A Monday Morning Memo from The Wizard of Ads
Have you noticed that recent pictures of America’s Uncle Sam show only his front side? No one has seen the back of Uncle Sam in more than 20 years. Could this be a government cover-up? Could it be that someone doesn’t want us to notice the Japanese toe prints on Uncle Sam’s butt?
Japan Incorporated has been kicking America’s butt for more than two decades. How did this happen? How did the label, “Made In Japan,” lose its stigma of inferior quality and become the worldwide mark of excellence?
Americans today prefer Japanese products. They make things better than we do. The result is a trade imbalance amounting to fifty-four thousand million dollars a year. Year after year, each man, woman, and child in America spends an average of $239 more to buy Japanese products than the typical Japanese person spends to buy ours. In effect, the average American family sends nearly $1,000 a year to a deserving family in Japan. We send them the money because they earned it. Sony. Seiko. Canon. Toshiba. Honda. Need I go on?
Uncle Sam first leapt from the pen of cartoonist Thomas Nast in 1838. The fiery gentleman with the jaunty goatee was Nast’s symbol for American ingenuity and determination. Sam stood for, “America! The Land Of Opportunity.” But somewhere along the way we quit thinking in terms of “opportunity” and began thinking in terms of “entitlement.” We quit asking for only a chance. We began demanding our rights.
Evidently, we have the right to wear Japanese toe prints on our butts.
Sam’s grand vision was once known as The American Dream. It was Sam’s pride and singleness of purpose that allowed us to become the richest nation on Earth. It was only after we became rich that we changed. We quit taking risks, quit trusting our gut, and started playing it safe. Today in New York harbor, Miss Liberty holds her lamp and explains to the world, “Sam can’t come out to play right now, he’s taking a nap.”
I say it’s time for Sam to stand up to his full height and shake himself. I say we show the world that we haven’t forgotten how to do it right, haven’t become lazy, and don’t intend to fall asleep at the wheel. I say we follow the lead of American auto makers and begin once more to build the best products on earth with our own hands, right here in the land of opportunity.
What do you say?
Roy H. Williams