• Confusion

    Finally

    I’ve just found out that the wife of one of my good friends from highschool is pregnant. His parents still live in the old neighborhood and that’s how I’ve found out.

    It was strange seeing his parents so happy, as I’ve always remembered them to be the stern couple that wanted their son to grow up straight, by keeping away crooked friends like myself from him.

  • Social dillemas

    Affordable But Unwanted

    When did we cross the line? When did “affordable” become synonymous with “cheap crap”?

    China has been around for a long time. The People’s Republic as we now call it has a long history of being an industrial exporter. People used to kill each other for the rights to export goods out of the continent. Now, China is so open, that every Dick, Jane, and Harry can buy anything at any price.

    The Chinese, as a civilization, is a powerful collective of highly adaptive individuals. Their culture wholly believes and embraces the fact that in this life, everything is finite. Time, money, love – everything.

    So it is no big surprise that the art of business has flourished in this country, where each and everyone of the players must fight for their piece of pie. Because of this, nobody just sits back and takes what the communist government dishes out. Everybody knows, there are limits to what the government can do for the people, and they’d like to be first in line to receive those benefits. Even after the beginning of communist rule, the Chinese lifestyle never became anti-competitive.

    So why is it that this environment, where competition should naturally select the best to survive, has given birth to an collective industry of crap? The source of the problem is not with the Chinese. It is with the consumers – American consumers who have forgotten to be smart.

    American consumers have lowered their standards so low, that they allow these inferior products to still survive in their own economy. Although it is important to keep the prices affordable, there is a limit.

    The basis of economy is supply and demand – an economy of “wants”. 10 people want 10 widgets at 10 dollars each. 10 people may still want those same 10 widgets at 100 dollars each – although not all of them would be able to afford it. But when the prices of the widgets fall to 1 dollar each, how many of those 10 people will actually buy any widgets? The answer, 1.

    The first person to buy the 1 dollar widget will find out that this new lower priced widget is a piece of crap. He may even want to return it, making the net sales, zero. And here lies line. This is what has happened to America.

    We have lined our Superstores with “affordable” products from floor to ceiling. Sure, it looked impressive, and it felt like sales rose. But in a few years, we started noticing, more claims, more returns, and more issues. Sales started falling, and no matter how low the prices were reset, consumers stopped buying crap.

    American consumers have dug themselves in so deep into a “cheap crap rut” that, even if higher priced, higher quality products returned to the market, now that they’ve wasted all their money on the cheap crap, they cannot afford the better products that otherwise could have been purchased if they just waited to spend their money. It will be sometime before America as a whole will save up enough money to “upgrade” their lives to a higher price per item purchasing cycle.

    Now, the article started out by talking about China, but this is not just about products from the PRC. It doesn’t matter if consumers buy American. As long as we do not raise the bar on our spending habits, we stay down in the hole. Americans need to be diligent about what they spend money on. They need to spend their hard earned money on quality products. And yes, China has those too.

  • Home Improvement

    Saw Horse

    When it comes time to use your powertools, one thing you must keep in mind is your work area. You can easily damage the floor, wall, or pre-installed furniture with a flick of a switch. That’s why the first thing you should do when working with tools is to prepare a safe work area. To do this, sawhorses come in handy. Saw horses come in many different shapes and sizes. You can even make one your own (sawhorses are a good carpentry project for beginners). If you’re on the move, you should invest in some foldable horses. Put a sheet of plywood on top for an on-site desk, or set up your table saw on a pair.