Wednesday, August 08, 2007

America You've Got Problems

America has a problem. We are bunch of garage saling, bargain chasing cheapskates. And while frugality in itself isn't bad, when you do so and end up with merchandise that is poor quality, dangerous or simply inoperative, it sort of defeats the purpose. So we have China. China likes to bill itself as a poor little third world country. They undercut pricing of domestic producers of food, clothing and other products. American wholesalers always liked to think it was simply a matter of lower pay-so many companies moved manufacturing to China. Well guess what, when you don't have a factory in the United States, you also don't have inspectors that can assure high quality of the products. So we end up with killer pet food, possibly dangerous toiletries and now, toys made with outlawed lead based paint. There's a message here for manufacturers AND for consumers- First of all-Cheaper is not always better. In fact many times it is far worse. Secondly-People who aren't paid very much, don't really give a darn about quality. Thirdly-You really do get what you pay for.

We've become a nation of consumers. And a nation that largely doesn't know basic maintenance on any of its own products. My sons and husband did most of the work on all of our cars, but there are kids out there gifted with a better car than I have ever owned, who barely know how to put gas in. I had a student show up late one day because she didn't understand the oil idiot light was important. She burned up an engine on a brand new Honda-a Sweet Sixteen gift. I know kids who have super computers, but don't know how to change their type fonts. C'mon folks, there's more to life than just buying things and throwing them away. That is TRUE environmentalism-and true conservatism as well.

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