America Is A Dumping Ground For Junk

Roosh

Cardinal
Originally posted on RooshV.com

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In the past two decades, the quality of products I purchase online or in retail stores has greatly declined. Most of what I buy today are not even finished products—they require a bit of tinkering or modification to perform as advertised, regardless of how many “five star” reviews they’ve garnered. I’m coming to the realization that corporations see us as fools who will buy anything, and will keep unloading junk onto us because we’ll keep buying it.

A friend told me a curious fact. Weber barbecue grills that are sold in America are made in China, while the Weber grills sold in Germany are made in the United States. Why wouldn’t American-made grills be sold to Americans instead of being shipped halfway across the world? “Because Americans prefer cheaper prices over quality, so they buy the inferior grills made in China. Germans do not tolerate inferior quality, so they get the better-made grills that are produced here.”

Could it be that Americans prefer junk over quality? It’s not like we’re an impoverished country (not yet, anyway) whose citizens can’t afford to spend $10 more on a grill that lasts twice as long, if not forever. I can’t help but recall my most recent purchases and how they’re faring.

—I bought a bed frame and mattress from Ikea. Within a day, I noticed a loud creak whenever I moved. I looked on YouTube and—judging by the view counts—thousands of other people had the same problem. After trying a few remedies, the only one that worked was coating the inside of the frame with duct tape to minimize friction with key contact points.

—When I lived in Europe, I don’t remember ever having to replace a pillow, but in America, pillows quickly turn into flat rocks. It’s like they have a self-destruct mechanism built right in. Pillow manufacturers are obliterating the lifespan of a pillow by saving a few cents using inferior polyester filling.

—I bought a screwdriver set from Amazon that came with a dozen bits. On the very first time I used it to tighten a screw, one of the bits started stripping.

—My mom told me she needed a knife set, so I bought her one at a department store. I made sure not to buy the cheapest set because I wanted them to last my mother for the remainder of her life. It didn’t even last a year. The handles all became loose, and one of them detached completely from the blade.

—I bought a three-pack of Type C USB cables from Amazon with “heavy duty” coating. In three years, all of the cables have failed. I fondly remember how USB cables would last forever, and grew up not knowing that it was even possible for them to fail.



—During my long USA road trip, the weather was getting cool so I bought a pair of gloves from Walmart. There was a stiff tag on the inside that was stabbing my skin and turning it red. I had to use my Swiss Army Knife to surgically remove the tag, which was aggressively sewed into the fabric.

—One Asus laptop I bought was not completely level when placed flat on a desk. I fixed it through the use of velcro pads. Another laptop I bought had protruding keys that left marks on the screen. If a laptop unit is defective in any way, I’m guessing that they dump it to the Americans.

—I use a soft lighting box for my live streams. The light bulbs are meant to last for hundreds of hours, but one burned out after I used it for less than fifty.

—A fan I bought from Target made a clicking sound so loud that it disturbed my sleep. I had to stuff folded paper into the mechanism to silence it.

—When buying t-shirts from a store like H&M, I learned that they are all different even if they’re the same size. I must now try on multiple shirts of the exact same cut and size to find one that is not defective. This is difficult in the post-coronavirus world where you may not be able to try on clothing.

I could go on. Almost everything I buy is junk. One of the few items I have bought that is not junk is a Japanese-made hand coffee grinder. I’ve been using it for years and besides the fault of a slightly bent steel notch (from all the grinding), it works perfectly. In fact, when I think of my possessions that have lasted, the only real winner is my 1999 Toyota 4Runner, which was also made in Japan. Even my fancy Samsung Galaxy S9, a premium phone (made in China), has started to have camera focusing problems, and I’ve only had it for two years. In essence, all my possessions are junk. I own a little junkyard. I’m like Redd Foxx in the old television show Sandford and Son. Maybe I can combine my possessions with yours so we can have an even bigger junkyard.

I don’t know how to even begin solving this problem. Do I simply buy the most expensively priced item of whatever I’m looking for, only to find out that I’m still buying junk albeit with a fancier brand name? Or do I seek out craftsmen who are making items by hand? Or maybe I can buy the wires and plastics to make a USB cable myself. Until I create my own workshop, whenever I need something I go to Amazon, Target, or Walmart, and willingly and knowingly buy a piece of junk that I know will not last. It’s not a good feeling.

