…I think we can all agree that removing home inventory is good for all of us. In 2010, Warren Buffet advised that ”blow up a lot of houses” was a viable option and similar to ‘cash for clunkers’ auto program. I always thought bulldozing abandoned homes and returning the land to a raw state was a smarter solution than handing out money in the form of a homebuyer tax credit. The tax credit cost billions of dollars, put money into the hands of a few people blessed with good timing and did little to reduce inventory.
Bankers, why not take the “TNT” strategy one step further. Donate unwanted houses to local non-profits vs blowing them up? Make a call to Habitat for Humanity, for example? I can’t understand why Habitat is still building new homes, when we can’t get rid of the ones that are causing problems in our neighborhoods. Habitat needs to change their business model with the times and so do our lenders. Families, who are in dire need now, wait up to 6+ months for a new home to be built and the cost of building from scratch far exceeds the costs of rehabbing properties, in most cases.
Just my two cents….
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net FREE home selling website. Visit our site for free legal forms, home searches, home listings, marketing tools, advise and support! We are a 100% Made in the USA company.
Americans spent a staggering $52 BILLION on “Back to School Supplies” in 2010.
We believe that very little of your $52 BILLION spent at big box retailers benefited American companies and US workers.
If you are worried about the future of the US economy…. If you care about the millions of unemployed and homeless Americans…Make a Pledge that in 2011 you will buy Back to School Supplies that are Made in the USA!!! It’s that simple. Keep your money in your pocket and Say “NO” to rewarding retailers and companies that sell out American companies and support foreign workers.
It’s easier than you think to find American Made Back to School Supplies. Here is a short list of companies to get you started!
|Mimi the Sardine||ReUseIt.com|
|Mead (select items)||OfficeSupplySanity.com|
|Union Built PC||UnionBuiltPC.com|
|Green Guru (laptop sleeve)||Greenopia.com|
|Levis Capital E||Nordstrom.com|
|True Religion Jeans||TrueReligionJeans.com|
|Rock & Republic||RockandRepublic.com|
|Paige Premium Denim||PaigePremiumDenim.com|
|Rich & Skinny||RichandSkinnyJeans.com|
|Citizens of Humanity||CitizensOfHumanity.com|
|Rag & Bone||Rag-Bone.com|
|Fox River Socks||FoxSox.com|
|American Shoes and Boots|
|New Balance (select)||NewBalance.com|
SOURCE Made in the USA Foundation
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net. We have been making InfoTubes and InfoBoxes here in the USA since 1988. We appreciate your business and please visit our website for FREE home selling services. Thank You!
I, like all Americans, am greatly concerned with the failing US economy. I am sickened by the massive job layoffs in the USA and the forced closing of decades old American companies. I detest being forced to buy Chinese products, when 14 million Americans are looking for a work. And, it terrifies me to know that I can’t find Made in the USA products to buy, no matter how hard I search.
I pray everyday that things haven’t gone too far. I am in a battle right now to save my own 20+ year old company and the jobs of the people who work here, from a similiar fate. In trying to save my own company, I learned a little bit about what has gone wrong in the US over the past 10 years. Perhaps the following excerpt from the Economic Policy Insitute can help us all understand what happened and what we need to do to turn this tide around before we can’t.
“China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) was supposed to bring it into compliance with an enforceable, rules-based regime, which would require that it open its markets to imports from the United States and other nations.
The United States also negotiated a series of special safeguard measures designed to limit the disruptive effects of surging Chinese imports on domestic producers. However, the core of the agreement failed to include any protections to maintain or improve labor or environmental standards.
As a result, China’s entry into the WTO has further tilted the international economic playing field against domestic workers and firms, and in favor of multinational companies (MNCs) from the United States and other countries.” Robert Scott, Economic Policy Institute.
Now, we at least have an explanation of why the US market has been flooded by cheap, defective and often, dangerous Chinese imports since 2001, only in the last ten years. Now, I better understand why US companies suddenly find they can no longer compete in a free marketplace that they innovated and dominated.
3 Things YOU can do today to stop further destruction to the USA and our way of life:
#1 Please Stop using CHEAP as your #1 buying criteria.
$1 Dollar spent in the US, circulates 7 times in our economy. You pay the for a T-shirt, the T-shirt maker pays a seamstress, the seamstress gets her hair done in your beauty shop. In other words, the same $10 spent on a Chinese T-shirt really cost $70, because your dollar is gone and you get nothing more.
Instead, make Quality, Safety and MADE IN THE USA the #1 buying criteria, when you shop. Use the internet. If you find no other selections or choices in your big box stores, complain to the retailer and tell them why it matters. They do listen.
