The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… Chinese Goods

Once upon a time, “Made In England” and even “Made In America” MEANT something. A guarantee of QUALITY. Perhaps not the BEST quality – but you knew what you were getting. In fact, even “Made In Germany” did not guarantee TOP quality – have you tried their mobile phones? Crap. Get a Nokia.

But when the West pissed away its manufacturing base and China took over, quality became a thing of the PAST. Their workers toiled away for peanuts and were prepared to work under conditions that would have shamed the West in the FIFTIES. But there was – and is – a PROBLEM.

COMPETITION.

Let us take an example. You buy an umbrella. A British or American one (which no longer exists) would cost you the Western equivalent of fifty Yuan (I’ve no idea what a Yuan’s worth – this is just for comparison, so work with me, okay?) But a Chinese one only costs twenty Yuan.

However, the struts are not made of stainless steel and begin to rust after the brolly’s first outing, staining its fabric. Then, after a few more outings, a high wind blows it inside out and the now-weakened struts SNAP – leaving you standing there like an idiot, getting WET.

At this point, you realise you would have been happy to have paid THIRTY Yuan – if the manufacturer had used STAINLESS steel. But he DIDN’T. And therein lies the problem with Chinese goods. It is made down to a PRICE – not up to a quality.

Certainly, the Wang Kee umbrella company COULD have used stainless steel – but then the brollys would have cost him fifteen Yuan to make, instead of ten. Meaning they would have had to leave his factory gates at seventeen Yuan a unit, instead of twelve.

And the ROOT of this problem is: while this may have been fine for YOU, Mr Wang Kee is not SELLING his products to you. He is selling them to a WHOLESALER. And that guy is not going to pay seventeen Yuan a unit for brollys when the Wun Hung Lo company sell theirs for TWELVE.

Plus neither the manufacturer OR the wholesaler are there for you to YELL at, when your brolly collapses and you are left standing in the damn RAIN.

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2 Responses to “Damien on… Chinese Goods”

  1. Everything you say checks correct. But only dollies use brollies. Proper anoraks are the thing for us normal dudes to cross the car park, or walk to the bus.

    I recall the Harris Tweed cartoon in Eagle comic. HT got a job as doorman at some posh hotel and, in the pouring rain, could be seen smiling cordially from beneath the brollie, whilst the posh customer got wet. I loved that one.

    Oh, wait, this was about the way the conservatives of USA and UK made a big deal about free trade, without protectionism. Serve us right. We gave it all away.

  2. True.

    I note you spelled “brolly” “brollie” and the plural as “brollies” – I wasn’t sure when I wrote the piece and went with “brolly” and “brollys”.

    Well – I just looked it up and it appears we were BOTH right… and wrong!

    The official spellings are… brolly… and brollies.

    Thus you got the plural right… and I, the singular!

    (But I can’t be arsed making corrections to your comment or my article. After all – as you pointed out – the piece was about bad Chinese goods, which we’re stuck with, thanks to the West throwing its protection away – not about protection from the RAIN!)


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