Monday, August 9, 2010

Time to bring back American Manufacturing!

My experience today was a perfect reason why we need to bring back American manufactured goods, and quit making inferior ones overseas in China. I bought a power washer / compressor with a brand name of "Task Force" from a major hardware store here two years ago. I have used it VERY lightly in the past two years, and I know that it came with only "a limited ONE-YEAR warranty," but a $150 product should last longer than this ... The power washer quit spraying after the first use of the day (when I would let go of the trigger) -- it just wouldn't spray after that. Not wanting to just throw away a $150 product that is barely two years old, I took it apart this weekend to check it out. The compressor was fine -- the only thing that could have failed was the cheap electrical switch used to turn the compressor off and on. When I called the 1-800 number (a place in Canada) they gave me another number to call. That person told me that "no parts are available here, everything is from China." So I told him, I guess that means I just "throw the machine away, right?" He said, "Right." Twenty years ago, that little electronic switch would have been a mechanical one and would have lasted for hundreds of on-off cycles. But the short-sighted manufacturers wanted to cut 50 cents or a dollar of the cost of the product, so they replaced it with an electronic one, controlled by a chip. It just amazes me, the built-in obsolescence of products we buy here now. All designed to fail, quickly, so the owner(s) of the companies can profit off our misfortune, and we are poorer still. It looks like the richest 2% of the country will soon control more than the 50% they are supposed to have. It will be more like 80% or more, if we continue to buy this junk from China.

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