#2 If you can not find a US made product to buy, buy as little as you possibly can.
If you love those Old Navy jeans, buy one pair. Don’t buy one of every color just because they are so cheap. Check out Goodwill stores before you buy. Goodwill has bargains that will send Wal-mart running in fear for once. Goodwill has great bargains on work clothes, coats, prom dresses, Halloween costumes, housewares, etc. and they are a fabulous, not for profit organization that recycles, job traines, hires thousands of US workers and supports local communities.
#3 Get LOUD with your local government and politicians.
Email, Call, Attend Meetings. Make sure your local taxes support Made in the USA businesses. Then, demand that your national representives in Washington ”Walk the Talk” and protect US jobs by legislating tariffs and restrictions on imports.
Thank you for listening to our opinion on Chinese imports and thank you for visiting InfoTube.net. We are in this fight to stay, regardless of the outcome in our personal battle to Save InfoTube and InfoBox from Chinese copycats. If you have a story or have information for us about US jobs, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a home to sell and want to advertise it FREE on the internet, visit our website InfoTube.net and place an ad.
Our discussions with The Hillman Group and our fight to save InfoTube, InfoBox and American jobs is still ongoing. Our face-to-face meeting with senior management at Hillman is scheduled for next Wednesday, June 15th. We hope to have “Good News” to share!!!
Please continue to Sign Our Petition to Save American Jobs . We are approaching 600 signatures and the comments made by concerned Americans is powerful, enlightening and motivating.
For those of you who fear things have gone too far with China. For those who think that little people stand no chance of influencing big corporations. For those who believe that the people in power don’t listen and don’t care …I have some encouraging news for you that disproves those fears.
The Smithsonian opened its Made in America gift shop yesterday and ABC News went shopping. The US made products offered in the new store were just what you would expect to find, when looking for a souvenir to take home. They looked no different than the previous products that were purchased from the Chinese and they didn’t cost anymore, either.
A manager for the Smithsonian was so happy with the results and consumer feedback, he said the store wants more Made in the USA products to put in the store. Buyers for the Smithsonia will be attending Made in the US trade shows and they are asking US businesses to contact them about their merchandise.
If you or your company make or manufacture a product that would fit the retail niche offered at the Smithsonian gift shop, click the link below and submit your goods to their buyers. Think souveniers…T-shrits, earring, caps, hats, postcards, etc. Wouldn’t it be cool to see your products at the Smithsonian? I certainly wish I could find a reason for them to sell InfoTubes and InfoBoxes!!!
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net. We will keep you posted on our efforts to save American jobs and promote American business!!
Hillman Group VP Dan Smercina wrote the following email reply to Ms King last week….
This is to acknowledge your recent e-mail and interest in The Hillman Group. While it is our strict corporate policy to keep all supplier information confidential, I want to assure you that your message was sent to the appropriate parties within our company.
Thank you for expressing your opinion and please be assured Hillman remains committed to providing top quality products, competitive prices and ‘World-Class’ service to our valued customers.
Vice President of Marketing
The Hillman Group, Inc.
Ms King’s response to Hillman and Mr Smercina
Thank you for responding to my email. As mentioned below, Crow-Erickson is my client so I am well informed about the details of this issue.
I hope that as you move forward, you will make a genuine effort to resolve this matter in Crow-Erickson’s favor. However, further cutting her profit margin to replace your volume manufacturing discounts or other arrangements with the China government and China vendors does not solve the problem. It only serves to keep you in the $$$ loop and give you a conversation point to share with the public about “how hard you tried”.
These are the questions that you should be addressing:
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
Will it beneficial to all concerned?
In case you do not recognize these questions, this is the 4-Way Test for every member of Rotary International – all 1.2M members, business people from 235 countries around the world. These guiding principals have led this organization for 106 years.
As Lowes and Home Depot move forward in their “Buy America” campaign, somewhere in the back of their minds they must know that it is only a matter of time before the world knows the truth.
As you are aware, a growing number of people are watching how you handle this issue. They watching to see if you, indeed, will choose to “Buy America” as well.
Carol L King, CPA
Carol L King & Associates, PA … 40 N French Broad Avenue … Asheville NC 28801… 828-258-2323. fax 828-258-9982
It is a time to remember those we have lost. Time to remember those who proudly served this country and gave their lives for our freedoms.
It is also the kickoff to the summer vacation and driving season. With that in mind, take one minute and Click the Areyourc Link below (not sure why the video didn’t post in a frame) to watch this video about adjusting your side mirrors.
After years of driving, I NEVER thought of doing it this way. I
thought I needed to see just a little of my own car on each side, but
readjusted the mirror on my car today. Watch this video & I’ll bet you do too!
