Archive for August 20, 2007
Last week Mattel recalled millions of toys produced in China. Earlier this summer the FDA warned consumers of a poisonous chemical found in certain toothpastes imported from China and in April of this year 16 cats and dogs died and thousands were sickened as a result of tainted pet food linked to a Chinese manufacturer.
To U.S. consumers price seems to be the most significant factor in purchasing decisions. These days it’s tough to find a product that isn’t made in China. I wonder, when did the quality and safety of goods become unimportant to U.S. consumers? Remember when Japanese car manufacturers trumped U.S. competition? The distinguishing factor: the quality of Japanese goods. Isn’t it odd that Americans care so much about quality when it comes to cars and electronics but care so little when it comes to everyday goods?
It seems that we have become a throw away society, filling the landfills with cheap products, and replacing them with even cheaper ones. In a free market consumers have complete influence over the goods they purchase. If we continue to purchase cheap, Chinese goods, stores will continue to market them to us. Personally I’d like to see Americans buying quality goods once again. I wonder if the latest recalls will prompt Americans to turn their backs on Chinese goods. Do you think the recent recalls have scared Americans into thinking more about safety and quality or do you think Americans will continue to base purchasing decisions on cost alone?