why buy american these days?

Discussion in 'Community' started by jefhatfield, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #1
    i just got back from a shopping trip to costco, office depot, verizon and orchard supply/sears and looked at tons of american companies' goods and none of them were made in america

    since the 1980s if i had to deal with a product from an american company with a return or a warranty issue, i got the run around unless i shelled out additional cash

    in that whole time, if i dealt with a european made good or a japanese/asian made good from non american companies, i always got the best service and no hassles

    i used to get mad at my dad who would not buy american because he said american business had become morally bankrupt, as well as lower quality than asian and european stuff, but i just ignored him...he had traveled the world hundreds of thousands of miles and bought and sold goods of all nations and dealt with merchants under every flag

    on some level i knew he was right but i didn't want to admit it

    years later studying business in college and grad school, i also knew something was bad when my professors complained about american business practices and wanted to teach us the japanese ways in business

    today was the last straw for me...i had to deal with verizon with a problem with a cell phone and the sales reps just read a loophole from a script...three people, same script all three times...then i called them for further service...more problems and passing the friggin buck over and over

    some republican and some democrats in our government have long said the enron was not the exception in american business, but the norm...coupled with the early rantings of my father, followed by business school, followed by graduate business school, followed by enron, then followed by the pass the buck behavior of verizon wireless, i have decided never to buy american again until the overal business climate changes in america

    god bless america because, at least in business, we need all the help we can get and it will take at least god to whip us back into shape and give our business institutions honor again
     
  2. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    #2
    Yeah, good luck with that. Are you getting your food imported? :rolleyes:
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #3
    It depends on the products whether I would deal with them. Americans are terribly ingenious but I've always been surprised at how hands-off most companies are.

    My first computer job was at a company that made restaurant equipment in Ohio. We knew how much money was involved within a dime on a project, if everything went right, of course. Everyone was involved in the process of making sure that things went right. Each of the 300 of us knew the owner because we talked to him--he was one of us.

    I don't understand why most companies, large or small, avoid working this way. Isn't it better to know and get things right? Most of the companies where I've worked make certain that you know that you're not as good as the executives and that you don't count when it comes right down to it--holiday cards or not. Why would those employees go out of their way for customers when they receive the same pay for good or bad service?

    Are those phone conversations really being audited? When I did software support programming, our conversations were not recorded and therefore, not audited. Quality was not a problem for us but it could have been. We were the best in the company. We even had self-serving awards to prove it. I suppose the awards worked for most of the people but why get awards for doing your job right? Why be tipped for doing what you're supposed to do when waiting tables? That's the U.S.A.

    Does it need to change? Oh, yes. I don't care where the product is actually made as long as it has quality and good design and is backed up with good service. The U.S.A. can deliver that, if the executives start doing their jobs.
     
  4. crachoar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    #4
    Yeah, 'American' products are junk (like GM cars). But it gets worse...

    You do realize that the corporations that basically own America (practically the world, really) could care less about what happens to the 'middle class' right? It goes deeper than just making 'crappy products' (although, the 'built to break' tactic is how they make most of their money - that and blind 'patriotism', aka, idiocy).

    I think we should be more worried about how the corporations own the news. That's a little more scary if you ask me.

    What'll come down to is this...

    There won't be a middle class. Just owners and non-owners. That's the way we're headed. The only people that will make money, aside from business owners are people that do the 'dirty work' like concrete workers, plumbers, etc.

    This country is 'F'ed' as they say. Eventually, the world.

    Yay!!! Impending doom!!! :D

    Practically everything you can think of can be traced back to about 5 major corporations.

    Which reminds me, the film, 'The Corporation' is probably the best documentary ever made. If you haven't seen it yet, do so. It'll make you sick.
     
  5. etoiles macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

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    Jun 12, 2002
    Location:
    Where the air is crisp
    #5
    I highly recommend the book: "The Silent Takeover - Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy" by Noreena Hertz.


    From Booklist:
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #6
    What's interesting to me is what the major economic powers like the US, UK, Germany, France, Canada, etc, are going to do to make sure they stay "1st World"? The reason a 1st World exists is because the products we buy are made in foreign lands for almost no money. Surely, someone has to be a labourer, and someone has to make lots of money. As the rest of the world smartens up, 1st World countries are going to need to do some immoral and sneaky schemes to make sure things stay the way they are, economically.