One easy adjustment can save lives this Memorial Day, maybe even the life of someone you love.
Thank you for supporting InfoTube and have a safe Memorial Day holiday.
I think that continuing to send requests to ABC news (the direct link is below) would really be helpful for moving our negotiations forward and for highlighting this David and Goliath story.
My recent experiences have proven that the tide of consumer awareness is shifting in our country. The grass roots support for American business, workers and products is gaining momentum quickly and we all need to stay involved to turn our economy and future around.
I would encourage everyone to submit your favorite American made products to ABC News.
I hope to see a lot of love for InfoTube and InfoBox, of course, but I know that a lot of American businesses are fighting against the outsourcing tsunami, as well. Each one of them would appreciate your support and there is no limit on the number of products you can submit.
Thank you again for all your help!!!! Without you, we wouldn’t be here today. Please mention us to ABC News…I would love to tell our story to Diane Sawyer
President, Crow Erickson, Inc.
After months of silence , Crow Erickson, Inc. received a telephone call today from senior management at The Hillman Group, distributor of InfoTube and InfoBox for Lowes and Home Depot stores.
We feel the sole reason for this communication is due to the pouring of support and the hundreds of emails and inquiries sent on our behalf.
Although, a decision has not been made about the outsourcing of our products to China, we do feel that we have some positive news to share with you for the first time.
On behalf of everyone at Crow Erickson, Caplugs and our associates, we want to extend our deepest Thanks for all your continued effort and support. We hope that a resolution can be reached, now that the lines of communication have been opened.
We will be sure to keep you posted on the outcome of our ongoing negotiations. Made in America matters to us all.
President, Crow Erickson, Inc.
I was interviewed on Clear Channel News this morning about our Fight to Save our Company and American jobs from the chinese, copycat imports of InfoBox that are being brought into the US by The Hillman Group, distributors for Lowes, Home Depot and Menards.
After the radio interview, we received a call from Senator Richard Burr’s (R) office to inquire about our story. The Senator’s office is looking into the matter to determine how they can help. Thank you, Senator Burr!
I would like to say a BIG thank you to Jerri Jameson at WWNC News Radio 570 for having us on her show this morning.
Thanks for following our story and for your support! Please continue to sign our petition and send emails to Lowes, Home Depot and Menardsn telling them that InfoTube and InfoBox SHOULD NOT be replaced with chinese imports.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Home Improvement Stores Outsource American Jobs to China Home Depot, Lowe’s vendor ignores U.S. patents, outsources popular INFOBOX®
ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (May 10, 2011)—Recently, Hillman Group, vendor to national DIY home-improvement retail giants Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Menards, replaced the store’s popular American-made INFOTUBE® and INFOBOX® products with Chinese factory replicas.
INFOTUBE® literature boxes were invented 23 years ago in a garage in Dallas, TX, to provide Realtors®, builders and homeowners with an affordable way to sell their homes. Today, millions of these patented real-estate literature boxes are being used in neighborhoods across America.
In March, Hillman informed Crow Erickson it was replacing INFOTUBE® and INFOBOX® products effective immediately, leaving thousands of boxes stranded on the docks and effectively closing the doors of the Asheville, NC-based manufacturer and inventor. Caplugs® factory jobs in Erie, PA and Buffalo, NY will also be affected, two areas already hard hit in this economy.
Crow Erickson’s patent attorney has inspected the Chinese product, currently available on Home Depot’s website, and it does appear to be copy of the INFOBOX® design, something Hillman insiders have conceded. The Chinese knockoff provides no cost savings to the consumer.
This is not the first time Hillman has ignored U.S. patents and put American jobs in jeopardy, including the hundreds of disabled and handicapped American workers that Crow Erickson has employed at competitive wages in partnership with vocational rehabilitation centers.
In the 1990s, Hillman tried to outsource INFOTUBE® products, a patent violation against which Crow Erickson took legal action. The settlement required Hillman to renew its contract for INFOTUBE® and agree not to compete in its product niche.
Apparently Hillman is banking on the rising cost of lawsuits to deter the small, woman-owned business from pursuing legal remedy this time around.
Crow Erickson has made numerous direct appeals to the Hillman Group and senior management at Lowe’s and Home Depot, citing its 20+ year successful partnership, patent concerns, and a desire to work with all parties for a mutually beneficial and cost-competitive resolution.
To date, Crow Erickson has not been able to engage Hillman, Lowe’s or Home Depot in any meaningful discussion and has been left with no recourse other than pursue costly legal action or close its doors and watch another American-made product fall victim to Chinese factories.
