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Does it matter to you whether a toy or game is made in the USA?


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Posted on Aug 2, 2012 5:59:07 AM PDT
Regarding educational levels, it should also be noted that:
1. The collapse of the Guild and Apprenticeship systems in most industries has left most youths with no viable option for a trade-oriented education.
2. With most grunt worker jobs being long obsolete and only economical at wages that are illegal in the developed world, there are few jobs that an uneducated youth is qualified for.
3. Discriminatory laws that reduce human rights to adult privileges have, among other things, rendered Student as the only socially acceptable occupation for youths, regardless of ability.
4. Combining the above, Secondary-level academic education has been crushed under the added weight of youth who in previous eras would either be doing Apprenticeship or already have a rank-and-file job.
5. Not only has this extra weight hurt the quality of secondary academic education, it has resulting in standards being dropped to allow those with no place in academia to get Diplomas.
6. Though a domino effect, you have a situation where individuals of lessor ability are climbing ever higher through the traditional degree tiers, making each degree more common and less valuable while lowering the average ability of individual at a given level.
7. All of this is a simple matter of numbers. While I do not approve of eugenics or restricting a person's right to have children, the only way to relieve pressure on the education system without a complete overhaul or refusing to educate the unintelligent is to drastically reduce the number of children being born.
8. Even with their restrictions on having children and receiving an education, the Chinese are likely to reach a point where they have the same problem if their minimum wage continues to rise.
9. Japan has managed to avoid this problem due to a naturally low birth rate, negative population growth, and having actual trade schools for those unfit for hardcore academia
10. Several other developed countries have some combination of low/negative population growth, a healthy apprenticeship system, trade schools, etc. that help keep the value of academic diplomas and degrees high.

In all fairness, most of the domestic critique I have heard from China comes from those living in Hong Kong, which is under the authority of the Chinese Government, but enjoys far greater freedom without government interference. Of course, just as here in the US, successful business owners in China do have some unfair privilege regardless of their ethics, and as their emerging middle class becomes more acclimated to technology, it becomes harder to get them under lock-and-key. Contrary to popular belief, the Chinese are not all subsistence farmers or factory wage slaves.

Also, to be completely honest, I could not care less about the United States or any other artificial geopolitical construct people have come-up with to divide humanity in to "Us and Them". Beyond my own self-preservation, my primary concern is the general well-being of human society as a whole. I do not believe in deliberately sacrificing one group to benefit another, especially over something as insignificant as geography. The Chinese worker is not the enemy of the American Worker, and do not see how sacrificing millions of innocent Chinese workers can do any net good for humanity as a whole, even if it would help as many American workers as many seem to think. If anything, it is Corrupt American Business Executives who are the common enemy of all workers, American and Chinese alike, and to a lessor extent, the Corrupt politicians in the US and Chinese Governments and possibly even some Corrupt business executives on the Chinese side.

As a consumer with little disposable income, the best I can do is try to support those who produce a quality product at a reasonable price while maintaining strong ethics and encourage others to do the same. Buying into hasty generalizations or discrimination based on anything other than merit does not help me or anyone else towards this goal. As a single voter without resources to influence the masses, the best I can do is cast individual votes against the status quo of incompetent and/or corrupt government.

