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Built to Last?

John Turnbull

Posted on June 3, 2018 11:34

2 users

How manufacturers have switched from quality to quantity

It's a classic situation. People buy an older house and immediately get rid of the old appliances. I mean, where's the ice-maker? The digital readout on the fridge that gives time, date, weather, news and recipes? Why have a separate washer and dryer when one unit does the job of two? And coil burner elements on the stove? Fuggedaboutit.

So $10 grand (at least) later and the homeowner is ensconed in the latest in flashy appliance gadgetry, the real reason to have guests over for dinner. "We have surpassed the Jones's," the proud property owners telepathically convey to each other while passing around another round of frappaccinos.

The problem is, fast forward three years and all of the new appliances have broken down, usually within weeks of their respective warranties expiring. Now the fridge is nothing but a crappy laptop. So why is this? With all of our supposed technology, why can't we make a product that lasts? Simple: consumerism. Make something that lasts and the consumer won't have to buy another one for a significant amount of time. How can stockholders buy yet another house if profits went up a measly $50 million when the projection was for $100 million? That's a loss, I tell ya. Unacceptable!

You see, back in the stone ages (ie. before Internet) companies built products to last. They did this to get a leg up on the competition; our product is superior to yours because of craftmanship and durability. Good reputations steered the consumer towards a product and gained brand trust that often carried over for generations. Now, the crap that is put out under the guise of appliances is all made in the same plastic factory, the only difference being the different logo they glue on the front of it. Or so it certainly seems. That's why the companies (or company, LOL) upgrade the electronics - the bells and whistles - every two years, so we the shallow consumers want the new features and buy new stuff before the garbage breaks down on its own a year later. And credit card debt indicates a strong economy.

So you know that old fridge you gave me? It sits in my man-cave/garage and keeps my beers frosty cold. It works great. Yeah, it's a little noisy, I have to make my own ice cubes and I don't know what Trump's up to by reading the door, but it works great. I'd invite you over for a drink, but I know you can't afford to come over beause you just had to make a massive payment on your credit card for those new appliances. Maybe see you in a year. My fridge will still be working...

John Turnbull

Posted on June 3, 2018 11:34

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Source: KRQE 13

Bedbugs. Weird smells. The possibility of imminent breakdowns. People have all sorts of excuses for not buying used stuff....

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