Crow Erickson is currently launching a public media campaign to save American jobs. More information can be found on www.infotube.net and the company’s blog. INFOTUBE® is also sponsoring an online petition to save American jobs from export to China which can be viewed and signed on The Petition Site at Help-Save-American-Jobs.
President, Crow Erickson, Inc.
800-858-6000 (o) 828-230-2260 (cel)
Yesterday, I shared the story of our fight to save our small, US company from obliteration with my small circle of friends, family and collegues. Our news must have hit a nerve in a number of people because the number of Facebook posts, emails and phone calls I have received in support of our situation has been nothing short of phenominal!
I have 3 Things to Report to You, so far!
First, WE ARE STILL IN BUSINESS!!! We have received a number of calls from concerned customers that we are no longer manufacturing product. I am happy to report that we are still working and don’t intend to stop anytime soon. Everyone can order product directly from our website, via fax, phone or email.
Secondly, and sadly, we have received no response from Lowes, Home Depot or The Hillman Group.
Thirdly, our fight to save the little, and in the scheme of things, perhaps insignificant, InfoBox and InfoTube has inspired and motivated so many of you. Your support has really picked up morale here and words can’t express you how much we need it and how thankful we are.
Truefully, I’m not sure whether the idea of a chinese knockoff, swinging on “For Sale” signs in front of American homes, many of which are foreclosed, touched a raw nerve…or, whether the idea of a forced layoff of hard working Americans, many disabled and handicapped, was infuriating…or, whether the picture of one of the last American made products, being washed away in a chinese tsunami was just too much to take…but, the anger and frustration that you are expressing about our retailers and their lack of support for available American products is powerful, loud and clear! WE DON’T UNDERSTAND AND WE HATE IT!
i pray that they are listening. I have proudly worked with the largest retailers in the land for nearly 20 years. My growth, as a company, I owe to them. I still believe in them. I believe that they care what their customers think and they want to deliver what we want to buy. Your voice matters, so please keep sending those heartfelt emails and Facebook posts. Eventually, our voice will reach someone in charge who cares.
Thank you for your support and for sharing our story with your friends and collegues. I will issue updates and share any information or responses I receive, so you can follow our progress. We hope every second of the day that we will have something good to report!
Crow Erickson—a small, woman-owned company—is a quintessential American success story. INFOTUBE® literature boxes were invented 23 years ago in my garage in Dallas, TX, to provide Realtors®, builders and homeowners with an affordable way to sell their homes.
INFOTUBE® was an immediate success and quickly made its way into every major retail home improvement store across the country, where they have been sold for more than 20 years by retail giants like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Over the years, our company has provided meaningful, competitively paid work for hundreds of disabled and handicapped Americans.
Today, our patented INFOTUBE® and INFOBOX® literature dispensers are used by millions of home sellers, Realtors® and home builders every day. You can find them in neighborhoods across America, very likely even your own.
Recently, our largest distributor, The Hillman Group, without notice, replaced our patented products with Chinese replicas. Their decision effectively puts our company out of business and, ironically, provides no cost savings for the consumer.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
1. Please copy and paste the following letter or write your own:
I am writing to request that your company take a stand to protect American jobs by continuing to carry successful American-made products, specifically INFOTUBE® and INFOBOX®.
“Made in America” matters to me and so does supporting our U.S. economy. I do not support companies who outsource American jobs to China.
Please continue to support all Americans including the American companies whose products you currently carry on your shelves.
2. Email it to the decision makers at Lowe’s, Home Depot and the Hillman Group.
Drew Strole (Lowe’s) Drew.D.Strole@Lowes.com
Bill Boltz (Home Depot) Bill_Boltz@homedepot.com
Dan Smercina (Hillman) Dan.Smercina@hillmangroup.com
3. Please forward this letter to everyone in your contact circle.
4. For an up to the minute update on the status of this situation and the response of the retail giants, watch our blog, follow us on Twitter @Infotubes or Like our Facebook Page “InfoTube for Real Estate”.
Your voice and your time matter. Thank you for helping us in our fight save our company, American products and American jobs. Together we can make a difference!
Tommi Crow, President
Crow Erickson, Inc.
We don’t know who wrote this piece about the environment and recycling, but we thought it was great. Hope you find it enlightening, too!
The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”
The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”
He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles
to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.
In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator in
every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’t
climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.
Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the
throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her
Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room.
And the TV had a small screen the size of a hankerchief, not a screen the size
of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand
because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up
old newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the
lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or
a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their
writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor
blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the
blade got dull.
But they didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to
school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi
They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to
power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the
nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks
were just because they didn’t have the green thing back then? Author unknown
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