I want to punish those who are selling me junk by not buying their products, but the economy is so centralized around only a handful of producers that that would be impossible. If I need a fan, there are only a couple of options, and they’re probably all made by Kung Pao Trading Company. When globalization was sold to us as “cheaper prices,” they concealed the downside of inferior products. It’s no surprise that a people who tolerate junk are also seeing their country’s politics and culture turn into junk. I wonder if it’s all related.

Read Next: The Goal Of Corporations Is Not To Make Money
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I've also been noticing this especially more with products (Electronic Items, Wiring, Clothing and Furniture) purchased in the last decade, more than ever.

In fact, I'm in the process of moving again, and as I've been repackaging items, I can't tell you how many items I have, things which have also not been used in a while that either have disintegrated, cracked, broken apart or otherwise have incurred damage and it's been making me question whether it's even worth it to continue ever buying any more electronics and certain items as time moves forward.

What would be the point. Electricity will keep getting more expensive and maybe soon it will only be reserved for special classes, but it will also mean having to replace products more and more often, especially items which are "Green Engineered".

One thing is for sure, because the American economy (unlike Europe) is modeled based on having to fuel over-consumption, the products are engineered to be this way with planned obsolescence, all in an effort to get Americans to buy more and more and more than they frequently need to.

Even T-Shirts, Jeans and Boots which used to literally last me for YEARS and retain their color for even 5 years, in the past decade they all wear out, sometimes unravel and definitely lose their colors in 6 months!

I was just thinking the other day again too how annoyed I am with the different fit of certain Jeans and Shirts, even buying the same products again and finding that there is a different "color tone" and "fit", all because the Manufacturing Plants differ from country to country and rely on slightly altered materials or methods. A shirt I frequently buy had origins in India, at other times Vietnam, and most recently Egypt. And the ones in Egypt are thin as hell and have a more dull appearance in the color fabric.

Cell Phone USB Charging cables and Earplugs I've bought in the past couple of years start to also last only about 6 months at best, they start doing exactly what is shown in that photo example you posted above.

I have Cables, an old Sony Receiver and a Panasonic CD Player from the 90's that are still intact and have taken a lot of heavy use and wear on them, even have been stored in extremely cold, humid and damp conditions and yet they are still working and in impeccable condition. Not a single function not working or a broken button or anything that has degraded in performance in them.

As far as light bulbs go, you must always make sure you don't buy the New "Green" technology bulbs. They always die out within about a month. But getting the old style bulbs which use the regular rate of electricity are becoming more difficult to find, unless you opt for the higher wattage bulbs.

I've also found more cases of Duracell Batteries leaking in the packages not long after purchasing them with decent expiration dates, so this means there are many "bad eggs" being made for batteries. Poor manufacturing of the cells and they leak.

A lot of newer products on the market these days are FAR less tolerant to temperature extremes and change, especially Humidity and fluctuations, and this leads to unbelievable things "yellowing" or just "cracking", in ways that I never have experienced with older items I've bought.

All of this is also being done in a joint economic agreement with the USA and China (on behalf of the Financial Interests that run the USA) in an effort to further indebt and enslave Americans.

I am not sure if you heard this, but as China and the East is becoming the new Power / Economic Bloc in the world for the 21st century, China has not only demonstrated in past years but also even more aggressively in recent times that they are pursuing to maintain trade relations with Europe - namely the EU - but have no Trade Agreement or Plan to continue it with the United States. The US is being continuously left out of many Trade Talks and other Meetings.
 
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I agree with every word written here. It is all junk, cheap junk, expensive junk, name brand? Junk. All of it. I find it difficult to buy anything, I am very picky. I was born in the sixties and grew up in a different time but still deteriorating. Food? Restaurants? All garbage, the quality has went straight to hell. I do not even eat out. My brother was sick last week, bought him some Nyquil, used to be the stuff to put you out and fix you up, Nope, not anymore. Houses? Give me a break, cheap crap not meant to last. But of course, if stuff was quality and lasted for generations well then you wouldn't have to buy anymore, no money to be made there. I used to have one of those GI can openers, got it when I was early teens in the scouts, had it my whole life, always worked, never bent. Lost it about five years ago, no prob I thought, I will just buy me another one. NOPE, first use and it bent all out of shape, Junk, Crap all of it. I will hold off and save money just so I can buy something that won't break, bend or otherwise fail me but even that is a gamble.

