Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wal Mart Mentality

Unfortunately this country has developed what I call a Wal Mart mentality, meaning that we want inexpensive goods. Nobody wants to pay more than you have to, but there is a point at which you truly get what you pay for.

This summer I went into a big box store to buy a light fixture for the ceiling of a storage space. It was one of those bare bulb simple pull-chain fixtures that used to be made out of white ceramic but is now made out of plastic. I installed the thing, and two or three weeks later, this fine product of China no longer worked. Yes, it was inexpensive, but is that really economy? I don’t think so.

What are the results of our Wal Mart mentality?

(1) Cheaply made goods wear out faster, so you aren’t really saving any money.

(2) American workers are put out of work because everything is made in China. This result is less income for Americans, with the result that more of us must look for inexpensive goods, thus perpetuating the syndrome.

(3) Because we import so much, we have a huge unfavorable balance of trade. China temporarily returns some of the money to us in the form of loans, but eventually they must be paid off. Where are we going to get the money?

My advice is to pay a little more for American-made goods (if you can find any). You’ll probably save both money and aggravation in the long run, and maybe save a few American jobs as well.

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