I believe humanity has a great untapped potential, but we can only achieve it when we discard that which divides us and embrace that which unites us. E pluribus unum, out of many, one, a motto that described how from many colonies, the United States arose as a single nation, but I desire to see it go much other, where from many human beings, we achieve a single humanity that encompasses the whole world. I may have my head in the clouds, but I try to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground, and do my best to have the integrity to stand by my convictions.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 3:17:21 AM PDT
Aurora Night says:
I really try to avoid promoting child labor usage by buying chinese things...also be aware that many things manufactured there and other foriegn countries have toxic textiles and dyes....would you like your child exposed to that possibility...you also must understand shipping between that country is outrageous...these are some of the issues driving back some of those producing items in China.....Thank you for asking...Yes it does matter.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012 9:37:31 PM PDT
KissyChrissy says:
YES! A million times, YES!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012 6:09:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2012 6:09:32 PM PDT
Rossco P says:
To Shiloh Sales: The corporate ladder still exists but they are removing rungs of the ladder, and if you want to get to the top rungs, you will need a pilots license to fly there. The reason why it takes a college degree to get a high school qualifying job is the fact that we have given away so many of the jobs that college students are fighting for lesser jobs. This has created a problem at all levels of business, because you now need a masters degree for a bbachelors job and a doctorate for a masters level job. As we continue to send our jobs outside of the country, it will eventually cause a situation where it will take a masters degree to get the high school level jobs, and a doctorate to get the bachelors degree jobs...and then, if our country pulls our heads out of our asses and we start bringing the jobs back, everyone with a degree of any kind, will become overqualified to do the jobs that they have been doing. This will cause another collapse in the workforce, and only kids graduating from high school will get the jobs, and there won't be any benefits attached to those jobs. It will take 100 years to correct the problems that Washington is failing to fix, and we will never see a time in our lifetimes, where we will be doing as well as our parents did. We have become 10 times more greedy in the process though.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2012 5:57:19 PM PDT
Rossco P says:
To Jeffrey A. Wright: If we are going to buy products made in China, you can tell China that these are the rules if you are going to sell to us. You don't need to let them dictate the rules if we ask them to make something that is to be sold in our country. THey should get an ultimatum...Make it with our rules, or you don't get to make it, buy it, or sell it. As far as Chinese manufacturers speaking out against unethical practices, is that the same as China's free speech that doesn't really exist? There should be fair trade, not free trade. Free trade says that they will sell to us but not buy from us, though I'm sure that we send a boat load of unattached money directly to the leaders of China (which I'm not going to waste my time looking up). Fair trade means that they need to buy from us if we are going to buy from them. We shouldn't be buying more than 49% GNP from outside of the United States. It cuts into our jobs, taxes, adds people on social services, and if I wanted to sit here and think about it, I could come up with many other ways that we are causing our own destruction. With all of our money leaving the country, and not much coming in, we are the ultimate losers. We are creating poverty, and you will be crying when we don't run anything, can no longer use computers, cell phones, drive our cars when we want to...Wake up buddy, you are having some kind of unrealistic fantasy if you think that we can buy but not sell. Stores don't get rich buy only buying but not selling. They go out of business, just like the United States.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2012 7:20:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2012 7:31:47 AM PDT
shiloh sales says:
Here in the USA, What is so different in factory machinery nowadays that requires a college degree to run compared to the machinery 20-30 years ago?

It was commnon practice for companies to hire somebody for a boring entry level position (ie: assembler, stock room clerk, janitor etc.) somewhere on the factory floor. When machine operators were due for a promotion management look towards somebody in an entry level position to learn the machine and had the current operator teach the entry level person to push the correct buttons in the correct order and how to watch the machine so it did not put out a bad part before the current operator was promoted. If the machine was a high tech machine that required programming (sometimes complex), the upcoming operator would be taught that after he was skilled in running the machine. Management would look for the the entry level worker that showed up on time every day, did his job assigned to him and was a team player and chose those people to learn a higher skill through "on the job, hands on training".

Companies were not afraid to spend the time for hands on training because it often created company loyalty which seems to be missing in many companies now. Workers that are loyal to their company put out better quality products.

Are those the kind of factory machines that now require a college degrees in order to be hired?

Does the corporate ladder still exist?

Posted on Jul 31, 2012 7:16:00 AM PDT
>How much technology is IN a board game?

Varies significantly depending on the game in question. A simple checkers or chess set could be downright stone-age in its construction, but something like modern versions of Monopoly that replace fake cash with fake debit cards or fully electronic versions of Battleship contain quite a bit of technology that did not exist until the 20th century. Besides, there really is no limit to how sophisticated the gameboard and game pieces can become.

Of course, even for the toys made of stone age tech, the technology used to make them has changed. Hand-carved Chess pieces might be prized for their craftsmanship, but they are unsuitable for meeting demand for affordable, readily available chess sets. An injection-molding machine, on the other hand, might produce a thousand sets in the time it takes to carve one set by hand, and giving the pieces a more intricate design does nothing to slow down the machine while the time to hand-carve grows exponentially. There are reasons hand-carved Chess sets are hard to come by and are usually at a price that only hardcore Chess aficionados are willing to pay.

On a related note, once 3d printing reaches a point that desktop 3d printers are as prevalent as desktop inkjet printers, Injection molding, and much of mass production, will be obsolete, as instead of buying a Chess set, you would just print a Chess set on you household printer, and if you lose a piece, you could just print a replacement instead of tossing the whole set and buying new one. It is only a matter of time before products made from plastic parts undergo a digital revolution similar to what has already happened for music and books, and is happening for movies.

