Sunday, January 08, 2012

Giving the consumer what he wants

So we should make more stuff in America, you say? So here's the question: Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is?

Look. Shit didn't start getting made overseas because it was better. It started getting made overseas because it was cheaper. I mean, c'mon. Ya got slave labor in Vietnam making underwear, and they're paid a few pennies a day in rice and fish. That's *always* going to be cheaper.

But you say you are willing to pay 50 cents extra for a package of American made underwear? Dude. That experiment's been done. Fruit of the Loom tried it. It didn't work. They went bankrupt and Warren Buffet moved all their production overseas when he took them over.

Same deal with those hard drives made in Thailand, the ones that caused a world-wide shortage when Thailand was hit with flooding. They're about $20 cheaper than if they were made down the street from me in the Western Digital plant that used to make consumer drives back in the early 90's. It might as well be infinity, because once again, people weren't willing to pay a price premium to buy an American made consumer drive. Businesses still happily pay the price premium to buy American-made server-grade SAS drives because they care about quality and reliability as much as they care about price and the American-made drives are simply better quality, but consumers won't buy American-made consumer drives because they cost a sawbuck too much.

Given all this, why *should* business give a shit about America and Americans? I mean, c'mon. American consumers quite clearly have said they don't give a shit about America and Americans, so if the consumers don't care, why should businesses care? It's not as if businesses are charities, after all. They're in business to make money, and if consumers say "we want low prices and don't care that the goods are made in Vietnam", why *should* businesses care? They're just giving consumers what consumers want!

Which is just another reason why WASF...

-- Badtux the Contrarian Penguin


  1. My family does an unknown recipient gift exchange, where all the gifts go into a pile and we pick numbers to see in what order people select from the pile. Price limit is $30, and this year Mom-in-law added a new rule that said gifts must be made in the U.S. It was hard! Dishware and food were the bulk of the gifts. I cheated for my gift and wrapped up a handmade beaded keychain fob; while my cost of beads was low (and the centerpiece was a Wyoming elk antler point) I didn't count my labor.

  2. They're just business men, many of them may live in this country but the companies are multinational, of course they don't give a shit.

    And even small businesses sell a lot of stuff made in other countries, they couldn't stay in business if they didn't.

    Our days are numbered, deal with it.

  3. I believe that Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying ""We must all hang together, or surely, we will all hang separately!"

    The day the young men of this country shrug off the concept that they should be blamed individually for the failures corrupt capitalism is a day too late for the old rich bastards to start running.

    All the things you mentioned were made in the U.S., clothes, jeans, appliances, dishware, electronics and we all seemed to be able to afford them. Now that they are made in China a full third of us live in poverty.

    What does a poor man care what a rich man pays for something he could never purchase?

  4. It's a vicious circle. With stagnant wages it becomes harder to afford the better product so people yell about the price. The work goes to less expensive countries but the rich cocksuckers want more so the wages stagnate or even fall, a while longer. And on and on, till a majority can not afford much of anything. Maybe survival, certainly not the good stuff. And the fucking rich get richer and everyone else gets to suck hind tit.

  5. I am not sure most Americans understand the connection between their own purchasing decisions and the labor market. And even when they do, it is difficult to the point of being nearly impossible to buy all US made products. I know some people who come pretty close but their lifestyles are what I would consider to be extreme.

    @karen off topic I know but I have to say that your family's tradition sounds really cool.

  6. Good news though for folks like me who are thinking about buying a new TV.

    HDTVs Now Made in America (Detroit even!)

  7. Detroit is apparently now officially a third world country -- cheaper to make stuff there than in Thailand.

    That said, I suspect these are going to be high end "enthusiast" televisions, not the kind you find in Wal-Mart. I've never heard of this company, and you certainly aren't going to start up a new electronics company by going after the low end market, not unless you have a death wish -- Samsung and LG are gonna whip your butt there, they have the economies of scale and deep pockets to pretty much kill anybody who tries directly competing with them there. And what they don't drive out, the new cheaper Chinese brands now slowly trickling in will...

    - Badtux the Manufacturing Penguin


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