    Developing countries like China who want to create electronics, biotech, clothing, and other capitalistic opportunities of their own won't have time to produce poor US products at slave wages for fat ass Americans anymore. Where does the US turn? Possibly Africa or Afghanistan? They ARE training Afghans to be tech-smart, and out of the kindness of their hearts, will develop one-sided trade agreements so that US companies can freely start up businesses there. 1st World countries will want to stay 1st World, but they have to keep 3rd World countries down in the gutter. It wreaks. :rolleyes:

    How about the dropping birth rate in 1st World countries? Only an average of 1.8 children per couple. Word is that England will start letting in more migrants from North Africa as it's population ages and there aren't enough people working/paying taxes. Who else is supposed to take the substandard, poor (some being illegal) jobs that keep the current economic and living standards up for the current British population? Certainly not the 'real' British public living there today. :confused: And when this happens, these migrant workers may have children that gain an education, and THEIR standards and education go up. Won't they have to find more migrants to take those substandard societal roles again? I realize that this has been the system for over a century, but still.
     
  7. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #7
    it's really dividing into "owners" and "workers", and there's nothing wrong with that IF the owners would be fair to its workers. but usually the owners think that they should get everything and workers should just be efficient & productive, basically turning workers into human robots that just do what is required and nothing more - if the worker cannot see any benefit from working harder/smarter/faster/better then it is really a psychological fact that the worker just won't do anything extra.

    this generation really don't value the worker, nor does it value experience. the old and wise are just kicked out and the experience is wasted. so sad...
     
  8. madoka macrumors 6502

    madoka

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #8
    Man, I hope you are satisfied with your current Macs. Apple is an American company and it may be a while before your next Mac. :D
     
  9. munkle macrumors 68030

    munkle

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    On a jet plane
    #9
    I highly recommended book, a lot better than the overhyped "No Logo" by Naomi Klein.
     
  10. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #10
    i have been leaning towards sony, and as much as i am not into the pc side of things, i am very impressed by their products these last few years

    and what's good is that steve jobs is actively being wooed by the mega japanese company...steve has always mentioned that sony has always been his role model...their industrial design is second only to apple inc but their reach is much, much bigger and their potential to change society and innovate is unmatched in the world...steve and sony...wow, it's an attractive idea

    i have to admit, with his innovativeness, steve deserves the pay and leverage that gates, allen, dell, and ellison have reaped from this field...disney has also been looking steve's way and when we go to a family barmitsva, disney's chairman will be there...he's a distant relative...and maybe we can get the scoop on our steve jobs ;)
     
  11. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #11
    sony pc rating from me...9
    service rating...10

    apple mac rating...10
    service rating...5

    my next computer is a sony

    america needs to do two things to get my confidence back

    1) american companies need to stop shipping jobs off to foreign lands
    2) american companies need to offer support and service up to par with foreign companies

    i want to buy american, but not if they port jobs off to god knows where and are interested in huge profits while us americans lose jobs

    i work hard for my money and i hate, like mentioned above, the greedy american corporate ethic of building junk that breaks down

    my car is a volvo and in 20 years, it has had one muffler job, one celanoid replacement, new tires when needed, and oil changes every three or four thousand miles...my wife has a mazda that's 18 years old and same basic maintenance work on that, too

    my compaq laptop has had major issues and it pales in comparison to the equally priced sony vaio laptop my friend has...it's lke the two laptops were built on different planets

    my radio and my tv are japanese and they have been rock solid

    my guitar is a japanese esp and it rocks over american fenders and gibsons and at one time fender and gibson was all i used...and i also used to use fender amps but they pale in comparison to british made marshall amps

    and i love beer, but budweiser is not amstel light, and henry's special dark is not guiness ;)

    i could go on and on but i will stop here since i think you get my message

    the good thing about america is that we have the freedom to criticize our country, its politics, and its companies and our freedom of speech makes us great...let's not make greedy, lazy, dishonest american companies bring down our great country

    my pleas used to be heard only from the far right or far left, but now, increasingly, political moderates like me, and fellow macrumors members as the above posts indicate, believe some of the things i do about american goods and services
     
  12. JLS macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Kent, England
    #12

    No logo is a great book... I thought it was really fantastic.
     
  13. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #13
    there is a lot of great r&d in u.s.a. but there's very little point in manufacturing anything over there, as the costs are too high and - dare i say - the quality isn't the best anymore.

    pro audio gear is a good example - designed in the u.s.a. but fabbed in taiwan. if i buy something pro audio that is manufactured inside the u.s.a. that better be handcrafted ;)
     
  14. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #14
    a very prominent american phsician turned radio talk show host says america used to lead the world in medical research, but recently china and mexico have surpassed american spending on cutting edge technologies

    american lawsuits and politicians have tied the hands of any real viable cutting edge american medical research and the current climate of medical research does not vibe with our current president

    it's all so very sad
     
  15. evoluzione macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

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    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #15


    if i remember correctly, my old G3 powerbook was made in Ireland...and how many iMacs etc are shipping from the Far East? :rolleyes:



    jefhatfield ... i'm with ya buddy. it makes me so mad when i hear someone say they'll only buy american for their next car, and they won't even look at Japanese or Euro cars...a lot of them are made in America, whereas (some) American cars are made in Mexico or somewhere. blind patriotism = idiocy indeed.
     
