Don Boudreaux makes good sense on why country of origin labels only tell part of the story of where a product comes from:
Yes, Mr. Hoch’s socks say “Made in Swaziland,” but who developed the computer software to operate the loom that wove the cloth used to make his socks? Who designed the loom itself? Who figured out how to transform crude oil into the elastic in the socks? Who devised the method for pooling risks so that the Swaziland factory is profitably insured against fire and that the cargo ship carrying his socks to America is profitably insured against sinking?
In fact, Mr. Hoch’s socks – and nearly everything else that he consumes – should be labeled “Made on earth,” for they truly are global phenomena.
Read the whole thing. Keep it in mind the next time someone grouses —falsely — that America doesn’t make anything anymore, or that Americans buy too many goods from foreigners.