Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, March 12, 2018

Perhaps the largest structural economic crisis this country faces -- one that encompasses everything else from outsourcing to stagnant wages to the environment -- is the decades-long epidemic of cheap crap. "This is why we can't have nice things" is a clich that has lost its meaning. The reason we can't have nice things in America in 2018 is that we don't want them.

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It is almost impossible to buy a pair of jeans made in this country, and the ones that are made in the United States from American-milled denim cost $400 and look like they belong on androgynous French supermodels. Most $30 pairs will last six months -- less if they are worn a few times a week, the way jeans should be. It is insane that we have let this happen in the Land of the Free. An America that doesn't make jeans is like an America where the bald eagle is extinct and Tom Selleck's mustache has been Photoshopped out of every extant picture.

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The saddest thing to me in this article is to read about Heritage guitars. Heritage was started, ironically enough, as a protest of modern production techniques, when Gibson moved to a new factory in Nashville.

#1 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2018-03-12 05:46 PM | Reply

The bit about jeans is very true. That ---- is expensive now.

#2 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-03-12 06:03 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Thanks, Bill Clinton, for making the Chinese and yourself rich.

#3 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-03-12 06:15 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Why Do Americans Prefer Junk over Quality?

What do you mean?

*tips fedora and fabreezes raw denium jeans*
*heelies away*

#4 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-03-12 07:46 PM | Reply

Simple, it's all about the money. People think cheap is just less expensive and most people, corporations, and gov representatives, are only thinking short term, and cheap cost.

Short term savings is rarely cheaper.

Short term thinking and planning is rarely wiser.

No different than a "Payday Loan"

#5 | Posted by bat4255 at 2018-03-12 07:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

it all started to become clear when they began to allow digital clocks and calculators in our schools. process means nothing and we really are to uninformed to realize just how shepherded our choices are

#6 | Posted by ABlock at 2018-03-12 08:35 PM | Reply

I LOVE old time junk stores. I'd rather look in junk stores than going to Disneyland or some stupid crap like that.

#7 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2018-03-12 09:18 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The working masses need to be able to buy SOMETHING with their stagnant wages.

Can't afford quality. Give them cheap plastic and rope them into the concept of disposable income.

#8 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-03-12 09:25 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

it all started when we stopped picking the feathers off of goose to make our pens I tell ya'!

#9 | Posted by truthhurts at 2018-03-12 09:41 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Price, whatcha gonna do when your wages are falling.

#10 | Posted by bayviking at 2018-03-12 10:06 PM | Reply

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Dear Shheple:
Did Bill Clinton buy all that billions of ---- clothing, furniture, and assorted "goods" himself from Walmart the last 30 years?
No, the majority were bought from Trumpvoters© like yourself.

#11 | Posted by e1g1 at 2018-03-12 10:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

the dinosaurs lived for almost 400 million years and it took a cosmic event to almost totally eradicate them. humanity will prove the superiority of the opposable thumb and the frontal lobe when we arrive at the same destination without the need of celestial intervention in about 6000. we're gonna' junk ourselves into extinction. We're kitsched.

#12 | Posted by ABlock at 2018-03-12 10:33 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"We're kitsched."

Wow! That's the first time I've ever read or heard someone predicting our doom. It's a past time as old as time.

#13 | Posted by danni at 2018-03-13 08:17 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"It is almost impossible to buy a pair of jeans made in this country, and the ones that are made in the United States from American-milled denim cost $400"

--------.

www.madeinamericastore.com

The Texas Jeans Original Fit is a classic 5 pocket design. Some key features are:

Regular Rise
Straight Leg
Felled Inseam/ Serged Outseam
Zipper Fly
Dark Stonewash
100% cotton, 14.5 Oz. U.S.A. Made Indigo Denim
Prewashed And Preshrunk For Fit

100% Made in the U.S.A.

#14 | Posted by 726 at 2018-03-13 09:16 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Dear Shheple:
Did Bill Clinton buy all that billions of ---- clothing, furniture, and assorted "goods" himself from Walmart the last 30 years?
No, the majority were bought from Trumpvoters© like yourself.

#11 | Posted by e1g1 at 2018-03-12 10:29 PM | Reply | Flag

Cheap crap prices were DEMANDED by the likes of the Walton's who for years lied about their products being made in the USA.

#15 | Posted by 726 at 2018-03-13 09:22 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Wow! That's the first time I've ever read or heard someone predicting our doom. It's a past time as old as time.
#13 | POSTED BY DANNI

i like the one about the test tube that the contents double every minute and become unsustainable at 60 minutes...at 59 minutes it's only half full..at 58 minutes 25%. science says that we're well into the 59th minute.

youtu.be

#16 | Posted by ABlock at 2018-03-13 09:55 AM | Reply

#14 | POSTED BY 726

carharts and wranglers

#17 | Posted by ABlock at 2018-03-13 09:57 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#17 Is their components made in the US?

