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Made in…

with 3 comments

The older of my two daughters used to own a Fisher Price Sesame Street phone, an earlier model of one that was just recalled because of possible contamination by lead in the paint.  Although technically not under the recall, I lost my trust in it, so out it went, with promises to replace it with something better.  I was sure that tears would follow, (and I was right;) what I’m not sure about is my personal ability to buy, in good faith, anything from Mattel or Fisher Price again.  The good company that has been able to stand on its name for such a long time has joined those who have had their names besmirched in a “Made in China” scandal.  Both of my children have been playing with Fisher Price toys that were mine, thanks to grandma’s foresight in keeping them in the attic.  All of the bear the stamp “Made in the USA,” (with the notable exception of a music box from Switzerland.  Really.)   Thirty years of use, abuse, and storage in a harsh environment have diminished neither their quality nor the “fun factor.”  Toys made in China bought less than 2 years ago have not fared nearly as well, on either front.



To be clear, I am not advocating a total boycott of Chinese made goods.  This is impractical, financially, and is on parallel with quitting smoking cold turkey; the relapse rate would be high.  A simple, viable plan does exist, but it involves some conscience examination.  Each purchase would have to be categorized as a “want” or a “need.”  If each person took the time to just give up one or two imported wants a year,  we could move away from the chokehold that other countries have on our wallets.  Just a “We won’t buy apple juice made in China anymore,” can and, though I’m no economics major, should have an effect.   All it takes is stopping, reading labels, a few minutes extra of time, and considering the ramifications of buying something, instead of buying blindly.  All we have to do is to lean to live without these wants.  Are we up to it?   




Written by Jen Szymanski

May 20, 2008 at 6:22 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Count me in!

    I think that your connection between cheaper in price and cheaper in quality is an important point that isn’t discussed enough. The “typical” big box store consumer seems to be fueled by bargain-hunting and unconcerned with global economics. Perhaps emphasizing the idea that purchasing the product that is cheapest in price will actually result in the additional cost of maintenance or repurchasing the product when breaks is what will get through to these consumers?


    May 31, 2008 at 4:56 pm

  2. Not to be cynical, but let me know how that turns out.

    Seriously, though, I think that the only thing that will work is a long term solution where we move away from a consumable, disposable society, where we measure success not by the amount of stuff we have! There have always been wealthy people…but never so many people who “pretend” to be in the top 5% by using cheap knock-offs made in China.

    I know, I know…let ME know how that turns out. 🙂


    June 7, 2008 at 12:41 am

  3. Please, one of you let me know how this ALL turns out.

    These people in search of (no, LUSTING for) the better deal on a boxload of crap that they don’t even need, in a sea of humanity, made by people who can’t afford food and sold to them by people who can’t afford health care, is disgusting.

    And sad.


    June 13, 2008 at 7:28 pm

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