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jca's avatar

How would your life be different without an influx of low priced consumer goods (i.e. clothing, appliances, stuff) from China?

Asked by jca (35989points) June 4th, 2011

If there were not an availability of low priced consumer items (i.e. clothing, appliances, household items) from China, how would your life be different?

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24 Answers

josie's avatar

I would have less money in my checking account

Facade's avatar

I’d feel better about buying things knowing that (hopefully) fewer people are having to work long hours for little money.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I would have very little.
I try very hard to buy domestic goods whenever possible, but the truth is that I can’t really afford it. Not really any other way to put it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m not sure. I don’t use many appliances other than the major one and I have no idea where they are manufactured or assembled. My cars have been Japanese, most of my shoes are from Italy or South American and handbags made in the USA. I’d have to look at my favorite clothes to get a feel for where they are made.

JLeslie's avatar

The selection of clothing would probably be better. Right now everything is junk or very expensive. It would be nice to have well made moderate clothing again.

I might have a little less in savings, but not much less. I try to avoid made in China when possible anyway. I keep things until they die typically. My last cell phone I had for 5 years. All my TV’s are old big fat square ones, except for one smal flat screen in my bathroom. I am afraid to buy dishes made in China. My mother forbid me to buy fish farmed in China. But, I am sure I unknowingly do buy items made on China, I don’t check every little thing I buy.

WasCy's avatar

Low-priced stuff from Indonesia, Jamaica, Honduras, Brazil, Mexico, India, etc.

woodcutter's avatar

Things would cost more but at least shit wouldn’t fall apart soon after you got it. More jobs would then be had right here, more people would be making more money and therefore be able to afford better quality goods. China wouldn’t have all that $ to build up their high tech military courtesy of the US consumer ,as well as others.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

It wouldn’t be as convenient for me or my family, as we find that these “low-priced” goods fill an economical purpose——for example, useful items that come in handy everyday, that if were made here in America and sold, would cost us 3 or 4 times as much. And the quality really doesn’t differ that much either now. These “cheap goods” aren’t as bad as some people think——they’re improving. People used to make fun of “cheap” Japanese cars 40+ years ago, but people eventually started buying them overwhelmingly because they started to outperform American cars in terms of gas mileage and price. The same thing will eventually happen with Chinese goods.

mazingerz88's avatar

To buy a Mac i’ll probably save money 4 years instead of 2.

jca's avatar

I thought of this question as I was wrapping a present that my daughter was going to give another child from her class. I thought to myself “I have to get some big gift bags from the dollar store.” I then thought of how before dollar stores, a small gift bag was a few dollars each. Now, with the dollar store crap from China, a large gift bag is $1. Then I started thinking what else is good about it and what else is bad about it. I know with my daughter’s toys, they’re all pretty much from China. When I was little (1970s), things were either from the US or Made in Japan or Taiwan. I had a lot of stuff, but not as much as now. When I go to nice department stores like Macy’s or whatever, all the “decor” crap like candle holders, jewelry boxes, etc. is made in China. I’m with @JLeslie, I don’t buy dishes made in China because I don’t trust the glazes, since the Chinese seem to like to put lead in everything.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I try to not buy Chinese made products. It has helped declutter the house. There is no need to buy new Christmas decorations. The ones from the previous years are still fine. I We put them away when the season ends and take them out when it begins. There is no need for buying new. Why do you need gift bags? What happened to the ones you had from the other 20 birthday parties? Reuse them or skip them. My appliances rarely wear out but when they do, I buy one that is produced “ABC” – (anywhere but China). I have Corning USA Corelle dishes that will last forever.
I also cruise GoodWill and get good stuff . Even there I resist China made.
Stereo, TV are 10 years old and will last until I get sick of them. I will buy HD when it is American made. If I have to wait a long time so be it. I refuse to let my home become China’s dumping ground.
The next time you are temped to buy some crap made in China toy, imagine the underage kid making it.