#18 | Posted by 726 at 2018-03-13 11:38 AM | Reply

Maybe americans don't PREFER junk but that's all they can afford since the plutocrats have sucked all the wealth out of the economy.

And greedy corporations make less money if they build products that last too long.

#19 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2018-03-13 11:40 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

No longer own any jeans as the Canton Pants by Crazy Shirts of Hawaii are my daily wear: www.crazyshirts.com

#20 | Posted by MSgt at 2018-03-13 11:47 AM | Reply

Some things I learned from my girl friend. Women's cloths have the greatest mark up and the least quality. You can get better stuff on line, cheaper. Harbor freight generally sells junk tools, but for home use, not used daily as a professional would need, they are more than adequate. Canned goods are produced by only a few manufactures. Any of these plants produce multiple store brands and multiple products. Forget name brands on most products. Soap has the greatest markup outside of beer and cigarettes, there is little difference in detergents. I buy a Mexican brand, it works well. Look down when you are in the isles, stores put the more expensive items at eye level. Don't keep junk, if you haven't used an idem in two years, you will probity never will.

#21 | Posted by docnjo at 2018-03-13 01:06 PM | Reply

#21 | Posted by docnjo

Nice theories.

- Women's cloths have the greatest mark up and the least quality. You can get better stuff on line, cheaper. - More of the same stuff and a lot of even lesser quality online and you have to shop to find it cheaper.

- Harbor freight generally sells junk tools, but for home use, not used daily as a professional would need, they are more than adequate. - Depends what you are buying. Some of it is simply and completely JUNK. I mean screwdrivers and hammers - sure whatever. But I'll pay a little more for most of it to get something that actually works.

- Canned goods are produced by only a few manufactures. Any of these plants produce multiple store brands and multiple products. - Sort of true, but because they are produced by the same processing plant does not mean the same quality of ingredients is present. I can prove that to you but if you don't believe me open a name brand and a store brand side by side and do a taste test.

- Soap has the greatest markup outside of beer and cigarettes, there is little difference in detergents. - Markup bit is spot on BUT there are differences between them. One in particular has more and better ingredients than the rest - Tide. How do I know this? I know a recently retired salesman that sold the raw materials to the manufacturers by the train load for decades and he knows what they are putting in the products and swears Tide's product is by far the best. I see the difference.

- Don't keep junk, if you haven't used an item in two years, you will probity never will. - I agree mostly - I keep tools. I just started de-cluttering again and more aggressively than in the past. I have already made a run with a pickup truck load to a local charity store the homeless.

#22 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2018-03-13 03:47 PM | Reply

#22 | Posted by GalaxiePete, My GF knows of a few sites that makes this true, but your GF will have to find them herself, I will not make an endorsement. My Cus worked at the Soup company back when and it was common to put sealed cans on a pallet and label the same run with as many as 4 labels. Absolutely the same product. Most canning companies have to let the cans cool before the label goes on. God knows your observation about tools is true, I do not think I have ever got rid of a good tool.

#23 | Posted by docnjo at 2018-03-13 05:46 PM | Reply

"Finally, it's absolutely necessary to prosecute out of existence corporations like Apple whose business models depend upon a strategy of planned obsolescence. There is no reason that a telephone should not be made to last 15 or 20 years."

This is where the author's argument falters. IT's not planning that makes an object obsolete, it's technology. I bought my first flat screen TV in 2009 for $1K. It was 720p. It now hangs outside on my patio. The last TV I bought I paid $500 for, and it was a larger 4K model.

When I go buy a TV, I buy it as a consumable. I don't purchase the warranty package-ever-because I know that in three or four years, my TV will have been replaced by something even more advanced, and mine will be nearly valueless. Same thing with phones, gaming devices, whatever. The only possible exception is appliances, although the author's argument doesn't really apply to them, as their quality has increased as the price has decreased. All thanks to competition.

#24 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-03-13 09:46 PM | Reply

Why Do Americans Prefer Junk over Quality?

Two words: frozen pizza.

It's the same reason why us fat ass Americans jam garbage food into our pieholes -- cheap and it tastes good.

#25 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2018-03-13 09:55 PM | Reply

It's the same reason why us fat ass Americans jam garbage food into our pieholes -- cheap and it tastes good.

