Saturday, May 14, 2011

Made in America?

Is there anything that's made in America anymore that's not crap?

I just realized my first pair of Birkenstocks just turned 19 years old. NINETEEN. Of course, I've had the soles replaced twice. BUT consider this. Until a few years ago, this one pair was ALL I EVER wore except for tennis shoes at the gym. I wore them while I worked on my feet at the newspaper, bookstore (both jobs where you do tons of walking) and now teaching. The Birk designs have changed little throughout the years, too. Good workmanship, excellent design, high quality built to last. In other words, don't try to fix something that isn't broken: a lesson many American companies could learn from, what few manufacturing companies we have left.

I also still have and use my old "Mirage" speakers which are 31 years old. My favorite recliner is from the 1960's.

My washer and dryer are also from the 1950's.

Yet it seems most of the stuff I buy new nowadays, falls apart.

As a country, why do most consumers tolerate this? Why have our standards changed regarding the pride we used to derive from producing a thing made to last?

As a consumer, I refuse to keep buying new just to support big biz. I'll continue to buy good quality old things (so long as I can keep getting parts).

Look around your house. What stuff do you have that's passed the test of time?

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