Also, an few important notes about patents:
1. The only country that honors a US Patent is the US.
2. In general, country x only honors patents file in country x.
3. There is no such thing as an international patent.
4. Patents typically cost around 20,000 USD PER COUNTRY for full protection.
5. Even if you have a patent in the place where the infringement took place, the court fees for prosecuting the infringer are quite expensive.
6. As a result of the above, most small to medium companies are in a position to lose more money in enforcing their IP than they do from sales lost to knock-offs.
7. In many countries, a Patent goes to the one who can afford the cost of the patent, not the inventor of the patented product.
8. Combined with the doctrine of work for hire, which make it legal for employers to steal their employees IP, most Inventors are at a tremendous disadvantage.
0. China does show favoritism towards its own people when issuing patents, resulting in cases where the Chinese Patent is held by a knock-off Manufacturer and the inventor cannot get a Chinese Patent.
10. It is not uncommon for Chinese knock-offs to be produced in the same factories that were hired to produce the Official Version.
11. More upstanding Chinese manufacturers have spoken out against the unethical practices of some of their peers.

>We need to stick together and correct each other if we are going to hold our world together.

Fixed that for you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 8:33:18 PM PDT
Toy Doll says:
You have a good night, too, Rossco.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:58:04 PM PDT
Rossco P says:
To DisplacedMic: We need to stick together and correct each other if we are going to hold our country together!! Have a great night!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:37:33 PM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
haha - i'm dumb. yes, thank you Rossco!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:36:51 PM PDT
Rossco P says:
To W. Culbertson: Well kid, your pparents should be concerned where the things, that they waste their money on you, comes from. To your parents...Stop spoiling your kid and teach him about the value of a dollar, and the price that our country is paying for the incompetence of the United States Government and the do-nothing unqualified to be the president of a neighborhood clubhouse, president that we have.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:32:17 PM PDT
Rossco P says:
East Coast Member: It's not just about technology. It's also about clothes, shoes, adding lead and poisonous chemicals to the products that we buy, it's about crap on all levels, it's about the sell-out corporate offices making a fortune off of the things that we purchase and then take tax breaks that come out of the pockets of those who really pay taxes...How much time do you have to discuss this?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:24:13 PM PDT
Rossco P says:
Brian Hurtado: from an economic standpoint, the answer is Yes. You have brought up some good points, but if China sells us garbage, doesn't buy from us, has no restrictions based on quality control, and a 100% total disregard for our patent laws, then we should have a 100% disregard for allowing China to make our products. No further questions required.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:20:47 PM PDT
I remember visiting the Soviet Union (WHEN it WAS the Soviet Union) and discovering the same thing. Goods for "Westerners" were better than those offered to the local people. There were different stores.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:18:35 PM PDT
How much technology is IN a board game?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:17:39 PM PDT
The quality is not obvious, always, in the beginning. Remember the poisoning of American pets with plastic added to the imported food to create the appearance of adequate protein?

Can that sort of thing happen in the U.S.? Yes, but I do believe it is less likely.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:16:30 PM PDT
Rossco P says:
DisplacedMic: I'm thinking that your comment is missing some language about small businesses, and that you didn't intend to tax them out of existence. Good question about companies refusing to outsource. I'm still thinking that they were overtaxed if they were a small business, so that the corporate criminals could keep running with tax breaks.
Thanks for a good comment!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:13:00 PM PDT
Yes, it matters. As much for safety as for any other reason. I consider a few other countries, but I do try to avoid Chinese products when I can, as I just don't trust the safety and ingredients (as in, what is in that dye or paint, is the quality of the product sufficient to make it safe?).

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 3:25:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 30, 2012 5:37:52 PM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
i wonder how many jobs were lost when companies that refused to "outsource" went belly up.

there's no conspiracy here. if a company cuts costs, consumers save money.
like i've said from the start: we need to get back to being a business-friendly nation again and STOP taxing small busnisses out of existence.