Posted by PinchALoaf at 2018-03-13 09:55 PM | Reply

I am NOT fat. I am gravity challenged

#26 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2018-03-13 10:00 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

I think it's more Americans love quantity over quality.

That necessitates buying junk as we generally can't afford quantities of quality goods.

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2018-03-13 11:38 PM | Reply

"That necessitates buying junk as we generally can't afford quantities of quality goods."

But junk is a relative term. I need a TV that's going to last for three to four years. Same with a phone. I'm going to be willing to buy a lower quality product knowing that it's a consumable. And in today's market, there are few things that really aren't considered consumables. And there is almost nothing that one would hand down to their children for the purpose of utility, other than maybe farm equipment or other heavy machinery that's less susceptible to obsolescence resulting from innovation.

#28 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-03-13 11:44 PM | Reply

Some of that, though, is the corporate mindset shining through.

Is there really that big of a difference between a four year old TV and a new TV? So much so that it necessitates dropping a couple hundred bucks every few years? I doubt it.

But marketing makes us believe that that is true and the sad reality is that something like a TV and other expensive electronics are now "consumables".

And we wonder why we 'Muricans! are not thought of in a positive light by others.

#29 | Posted by jpw at 2018-03-14 09:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

This author is nuts...$25 for a single pair of socks, $400 for a pair of jeans. This guy is living in a bubble and I'd bet he's written an article on how millenials are screwed or how Americans can't get out of debt while drinking his $12 Grande Latte coffee.

"There is no reason that a telephone should not be made to last 15 or 20 years."

Yes dude there is. At the speed that technology develops, companies would be stupid to focus on making a phone so durable that someone is still using it 15-20 years later.

Would any of you give up your smart phone for a 20 year old phone that's as big as a brick, almost as heavy as one and has a permanently affixed protruding antenna? And it can't do ANYTHING but make calls. No GPS, no apps etc...

#30 | Posted by jamesgelliott at 2018-03-14 11:25 AM | Reply

"Is there really that big of a difference between a four year old TV and a new TV? So much so that it necessitates dropping a couple hundred bucks every few years?"

Very little. But my first HDTV is 8-9 years old and still working. I'm not gonna replace something that works fine just to get a newer model.

#31 | Posted by jamesgelliott at 2018-03-14 11:28 AM | Reply

29
TVs are ridiculous. I added a tv to the household a month or so ago. It cost less than the newest one we had, had way better features, weighed about 5x less, and was a touch bigger. The other tv is 2 years old and above average quality at the time.

#32 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2018-03-14 12:00 PM | Reply

#32 | POSTED BY 101CHAIRBORNE

Honestly the weight savings is so amazing. Similar story here; even 2 years makes a huge difference.

#33 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-03-14 06:47 PM | Reply

Honestly, I would rather pat ten times as much for a toothbrush that would last for ten years than do the same for a TV. Toothbrush technology is unlikely to change. TV tech has been doing so consistently for about the last decade.

"Honestly the weight savings is so amazing. Similar story here; even 2 years makes a huge difference."

The first TV I ever bought, back in 2006, weighed 90 pounds and required two man lift on a 40-ish inch screen. It cost me $500. The last TV I bought was a 4K smart TV, weighs maybe 30 pounds, and also cost me $500.

#34 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-03-14 09:15 PM | Reply

"Toothbrush technology is unlikely to change."

Sonicare is only about 20 years old.

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-03-14 09:16 PM | Reply

Thank god flossing technology has stepped up. I'll never go back to the old string, gum cutting floss. Waterpik water flosser is where it's at.

Proven to be more effective than traditional flossing, faster, and more comfortable.

Extra bonus, acts as a mini-power washer for sink cleaning.

#36 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2018-03-14 09:25 PM | Reply

#34 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

I got you beat. My first was a Panasonic flat screen tube in 2001. Cost me $1,500 (for a 32"!!!) and was the first series of HD conversion. The sucker easily weighed over 150 pounds and took two grown men to haul it around, simply because it was so awkward and uneven.

Damn, I don't even bother looking at new TV prices. I can only imagine what $1,500 would get me these days. For what it's worth, that Panasonic lasted me 15 years without any serious issues. No repairs, but the auxiliary ports started giving out. Only one set worked by the time I dropped it off at the recycling plant. That was a quality product by my standards; planned obsolescence be damned.

#37 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2018-03-14 09:30 PM | Reply

"Is there really that big of a difference between a four year old TV and a new TV? So much so that it necessitates dropping a couple hundred bucks every few years?"

I ask myself about replacing my 21 year old car.
Do I really need a backup camera, Bluetooth everything, AC seats, and 800 more cup holders?

#38 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-03-14 09:37 PM | Reply

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