America Is A Dumping Ground For Junk

Troller

Pelican
If eco people werent communists they good simply demand a bigger warranty on items. And a simpler process to enforce those warranties. This would close China and reduce waste. Since you would had to enforce quality standards. Demand a fifteen year warranty on cars. 10 years for other items. But the world is being dominated by corpo. They would have to rebel against their masters. The ones who fund them.
 
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Virginiahousewife

Sparrow
Woman
This. All of this.

Not only is almost every item sold in America over priced junk but also likely made with toxic cancer causing materials or coatings. We try to buy high quality items thrifted or second hand. Small furniture from a Mennonite workshop. We are also increasingly embracing minimalism. Less stuff. Good stuff. Literally every aspect of our lives has benefited from fanatically decluttering our home. We feel less stress, our home is easier to clean, little one plays more and more imaginatively, we use what we have, appreciate it and can identify when a need arises rather than a mere want. We save money too. Slavery to stuff, debt, and the monster of materialism is a plague feeding on the insecurities of those trying to fill the absence of Christ in their lives.

There’s a red flag thread here for the gents. Greedy materialistic women should be avoided at all costs.
 
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dicknixon72

Pelican
The bump in CAFE standards are an environmental disaster. Do not even get me started on putting turbo chargers on tiny engines for fuel efficiency, or engines that turn off at stop lights. Or, to be really environmentally friendly go do some strip mining for lithium to make battery powered cars. Coal strip mining = bad, evil. Lithium strip mining = good, happy.

CAFE killed the American car in its traditional, long-lasting form. The last truly optimized American car was either the '77-96 GM B-Body (Caprice/LeSabre/Eighty-Eight/Parisienne) or the '79-11 GM Panther cars (LTD/Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car) - spacious, not excessively large, efficient for our distance-focused American driving style, robust, and simple to work on. You can probably add the FWD GM H-Bodies to that list for something more modern and more economical.

This entire trend towards putting undersized engines in oversized cars and turbocharging them to meet some vainglorious fuel economy standard on paper is a joke. You end up with an overtaxed motor with a shorter lifespan and more expensive parts that gets poor real world fuel economy.
 

MKE-Ed

Robin
CAFE killed the American car in its traditional, long-lasting form. The last truly optimized American car was either the '77-96 GM B-Body (Caprice/LeSabre/Eighty-Eight/Parisienne) or the '79-11 GM Panther cars (LTD/Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car) - spacious, not excessively large, efficient for our distance-focused American driving style, robust, and simple to work on. You can probably add the FWD GM H-Bodies to that list for something more modern and more economical.

This entire trend towards putting undersized engines in oversized cars and turbocharging them to meet some vainglorious fuel economy standard on paper is a joke. You end up with an overtaxed motor with a shorter lifespan and more expensive parts that gets poor real world fuel economy.
I was looking at the current specs on the new Ford Expeditions, Explorers and the new Broncos and they all are now using smaller turbo charged engines. This in large SUVs. Their engines will not last as long as a large V8 engine. What’s sad is when you look at the prices these vehicles cost, Ford is essentially cheapening up these vehicles. However, Chevy Suburbans and Tahoe’s still offer V8 engines. In due time that will
probably change due to CAFE standards. This will help kill off the US auto industry which is already struggling to survive.
 
A few practical steps that can be taken:

1. Think about going without--fight materialism.

2. If you need it, look into buying solid used stuff from thrift stores, eBay, local auctions, etc.

3. If you have to buy new, beat the bushes for good quality new-manufacture stuff. A lot of it is actually out there, just have to look. Hint: it probably is not on Amazon. Do not look at the sticker price, but at the likely price per year over the lifetime of the product.

4. If you have to buy new, and it is all the same crap from China. Then buy the cheapest no-name stuff out there. Punish companies that used to make quality goods then moved to China. No company should expect Craftsman prices for Harbor Freight quality, who gives a flip about the "brand?" Care about what it is right now.

5. If you have to buy something new, save the box, the warranty, and the receipt. Write the date when the warranty expires on the box and stack them up somewhere. When that date comes, toss the box. Otherwise, you have everything needed to get warranty service. I think a lot of companies bank on people being too lazy to use a warranty.

6. If something breaks and it is not under warranty, look around to see if someone can fix it. Do not assume that repairs are unaffordable. A lot of towns still have TV repairmen, upholstry shops, and furniture restorers. Who would you rather give money to? Some hard working small businessman in your town, or some factory in China while Bezos gets a fat cut of it for handling the deal?

