Letter to the Editor

Closing: Losing little island of hope

Thursday, July 28, 2005

To the editor: Your story about the closing of Cape Shoe Co. was yet another reminder that American manufacturing employment is disappearing, taking with it an entire sector of well-paying jobs. Although Cape Shoe was not a major player on the footwear scene, the brand had built a loyal following and the company had received praise from many in the "Buy American" crowd.

Unfortunately, praise is not enough to convince an employer to remain in business. People in Cape Girardeau and elsewhere in the nation who wish to support businesses that keep jobs in the U.S. need to be customers, not just cheerleaders. We all have much to lose if our fellow citizens cannot find work.

The hidden costs of cheap consumer goods come in the dissolution of communities, growing cost of government programs for the under- and unemployed and erosion of the middle class.

I admire Eli Fishman, president of Cape Shoe, for his commitment to his products, workforce and community. Cape Girardeau has lost a local business, and the rest of us have lost a little island of hope. I urge your readers to seek out American-made products and use their consumer power to support companies that employ fellow Americans.

STEPHANIE SANZONE, Webmaster, www.StillMadeinUSA.com, Alexandria, Va.