Very angry with this whole thing.
 

DanielH

Pelican
Cars in general are junk now. They've packed them full of electronics with wires that won't last 10 years. Cars are like cell phones. Flashy junk that doesn't last. BMW is funny in that they'll put a diesel that can last 500,000 miles or more into a car that won't last 150,000.

As a diesel engineer, my colleagues and I cringe whenever they add these new electronic systems to diesel generators. When something is supposed to keep you afloat in a pinch, you want as few variables as possible. Every line of code, every wire they add is a new potential point of failure and reduces the life of your system. Your diesel, if properly maintained, will outlast whatever electronic hardware you put on it, and you don't want to rely on some special battery or CPU being available a decade from now.
 
Cars in general are junk now. They've packed them full of electronics with wires that won't last 10 years. Cars are like cell phones. Flashy junk that doesn't last. BMW is funny in that they'll put a diesel that can last 500,000 miles or more into a car that won't last 150,000.

As a diesel engineer, my colleagues and I cringe whenever they add these new electronic systems to diesel generators. When something is supposed to keep you afloat in a pinch, you want as few variables as possible. Every line of code, every wire they add is a new potential point of failure and reduces the life of your system. Your diesel, if properly maintained, will outlast whatever electronic hardware you put on it, and you don't want to rely on some special battery or CPU being available a decade from now.
Yep exactly. It's all called "Clown World Central Manufacturing". You buy a Mercedes or BMW and its parts are built in Mexico or somewhere else, rather than Germany and the parts are likely built in China. Almost everything is both computerized and built with OEM specifications all to make it harder for you to replace any of the hardware or perform any work on your vehicles and needing special equipment to service it.

Nothing is what it seems anymore at all, between people and products. Everything has a gimmick attached and we're all expected to pay even more on top of it!
 
Cars in general are junk now. They've packed them full of electronics with wires that won't last 10 years. Cars are like cell phones. Flashy junk that doesn't last. BMW is funny in that they'll put a diesel that can last 500,000 miles or more into a car that won't last 150,000.

As a diesel engineer, my colleagues and I cringe whenever they add these new electronic systems to diesel generators. When something is supposed to keep you afloat in a pinch, you want as few variables as possible. Every line of code, every wire they add is a new potential point of failure and reduces the life of your system. Your diesel, if properly maintained, will outlast whatever electronic hardware you put on it, and you don't want to rely on some special battery or CPU being available a decade from now.
Yeah, and you can't even work on your own car anymore, had a 73 LTD at one time, easy as hell to keep it running and hardly ever had any problems.
 

DanielH

Pelican
Yeah, and you can't even work on your own car anymore, had a 73 LTD at one time, easy as hell to keep it running and hardly ever had any problems.

I have two very close friends who bought 2004 Ford Rangers just because you can still work on them. They have problems, and they've made it their hobby to fix them. One of them swapped out the automatic transmission for a manual by himself. Can't do this with new cars. Can't even change your own oil with a lease!

Hopefully we have a soft collapse like Russia in the 90s which forces men to become more resourceful than ever without mass death instead of a violent and rapid collapse.
 
Quality has definitely declined in nearly everything.
Perhaps we should start a master (sorry for the microagression) list of quality manufacturers.
They are out there but usually at a 'premium' but if you look at what the cost of things was before the flood of cheap and cheaply made Chinese manufactured products, it probably was about the same. Also we got by with less. When I was in high school most guys -even in a upper middle class suburban high school - had just a few pairs of pants and shirts, sneaker, one pair of shoes and one pair of 'nice' shoes, and one 'nice' pair of trousers and a jacket. Now?
In college we got by with even less simply because we had to keep it mobile.