7. Fix it yourself. Geopolitical and economic conditions could mandate this in the future. With a basic volt-ohm-meter, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, screw drivers, nut drivers, a soldering iron and some electrical solder, a solder sucker or wick, a crimper and some spare lugs, a roll of electrician tape, super glue, epoxy, maybe some contact cleaner, steel wool, and a can of air, you can fix a staggering number of things that most people throw out. If you are going to toss it anyway, why not give it a try? Disconnect the power, and do not touch any leads coming off of big cylinders (could be capacitors, and they can hold a charge that can shock a person). If you see something obviously wrong, try fixing it. Learn how to use the ohm meter to check fuses, switches, and power cords. What do you have to lose? If you want a book then there is the Reader's Digest Fix-it-Yourself Manual (next to nothing used online--there has been an edition every decade since the 1970's I think), there is How to Fix Damn Near Everything (old, but basic info), and How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic. People who repair things themselves, I think, tend to take better care of those things and look for better quality when they do buy new.
 

paninaro

Pelican
If eco people werent communists they good simply demand a bigger warranty on items. And a simpler process to enforce those warranties. This would close China and reduce waste. Since you would had to enforce quality standards. Demand a fifteen year warranty on cars. 10 years for other items. But the world is being dominated by corpo. They would have to rebel against their masters. The ones who fund them.

There are plenty of long-term warranties out there. Go buy a car, electronics, cellphone, etc. and they'll try to sell you an extended warranty.

They're doing this because they make money on it -- they know most people will never bother to make a claim on the warranty.
 

Troller

Pelican
There are plenty of long-term warranties out there. Go buy a car, electronics, cellphone, etc. and they'll try to sell you an extended warranty.

They're doing this because they make money on it -- they know most people will never bother to make a claim on the warranty.
Which car brands? General rule is 3 years warranty and 5 year courtesy. BMW will make a discount until the 5th year.

Cars are made obsolescent by the time they reach 100k km or on their 5th year anniversary. The main reason for this is tax related. Bmw and Mercedes know leasings of companies last between 3-5 years. And for tax reasons companies afterward change car. So for them it doesnt make sense to create longer quality cara because due to leasing and tax reasons companies dont care.

You can extend 3-4 years from normal warranty as long as it falls to the 100k kms or 5 year rule.

If a car breaks down during warranty why wouldnt people claim it? In electronics percentage might drop. But in a car? Youre wrong. Most people would. I think Toyota success was partially due to giving a bigger warranty.
Ferrari has some 15 year warranty. But its not straightforward.
 

LucasB

Chicken
I'll add a few things where I had the same experience. I bought a new HP laptop last year. Within a few months the rubber strips underneath had partially peeled off and were hanging loose. I looked online and it is a widespread problem with the sort of glue they use.

I bought a new kettle, I paid more for a good brand (Braun) so it would be good quality and reliable. I had a Braun kettle a long time ago and it was great. But this new one was substantially inferior quality, the fit and finish are cheap, it feels clunky, substantial amount of steam come out of the sides of the lid making the top soaking wet. When you press the button to open the lid, it springs open with such force that it always splashes you, so you have to use your other hand to slow it down. After less than a year, the lid refused to open normally. I had to force a rubber grommet back where it had moved from, probably due to the aggressiveness with which it springs open. So this expensive kettle is cheap rubbish where you pay a premium for the brand name. I am sure the German engineers at Braun don't have such rubbish in their own kitchens.
 

skullmask

Woodpecker
I bought a new kettle, I paid more for a good brand (Braun) so it would be good quality and reliable. I had a Braun kettle a long time ago and it was great. But this new one was substantially inferior quality, the fit and finish are cheap, it feels clunky, substantial amount of steam come out of the sides of the lid making the top soaking wet. When you press the button to open the lid, it springs open with such force that it always splashes you, so you have to use your other hand to slow it down. After less than a year, the lid refused to open normally. I had to force a rubber grommet back where it had moved from, probably due to the aggressiveness with which it springs open. So this expensive kettle is cheap rubbish where you pay a premium for the brand name. I am sure the German engineers at Braun don't have such rubbish in their own kitchens.

I have a beat up old kettle I use for tea and coffee, some cheap no-name I bought years ago. I certainly didn't pay as much as I would have for a Braun. Yet it has none of the issues you describe. Unfortunately the accountants that run corporate brands don't seem to care about ruining the brand reputation.

Kitchenaid is another example. I bought a new stand mixer a year ago, only to find out my new mixer was inferior to the quality of mixers made years ago. Also the stoppers that set things on hinge were out of alignment, causing the mixer to not properly lock in place with the locking latch. I also found out that the latch used to be spring loaded. Kitchenaid allegedly thinks that spring is unnecessary. I have no idea how much they save by cutting that part out, but they certainly don't pass it on to the customer. And they obviously never had to knead a heavy dough in testing. Without the spring the latch can slowly work its way free mixing heavy dough, forcing me to have to keep an eye on it during the mixing process.
 