BUY LOCAL should be a mark of quality, not an appeal for charity.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 3:23:58 PM PDT
If you're asking a moral question, my opinion is, "Yes." If you're asking from an economic standpoint, the answer is, "No." The company that hires Chinese labor loses the moral ground on which to proclaim that Americans '...should by American products.' If a manufacturer purchases American labor, they are not hypocritical, when making this proclamation (are you listening, Dell and HP?). From a purely economic approach, the factors that need to be weighed (IMHO) are:

Import/Customs costs
Shipping costs
Labor/Materials costs
Reputation costs

Just or unjust, reputation for manufacturing overseas still has an impact on marketing. The Chinese have a (well-earned) reputation for very low-quality manufacturing and materials. Additionally, their disregard for safety regulations is quite disheartening. As a result, a huge mistrust for Chinese products and a disdain for those products on American shelves is hugely contributory to their reputation on US soil. In short, the expression "You get what you pay for" still means something, today, albeit not what it used to mean. Minimum order quantities must also be considered. The factory can be queried for this information, but minimums must be met, in order to place an order. Please also consider the RMA factor: Chinese factories are quite fond of the policy that any and all defective items are to be replaced "on the next order." If the quality is bad enough that another order is not desired, you might as well chalk any RMA units up to a loss. Even in American courts, plaintiffs are hard-pressed to receive judgments and, even if victorious, adherence to any such verdict is not always as strict as one would like. Add to that the fact that the Chinese have begun developing a reputation for disregarding patent/copyright/trademark ownership, and you are creating a risk that must be closely evaluated and weighed, prior to arriving at any real conclusion about the desirability of outsourcing to China. Even American (scumbag) lawyers fight on the side of Chinese manufacturers, if the price is right (one of them is running for office right here, in Texas).

While many of my comment may appear to be doom saying, I am simply offering them up as points of consideration... I, personally, no longer feel the need for any loyalty to "Made in the USA" products, simply because so many of Americas manufacturing and intellectual property giants have sold out the American work force in favor of larger profits, leaving the American consumer in less of a position to be able to afford 'American-Made' products. Ultimately, I believe the trend is leading AWAY from the 'American-Made' stamp meaning much. Americans have been so trampled by corporate greed that mere survival takes precedence over American pride, and people are forced to by what they can afford.

My best possible advice to your brother, in summation is: "Do what is best for your own financial benefit, in keeping with your values, principles, and conscience."

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 3:19:24 PM PDT
obviously you've never been the victim of job outsourcing, like so many Americans have. Or maybe you just can't afford to care about job loss in the USA. But if this site just gets you thinking about it, than it's worth it. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 3:13:50 PM PDT
Hey! I'm a kid and you very much insulted me there. I do care about durability and while dragons are awesome

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 3:09:27 PM PDT
I don't really care about where its made, I just care about quality and price. If there were two of the same thing same quality but one made in the Usa one in China I would buy the cheaper one.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2012 4:47:41 AM PDT
Actually, I say it is more a case that technological advancement has rendered the skills common among older US workers obsolete, and our antiquated Education system has done a sub-par job of building up more relevant skills in the younger generations. You could be the best at the job using 20-year-old tech, but it does not matter if you do not know the present-day tech that replaced it. Of course, one also has to remember that, with the newer technology, one person can now produce more product in less time than what an entire staff could do with the older tech.

I do not fear outsourcing. I fear technology reaching a point where I cannot adapt.

Though honestly, even if every US consumer switched to buying Made in the USA whenever possible, it would not solve unemployment, and would probably make it worse. At best, it would just shift where unemployment is more prevalent, and at worst, it would raise the unemployment rate and make its prevalence more widespread as manual Chinese-factories are replaced by automated US-factories.

My goal is do my part to unsure the employment of my neighbors and relatives who make the best products, and I do not discriminated between my next-door neighbors and my neighbors half-a-world away, nor do I discriminate between my siblings and my xth cousins, y times removed for some ridiculously high values of x and y. Honestly, it baffles me the way some people show favoritism based solely on geographic proximity, sometimes to the point of refusing to give credit for a job well done to those far away.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2012 9:07:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 28, 2012 9:09:03 PM PDT
Rossco P says:
To Thrakorzog: I just look at everything and compare the prices from every store. If I absolutely need something, I will buy Chinese junk after searching three or more stores. Menards has quite a few tools that are made in the USA. Otherwise, it's a job for a detective (you have to be happy with doing the search. I was shopping for new jeans and I couldn't find any made in the USA, so I bought Arizona's at JC Penny's for about 1/4 the price of the Lee and Levi's, so I bought three pair for my new job. I passed on replacement shoes at Penny's for lack of USA made shoes in the worker boot/hiker styles that I wear.
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