One problem is that it's difficult for quality or even rightly made things to compete in this 'cheap' market. The same way that people who grow real food have trouble competing with agribusiness. I think Roosh mentioned this in American Pilgrim.

Even something as simple as index cards- the ones that are called 'card stock' are no thicker than construction paper.
 
Quality has definitely declined in nearly everything.
Perhaps we should start a master (sorry for the microagression) list of quality manufacturers.
They are out there but usually at a 'premium' but if you look at what the cost of things was before the flood of cheap and cheaply made Chinese manufactured products, it probably was about the same. Also we got by with less. When I was in high school most guys -even in a upper middle class suburban high school - had just a few pairs of pants and shirts, sneaker, one pair of shoes and one pair of 'nice' shoes, and one 'nice' pair of trousers and a jacket. Now?
In college we got by with even less simply because we had to keep it mobile.

One problem is that it's difficult for quality or even rightly made things to compete in this 'cheap' market. The same way that people who grow real food have trouble competing with agribusiness. I think Roosh mentioned this in American Pilgrim.

Even something as simple as index cards- the ones that are called 'card stock' are no thicker than construction paper.
It's so pathetic that we don't even manufacture our own card stock, index cards and books for the most part. Most of the paper products and books are actually manufactured in Canada!
 

Fisk_

Chicken
European consumers are indeed more demanding in terms of product quality. People here check product reviews, forums, they even go to the physical stores to fiddle a bit with the actual product to get a feel if it is really worth it. That does not only apply to Germany, but to The Netherlands, Belgium, and the Nordics too. Never had an issue with any of the stuff I've bought here. That was not the case in South America, however. The same phenomenon is observed there.
 
European consumers are indeed more demanding in terms of product quality. People here check product reviews, forums, they even go to the physical stores to fiddle a bit with the actual product to get a feel if it is really worth it. That does not only apply to Germany, but to The Netherlands, Belgium, and the Nordics too. Never had an issue with any of the stuff I've bought here. That was not the case in South America, however. The same phenomenon is observed there.
The controllers really have the mentality of everyone narrowed down to a science. They know that if Europeans are not satisfied with the quality and purposeful use of something, that they will not buy it.

On the other hand Americans tend to like things more "flashy" and to own things for the sake of owning or to show it off, and give 2nd priority to its quality and longevity.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
The problem is not that high-quality things no longer exist; it's that it's less accessible than before. In decades past you could shop at stores in your small town main street that sold good quality clothes, furniture, appliances, and electronics. Today, the big-box stores replacing them sell products that are much cheaper, but also junk. It takes deliberate, conscious effort and research to find quality stuff that will last, and most people just don't have the time or willpower to devote to trying to find it. The overabundance of choice, touted as a feature of capitalism, actually results in inability to make decisions and consumes mental bandwidth we shouldn't have to devote to it. While better than one crummy Soviet car, for instance, we're really just trading one slavemaster (the government) for another (megacorps who want to sell you planned obsolescence.)

CalvinAndHobbesPeanutButter.png

One area where I invested in higher quality is clothing, I still wear flannel shirts, jeans, and boots I bought in Japan a decade ago. These were all pretty expensive, but I've more than gotten my money's worth out of the longevity of them and will continue to do so. And because there's more money in a pair of jeans, for example, if a stitch breaks or a hole forms, I'll get it repaired - rather than just throw it out, as you do with $20 H&M jeans, because they're not worth the cost of repairing.

Of course the only reason why I even knew about this stuff is because I'm an enthusiast, if I wasn't into a niche subcultural hobby of vintage-style clothing nerds I'd never have discovered this. In other areas, I'm clueless and stuck using junk. For "bigger" things, like cars and houses, I really don't feel like I have the resources or willpower to figure out how to make better-quality decisions. What I have noticed is that my house, built in the mid 1990s, seems far less solid than my parents' home, built in the mid 70s. Although better in some areas (such as insulation, double pane windows) and a decent house overall, it probably won't last nearly as long as theirs.

Our economy panders to the lowest common denominator, treating rock-bottom prices as the most important factor above all else. The problem is that if you want to be conscientious, it takes considerable effort.