The neighbors just put a flat screen TV out by the dumpster. Took it in and it works fine. An older Vizio. There was a box for a bigger TV in the dumpster--they must have traded up. Have a $7 w/shipping remote control coming in from eBay. Our TV conked out a week ago and I am waiting on a replacement power supply board--if that does not fix the old one, this will be our new TV. Otherwise it may go to one of the charity thrift stores in town.

There is something, sort of immoral about just tossing out perfectly good items. Granted, it was by the dumpster, not in it, but we have been having rain lately and it could have been ruined by morning.

In the past few years left out as garbage we have taken in:
  • A corner cabinet (like new)
  • A side table--needed paint
  • A coffee table -- needed new stain and varnish
  • A bicycle (adult-sized)
  • Nice sized tree branches that we cut up for fire wood
  • A small flat screen TV
  • A leaf blower
  • A Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner
  • A DVD player
  • A caulking gun
  • Several books of forever stamps
  • A new looking women's purse
  • Several books
  • And now a big flat screen TV
All of those thing worked as-is or with minimal work. I do not understand, for the things that worked, why they were not at least given to charity or put in a yard sale.

A year or so ago I bought an old Crosley tube radio from a local auction, 1930's era. It must have been in an attic for decades. The schematics were free on line. Replaced a couple of tubes, replaced all the electrolytic capacitors, aligned it with an old RF signal generator, stripped and refinished the wooden case--hand rubbed oil finish, replaced the speaker grill cloth, polished all the brass fittings and then protected them with wax, and got a new piece of domed glass for the dial from a clock company. Whoever bought that radio in the 1930's definitely saved up money for it, and must have listened to Roosevelt's speech about Pearl Harbor on it, and probably heard about V-E and V-J day on it too. And the Bob Hope Show, big band music, and maybe even a secret code from Little Orphan Annie. Whoever made it, at wherever the Crosley factory was in America, this was back when it was point-to-point wiring--all hand assembled. That was someone's job, reading a schematic and soldering one single component in at a time, layer by layer. Many of the mica capacitors and other parts were hand selected to get the tuning just right. Back up to the 1960's or 1970's every town had a guy who would repair these kinds of radios, mainly swapping tubes or a bad capacitor. Going on 90 years later, with some work it is still going, recieving AM and shortwave. Even used and non-functional it was worth someone saving it, and then putting up for auction. Fully restored, it is worth a chunk of change today and is probably the most impressive think in our living room. Why can we not make things this way today?

Why do people like cheap stuff? In part, it seems to be a symptom of a throw-away culture. Seems like everything is throw-away these days: marriages, families, careers, the unborn, one's country, one's culture...what are manufactured items compared to them.
 

TexasJenn

Woodpecker
Woman
^ I'm happy you got a new-to-you TV, but that is sad they just put it out as trash. I always donate anything with any life left to Goodwill.
 

paninaro

Pelican
Which car brands? General rule is 3 years warranty and 5 year courtesy. BMW will make a discount until the 5th year.

Cars are made obsolescent by the time they reach 100k km or on their 5th year anniversary. The main reason for this is tax related. Bmw and Mercedes know leasings of companies last between 3-5 years. And for tax reasons companies afterward change car. So for them it doesnt make sense to create longer quality cara because due to leasing and tax reasons companies dont care.

You can extend 3-4 years from normal warranty as long as it falls to the 100k kms or 5 year rule.

If a car breaks down during warranty why wouldnt people claim it? In electronics percentage might drop. But in a car? Youre wrong. Most people would. I think Toyota success was partially due to giving a bigger warranty.
Ferrari has some 15 year warranty. But its not straightforward.

BMW offers 7 years/100k miles extended warranty. Toyota offers 10 years/125k miles extended warranty. There are also third-party companies that will offer extended auto warranty protection, like Carchex 10 years/250k miles on any GM vehicle.

As for leasing, in the US it's around 55% of Mercedes and BMWs are leased, but overall in the US only about 25% of all vehicles are leased.

I agree people would claim warranty on a car usually because it's easy (often the dealer does it for you), but not for electronics. They'd have to dig up their paperwork on the warranty; the receipt; the original packaging (maybe); send a repair estimate, and so on. It's a lot of hassle, and it's that way intentionally. I filed with my credit card company once when a rental car I was driving was damaged while I was driving it (not my fault -- stone hit the windshield) and it took about 3 months and at least 10 emails and letters to finally get compensation. They kept asking for more documents each time, hoping that I'll give up.
 

