Barbara, I feel your frustration, but I must say I don't think its fair to blame one region of the world per se. I blame a modernistic attitude to be honest with you...corporate greed.
Originally Posted by Barbara Gill
I don't think it really matters what country a product derives from, there is this ever increasing process that cheapens the product until its at near failure to reduce the production cost while maximizing profit. Its not just tires and tools, but everything. With China exporting a lot of their products, and being so big as it is, its only natural that they are going to seem like the villain when in fact no country is immune from this corporate epidemic of cheapening products and paying investors top dollar for lousy products.
As consumers we are not any better really. We want cheap, disposable products that do a purpose, then are tossed away and easily replaced. Nothing is serviceable because we won't pay for such a thing. Why fix when we can replace? The corporations are really just giving us what we demand.
In the past 2 months, the world financial debacle may change that, both for corporations and for us. Myself I would love to see us revert to something called true value, where a products life is measure in years instead of money saved at purchase. If the financial markets are at 7 decade lows, then my Grandmother tactics from the 1930's may be what we do in the ensuing years. I watch her wash sandwich baggies and reuse tin foil, save food scraps from my sheep and in short...just plain lets nothing go to waste.
If my own woodworking shop is illustrative its that the tools in my shop average out to a age of 50 years old. They were serviceable and repairable...even the ones built during the civil war (18 inch jointer). I remember one guy in Fine HomeBuilding who said his tactic was to buy a cheap tablesaw at every home he built and just leaving it for the homeowner because it was wiped out after the job. He simply passed the cost onto the homeowner in his build. I'm betting his tactics have changed in today's tight housing market, and if not, he's no longer building houses. That attitude just has to change. Ultimately its us consumers who drive the quality of products we get. Once we stop buying based on price, and buy according to real value, the corporations will likewise build what we are buying.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"