Surprisingly, some categories I've found reliable stuff without trying too hard. My Macbook Pro is over six years old and works great without any issues, though the (always crummy) speakers are dying. My iPhone is 5.5 years old and works fine aside from battery life. Electric guitars are suprisingly good at cheaper price points; cheapo guitars are far superior to what was available when I started playing in 2004, but this has more to do with improving quality control in places like Indonesia where these are manufactured.

I think the demand for cheapo products is largely a Boomer mentality. I've noticed that it's mostly millennials and younger who want higher-quality, longer-lasting stuff.
 
Do I simply buy the most expensively priced item of whatever I’m looking for, only to find out that I’m still buying junk albeit with a fancier brand name? Or do I seek out craftsmen who are making items by hand?

There isn't a single answer but my family has been aware of this problem for most of our lives. What we do is learn the niche...so whatever we own, if we decide to own something, we have a good idea of where items are built, how they're built, and of what quality. We also learn all the competitors. We often DIY too but even when we don't make something ourselves, we research whatever it is so we understand the process. I may purchase inferior products once in awhile but with the assumption they will only do the job once.

We also live a very minimalist lifestyle and only buy what we really want or need. Then typically, we buy the most expensive, best thing we can. Some examples:
  • Dress shoes. Many men buy trash shoes to save a couple hundred bucks while I pay the premium for the very best. Mine last a very long time with re-soling. However, I also wear the most basic, low-cost running shoes everyday.
  • We sometimes have our clothing hand-made by select companies (search around and you'll find them). I keep it simple but will pay a premium for dress shirts but will wear basic Hanes white shirts for the daily. I have a handful of those dress shirts and I know my tailor on a first name basis.
  • I would never buy a car new and I know how to find deals on used ones while working on the ones we own.
  • Computers are always a crap shoot. I gravitate to certain brands that I have a history with and buy the workhorses.
It's all about research and no frills.
 

Easy_C

Peacock
have Cables, an old Sony Receiver and a Panasonic CD Player from the 90's that are still intact and have taken a lot of heavy use and wear on them, even have been stored in extremely cold, humid and damp conditions and yet they are still working and in impeccable condition. Not a single function not working or a broken button or anything that has degraded in performance in them.

Even more recently than that things were better. I had an early Generation PS3, one of the fat ones purchased in 2007. It only broke fall last year after 13 years of use including operating in some very hot and cold places, with a year roasting in a storage container.
 

uncledick

Woodpecker
I think making a list of companies and products that produce quality items would be a good thread. From my experience SpeedQueen washers/dryers will last 25 years. Sony TVs are the longest lasting/ most durable in my experience. husqvarna mowers/snow blowers and other small motor equipment are the best in their class. Palliser furniture such as their recliners and couches will last 20 years. Lego has and always will be indestructible for your kids. Ruger firearms are fine tuned weapons with long lasting durability.
 

Nordwand

Kingfisher
I have always gone by the maxim of "Buy the best that you can afford" although, increasingly, this does not hold true, as so much now is not made to last. Looking at my belongings, I've got a Vaude 3 in 1, that's coming up for 30 years old, still going strong after several washings and reproofings, high end Italian suits of various makes, all over 20 years old, and some very high end AV and Hi-Fi components, all of which are upper teens and upwards. At the other end of the scale, I've got some Nike T-shirts, made in England (!!), still holding their shape, and looking good, after 25 years.

What surprises me is how many high end manufacturers have outsourced to God knows where, and yet charge the same prices as before.
 

Grow Bag

Woodpecker
I have a bit of a fetish for shoes and boots, not necessarily fashionable, in fact rarely so, but shoes that look good on me and last. An old friend used to call me "Imelda", lol. What's noticeable is that in recent years I've had a number of pairs where the soles have started flapping after very little use. I remember as child, shoes were not cheap and were made to last, you simply got them re-heeled and resoled. At the end of my road was a small cobbler's shop and he did a decent trade. Cobblers were in most towns then, small and large, but now they're mostly gone. So I've learnt to do my own repairs. Haven't done it yet, but old tyres can be repurposed for sole making and that's a task I relish tacklingaustrianBoots.jpeg. Here's a pic of my favourite boots, made for the Austrian army, mine are on their second sole.
 
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