Troller

Pelican
BMW offers 7 years/100k miles extended warranty. Toyota offers 10 years/125k miles extended warranty. There are also third-party companies that will offer extended auto warranty protection, like Carchex 10 years/250k miles on any GM vehicle.

As for leasing, in the US it's around 55% of Mercedes and BMWs are leased, but overall in the US only about 25% of all vehicles are leased.

I agree people would claim warranty on a car usually because it's easy (often the dealer does it for you), but not for electronics. They'd have to dig up their paperwork on the warranty; the receipt; the original packaging (maybe); send a repair estimate, and so on. It's a lot of hassle, and it's that way intentionally. I filed with my credit card company once when a rental car I was driving was damaged while I was driving it (not my fault -- stone hit the windshield) and it took about 3 months and at least 10 emails and letters to finally get compensation. They kept asking for more documents each time, hoping that I'll give up.


Last guy who spoke of consumer rights didnt end well.
Everything is a distraction of what truly hurts people. Housing, food and health.
if theres no accountability why will a manufacturer (specially chinese) create quality?
You need a longer warranty and a speedy way to enforce it. But expect hell if any politician tries to enforce this.
 

Pilgrim

Pigeon
Planned obsolescence has been practised by industry for decades, but it does seem to be getting worse.



As others have said, a good solution is to buy well-made things second-hand.

My newest computer, the laptop on which I'm writing this, is ten years old this year --- and it's still running Linux happily.

My car will will be twenty years old next year. It's a common model and the garage can get parts for it easily and cheaply.

And my house will be two hundred years old at some point in the next decade. Old houses were designed to be maintained --- the throwaway society was not a thing back then.
 

Wildcat

Chicken
The company I work for buys all their products from China - I've been there several times and visited the factories where our products were made. I was shocked by the conditions in them - when you see with your own eyes where all of this "junk" comes from it makes sense. I went to visit the factory where one of our best selling products in the world is made (we sell tens of thousands of this product and it retails for about $49 USD (we buy at $1.90 per unit)). When I finally got there I was shocked - the factory was tiny and stinking hot, full of ear-splitting machines creating noise and toxic stinks. There building was a concrete box with small barred windows, with puddles of dirty water on the floor. The workers were sweating like pigs, some with fans on them. The boss showed us around, and at one point we stopped to watch a man whose job appeared to be to pull a lever when a light went from red to green. He slapped him on the back and jokingly yelled to us "this mans job would make my mind go dead, but he is an essential worker! Very skilled!!"
 
Back in the 1980s Mechanix Illustrated magazine had annual awards for the "most maintainable car" of the year, and also had on article once where readers sent in photos and write ups of appliances that had been used for decades and decades. The magazine later morphed into Home Mechanix, then went out of business. A pity, as I thought it was better than Mechanics Illustrated, at least in the 1980s.

Speaking of Mechanics Illustrated, in the 1940's in their Home Kinks annuals every other article was about how to fix things or make things from scrap. The Popular Science Home Workshop Annuals are a treasure as well. Later on Popular Mechanics became a magazine about big foot, UFOs, and the occasional DIY Lite article--it especially went downhill after Hearst bought them, now they are in the same conglomerate that brings us Cosmopolitain, and the Oprah Magazine.

Consumer Reports has guides on reliability, but not on maintainability. Some cars are easier to work on than others. I suppose if one buys a car, they could take it to their mechanic and, besides giving it a going over, ask how hard or easy it will be to work on and what they see going out on them.
 

Vigilant

Kingfisher
Woman
I'm against lockdown, obviously, but I was thinking that it could actually be strategically wise if the lockdown could be modified (somehow, by people with some influence playing 7d chess or whatever) so that a big brick and mortar retailer like Walmart could not operate. Walmart isn't exactly on the same level as Bezos for political influence, but still they're influential and rich and if you want the lockdowns to end having some money behind that really helps. Get rich businesses to start feeling the pain.
Yes, and my research tells me he is in with the colonizers.
 

Serie A1

Woodpecker
It's important to remember that Chinese manufacturing is not one monolithic bloc. Sure, they make a lot of the world's more forgettable items, but there is also a lot of high-end manufacturing and indeed design done out there.

For now, the big advantage that European and non-China Asia companies have over their Chinese rivals is branding. Chinese consumer brands are, increasingly, huge – but they don't yet have that quality cachet. It is debatable whether China has a single brand on anything like the level of Beko or Samsung, let alone the likes of AEG or Sony.
 
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