  16. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #16
    I usually buy whichever product I deem the best value without regards to place of manufacture. I do, however, tend to avoid products made in China, as such a label usually indicates there'll be problems with the product down the road. And I try to buy French when given a choice (to counter the stupidity of American attitudes/boycotts toward our sister nation) and Canadian or Swedish for my hockey gear.
     
  17. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #17
    sony service depends where you live ..in japan (and according to you in even in the US) the service is very good

    send your sony product (especially computers,notebooks) in for service _here_ is like playing (an expensive) lottery
    in a 2003 study of the german c't' apple,ibm were number one in service ...sony ranked _last_ together with gericom who has the worst build quality from all notebooks

    i would give sony computers a 6-8 at depending on (because of their frequent failures)
    their service gets: a 2-3 for germany and a 1 for austria

    i would give apple laptops a 9 and 8 and their desktops a 6,7 and 9
    but the service is much better (if you are able to find a shop where you can buy them)
    but their service
     
  18. madoka macrumors 6502

    madoka

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #18
    One of the reasons why he didn't want to buy from an American company is that they outsource their jobs. The fact that Macs are not made in the US is therefore irrelevant. :rolleyes:

    I don't think he got the hint though. There is no way to live in the U.S. and not buy from ANY U.S. company. What's he going to do for food, water, electricity, gas, etc.? Unless you go Amish there is no other choice but to buy American. To make a blanket statement like NEVER buying from an American company is going too far.
     
  19. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #19
    some people like me who are pro america want this country to do well and have all americans...male female white black republicans democrats straight gay...all do well

    unfortunately too many pro americans i know of are white supremists who are hate filled and hide behind fundamentalist chritianity and are headed down the same path of the hitler youth through xenophobic indoctrination...it's a sad state of affairs and i don't want to be around when they take over this country...like jay leno joked, we should let the iraqis have our constitution since we no longer abide by it
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #20
    There are good American companies with quality products. Just be a discerning consumer. I get a decent amount of hiking/packing stuff from Mountain Hardwear, or Marmot, or Patagonia. I could list a pretty substantial number of quality American beers. I'd be real happy with a Delta Unisaw in my shop.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't shop American blindly. If someone else makes a higher quality product, I'm all over it. But I do take time to try and find stuff by local shops and companies. I'd rather go to the local pet store than PetCo any day, I prefer my local independant bookseller to the chains (man how I miss BookShop Santa Cruz) and indie record stores over others (although iTMS is making a dent in that).

    Above all I reward quality and good service with my business.
     
  21. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #21
    i will not buy electronics, cars, guitars, amplifiers, tv sets, etc from the usa owned companies in this current climate of greed, low quality, bad customer service, etc

    of course i will have to buy my food here, pay for the phone service and utilities since i have no choice in the matter...it's like the environmentalists who meet in a city but they have to get there with some means that uses gasoline, but the overall voice of an environmentalist's lobby, conference, hearing, or rally does have a positive effect over the longterm and our politicians do hear their voice...but yes, they had to rally in the first place using cars, buses, and trains to get there to make that voice be heard initially

    i use organic gardening techniques and don't use gas tools or dangerous chemicals known for environmental damage, but i find it ok and necessary to use a car...i do pollute getting there but what i refrain from does help the environment...i recycle and i find it and overall good thing which outweighs the big gasoline driven trucks that pick the stuff up...we should do what little we can to help the environment and stand up for our causes

    like a poster above mentioned, they buy french to counteract the ridiculous anti french sentiment that is just a political non issue brought up by a lame duck president unable to help our dire economic situation and hapless unwinable war

    even little actions to help the environment or send a message to politicians or domestic corporations helps when a lot of people partake
     
  22. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #22
    i totally believe that but i have been burned way too much by american companies and in my life i have bought american and foreign goods in roughly equal quantities and i have seen a pattern for a very long time

    perhaps the american companies are at the top of the heap most of the time in most industries and the foreign companies, often not in the top spot, strive to move up the ladder by offering better goods and services...some say if the foreign companies reach the top, then they too will become complacent and put out the most shoddy goods and offer the worst rude service

    ...and if and when that happens, i will stop my boycott on american goods ;)
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Colly-fornia
    #23
    I couldn't give up my All-Clad cookwear. My Le Creuset pieces do come from France though. :D
     
  24. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #24
    if for some reason france pissed me off, like blowing up the empire state building or something, then i would boycott french goods

    but it would be hard for me to give up french wine...and though we both live in southern wine country (south of napa-sonoma)...you near the wine region of paso robles and me near the carmel valley appalacian, the french still make consistently better wine

    but france going with overwhelming world opinon and being against the us war in iraq is no reason for americans to boycott french goods
     
  25. evoluzione macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #25

    isn't that essentially the same thing?? it's not like they're employing only Americans in the Irish/Far East production facilities is it?
     

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