jca's avatar

@worriedguy: I needed a huge one for a huge gift. I don’t have any of those from recycling. I have small ones. To wrap using regular wrapping paper (which I did) takes up almost a whole roll.

woodcutter's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Cheap Japanese cars? Where? You really need to spend a boatload of money to get quality footear now. We all can’t afford Redwings so we get that made in China junk that will pretty much blow out in 3 -4 months, if you are lucky. Of course those who have a charmed life and don’t do much to test their shoes they might me able to stretch them out to 9 months. But hey they’re cheap so just bin them get get brand new all over again and stay in fashion and choke the landfill with cheap Chinese blowouts that don’t have much of a story to tell. It’s the same with clothes. At least they put spare buttons on some of their shirts, but not near enough belt loops in their pants which I’m sure is another cost saving step, or lack thereof.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@jca How old is the kid? We wrapped gifts in the Sunday comics. They loved it!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@woodcutter I buy RedWings. They are expensive but they last a long time – 10 years for my steel toe boots.
But…. The last time I went there, the model I wanted was now made in China. I told the guy I was disappointed and would not purchase it. I brought my old pair (that I was going to throw out because it was separating) back to the store and had him reattach the bottom and reseal it – for free. I promised to buy a new pair when they were American made. If I have to wait a long time so be it.

woodcutter's avatar

Red Wings made in CHINA? Please say it ain’t so! This is as bad as when Harley Davidson went out of the country. It’s a race to the bottom I tell ya :(

jca's avatar

@worriedguy: I don’t get any Sunday paper and I don’t know of any that have comics.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

The last time I bought nicer men’s shoes was when I was married to my ex back in the 90’s. Cole Haan and Bruno Magli are no longer made in Italy, at least not the ones I picked up and looked at. This was depressing to me.

woodcutter's avatar

The way the middle class is being gutted there really is no practical choice other than to get the cheap inferior products. It’s all most can afford and we just deal with the fact that whatever we buy is probably not going to last as long as the thing it replaced. Almost nothing is worth getting repaired anymore.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@woodcutter When I said “cheap”, I didn’t mean in terms of price, but quality. Americans used to make fun of Japanese cars and other products from that country, but that has changed and now more people buy Japanese made cars than American cars.

China is a threat to many Americans, who can only divulge in poking fun at the mass produced goods that come out of there, but one thing that cannot be denied is that China has made a phenomenal leap forward in terms of technology and its economy. Hey, you can’t blame China for giving the people here what they really want——lower priced goods and an overwhelming variety of them, even if the quality is not that great. It’s not China’s fault that we have bought it “hook, line, and sinker”.

jca's avatar

@woodcutter: about things not worth repairing: so true. I used to see, in every town, a TV repair shop, vacuum cleaner repair shop, etc. Now it’s not worth repairing a vacuum cleaner, when you can buy a new one for under $100. Same with TV’s, not worth repairing, just throw out the old, get a new one with newer technology. DVD or whatever, just throw it out.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@jca is correct! As far as into the mid 90’s, I was servicing the 1930’s Kirby vacuum cleaner that had been passed down for a few generations in my family. The average cost was between $50.00—$75.00 every 5yrs or so. As soon as I was gifted a modern vaccum that had cost about $150.00 then I gave the old one away because the technology was lighter and cleaner. When it needed repair and I was quoted over $100.00 for the service, I sent the modern one to the Goodwill and bought another new one for $80.00. No issues yet.

DVD players are less than $100. now, cheaper through Craigslist or pawn stores, why would I follow the manufacturers instructions to pack it up and ship it at my expense to be repairs for about $60.00 and then wait a few months without a DVD player while I wait for it’s paid-by-me-return?

woodcutter's avatar

Yes those warranties are really quite silly. I think that is what chaps me as much as a product fail is using the warranty as a selling point when it isn’t worth the time or the paper it is printed on. Just make more and bigger landfills for all of those plastic fantastic “fails” .

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