Tag Archives: quality

The “Crapification” of the U.S. Economy Is Now Complete, by Charles Hugh Smith

They just don’t make ’em like they used to. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The crapification of the U.S. economy is now complete. The only thing left is the tiresome waiting for the implosion of the entire travesty of a mockery of a sham.

The U.S. economy has fundamentally changed, and not for the better. There are numerous dynamics behind this decay, and I’ll discuss a few of the more consequential ones this month.

One consequential dynamic few mainstream pundits dare discuss is the “crapification” of the entire U.S. economy. That isn’t my description, “crapification” is now in common use. If the word offends you, substitute terminal decay of quality, competition, utility, durability, repairability and customer service.

One aspect nobody seems to notice is the transformation from a society that once drew its identity from producing quality goods and services to a society that draws its identity from consuming crapified goods and services. Now that Americans define themselves by consuming, they are enslaved to consumption: to limit consumption is to disappear–and ‘spending time” on social media is a form of consumption, even if no goods or services are purchased directly, as one’s attention / time are valuable commodities.

In other words, Americans have been trained like Pavlov’s dogs to consume, no matter how poor the quality and service. We just buy it anyway, and grumble over the decaying quality and service–but we won’t take the only action that would impact corporations and the government: stop buying the products and services. Opt out, drop out, make it at home, cancel the service, just stop buying abysmally made junk and pathetically poor services.

Corporations and the government are monopolies or quasi-monopolies, and so they don’t have to care whether customers are appalled by poor quality and service: they know the customer has to consume whatever is offered, no matter how crapified.

Go ahead and issue worthless warranties, products designed to fail, products designed to be unrepairable, software that is routinely declared obsolete so we have to buy the new crapified version that demands insane amounts of memory and processing power–go ahead, because the herd will continue buying the same garbage products and services because to stop consuming is unthinkable: I consume, therefore I am.

Continue reading→

July 4th: Sorry, America, You Lost Me, by Charles Hugh Smith

This doesn’t pretend to be a balanced opinion piece; it’s a screed. However, in today’s screwed up world, sometimes it’s the screeds that make the most sense. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Star Wars 24 plus the novelized version, amusement park ride, podcast, action figure and OnlyFans pages, anyone?

I happened to be in a Big Box Emporium, buying two bags of whole wheat flour, when a strange revelation struck me: almost nothing in this giant emporium was made in the USA. Apologists will quickly point out that the two bags of whole wheat flour were “made in the USA,” and note the US-made items in the food, liquor and beverage aisles; but wander out of these aisles and tell me how many of the hundreds of items are made in the USA (not assembled of foreign components, but made entirely in the USA). The answer is very few.

I suppose this fact is unremarkable to the majority of Americans, but my reaction was, sorry, America, you lost me: how is this not insane to depend on sweatshops thousands of miles away to make virtually everything on the shelves and warehouses of the U.S.?

It’s as if a war was declared on manufacturing in America and we lost–or simply surrendered.

If you want to buy a bulldozer or electric vehicle, you can Buy American, and if you buy an iPhone, the firmware is conjured in Cupertino (the phone is assembled in China of components sourced globally). But below a certain price point and outside the snacks, magazines and beer aisles, U.S.-made good are “special order” if they’re available at all.

Is this because the foreign made stuff is so high quality? No, it’s virtually all garbage quality. A war was declared on quality, and America lost. Virtually nothing on the shelves of America’s Big Box Emporiums and fulfillment warehouses is durable; it’s either designed to fail (planned obsolescence) or it’s so poorly made that it breaks, fades, rips, tears, delaminates or fails, and is dutifully hauled to the landfill as part of the entire Landfill Economy. (Forget trying to repair it; it’s been designed to be impossible to repair, and all the components are junk, too.)

Continue reading→

On the Road to Oblivion: “Quality, Thy Antonym is Equality!” by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

The drive for equality of results, as opposed to equality before the law, results in both social deterioration and unequal outcomes. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

― C.S. Lewis

On Thanksgiving eve, I was notified of a circumstance which caused me to drive thirteen hours round trip the following weekend.  The event which precipitated my travels is now beside the point, but I will say, given prior commitments and work scheduling, I was compelled to go alone. I didn’t mind. So I booked my hotel located in a major American metropolis, and that Saturday, packed my bag, grabbed my toothbrush and car keys, and bid my bewitching bride fare-thee-well.

Rather than take my larger rig, I decided to drive something more compact for the city; and more fun.  Soon, I was rolling over roads that were seemingly slung before me like waving ribbons in a whimsical wind. Although my material journey had just begun, mentally, I was already traveling down familiar, distant thoroughfares at the speed of thought; what The Grateful Dead would call the “West L.A. Fadeaway”:  Little red light on the highway, big green light on the speedway, hey hey hey.

My coincidental cognitive cruise began with gratitude. If I were to align sonic bell curves to represent my personal automotive preferences, the car I was driving would percuss the pinnacle position of every measure. With just the right exterior dimensions, and the perfect amount of interior room, horsepower, safety, comfort, reliability, economy, and style, I am fortunate to own such a vehicle. I knew I would successfully complete my mission and favorably manage all comers.  Yet, with any other make, model, or trim level, I would have had to accept some degree away from the apex of my carefully calibrated predilections.

To continue reading: On the Road to Oblivion: “Quality, Thy Antonym is Equality!