Sure I have (bought power tools or kitchen appliances lately).
The fact is, there are almost always more expensive choices available, no
one is forced to buy the "cheap" alternative (except maybe for kitchen
microwaves and a few hundred other items).
For example, last year I bought a cheap table saw for $99 (Ryobi). I COULD
have bought a SawStop CB31230 for a mere $3,470 (MSRP). That thirty-three
hundred dollar savings bought a lot of beer!
You ask "how is that an improvement?" Simple. For me it was a choice between
a saw for $99 that does an acceptable job and something that cost
prohibitively more that may do a perfect job. For your position, my choice
would have been between the more expensive item and nothing. Had your dream
been reality, I'd be cutting boards with an X-Acto knife!
Your criterion of "lasting a generation" is slightly flawed. I didn't WANT
the item to last a generation - durability wasn't even on the list! In my
case, the saw I bought did the job (cutting laminate for three rooms). Had
the saw failed immediately after the flooring job was complete, I'd have
been satisfied. As it is, lasting 18 months is a 17-1/2 month bonus!
Now if I had wanted a saw to pass on to my son, maybe I'd have sprung for
the three-thousand dollar model. But with my luck, my son would have turned
out to be a hair dresser, the saw would end up as scrap metal, and I would
have missed out on a lot of beer.
These weren't "purists", they were people who live in the community and
value the resource that WalMart was ready to ruin. It is a gorgeous
site, not just land that nobody else wanted.
Which "pattern"? Open land? Chicago has miles of waterfront parks, the
result of folks long, long ago who knew the value of open spaces. You
can ride a horse close to downtown Chicago, drive for miles with a view
of the park and the water, hold an outdoor rally for a million people,
have a picnic and visit a great museum, hop on a bus or train to go
Cool, work at Walmart and spend in Chicago. Works for me :o) And the
wages, no doubt, add tremendously to the economy....well, if the
employee's two other jobs are counted. FWIW, the Miami PD had how many
thousands of applicants for one of the worst jobs in the country. Avg.
length of employment is about 2 yrs, I believe.
So, a one-owner (and repair) shop sells small appliances, TV's, stereos.
He can't run it alone, so he hires a couple of skilled people to learn
the repair end and give him some time off. His employees draw loyal
customers, not just shoppers for the cheapest deal...and adds to the
value of the original purchase by having a place to service it.
When companies ship jobs out of the country ... yesterday it was one of
the computer mfg's, I think ... who do they think is going to be left
with a wage that can buy their product in the US? I keep asking myself.
SOL...Walmart sells the sandwiches, ice cream, books, auto parts. Mebbe
a wedding chapel...Walmart can do the photography. Hot dog cart or a
massage parlor might work. Or is WalMart doing massages?
So, has either of you read Deep Economy by Bill McKibbin?
(Amazon.com product link shortened)35332064&sr=8-1
Makes sense to me! (not usually a top poster, but someone might like
to refer to the thread that provoked this response from me)
On Sun, 22 Feb 2009 13:22:08 -0500, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
(Amazon.com product link shortened)35332064&sr=8-1
No, I haven't read it. From the review, however, it's apparent the author is
a loon. His premise seems to be that economic growth, and its consequences,
is untenable. We're running out of natural resources, etc.
This concept is not new - the prophecy of economic doom goes back at at
least to Malthus, with his book "An Essay on the Principle of Population" in
which he postulated "The power of population is indefinitely greater than
the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man."
In 1968, Paul Erlich wrote "The Population Bomb," with the prediction that
we (or at least most of us on the planet) would die by the end of the
1980's. His doomsday scenario was predicated on the belief that we were
running out of the resources necessary to provide for an increased
One of the critics of Ehrlich's hypothesis, was Julian Simon, an economic
theorist. In 1980 Simon proposed, and Ehrlich accepted, a wager. Simon said
to Erhlich, "pick any five commodity metals and I'll wager $1,000 that
they'll be cheaper in a decade." Erhlich agreed to the wager and picked
copper, chrome, nickle, tin, and tungsten. Here are a couple of the prices
(adjusted for inflation):
Chrome - from $3.90/lb in 1980 to $3.70 in 1990.
Tin - from $8.73/lb in 1980 to $3.88 in 1990.
Simon won the bet big time. (Ehrlich also offered to bet $10,000 the Britain
would cease to exist by 1990, but Simon thought that was too silly to fool
This was in spite of the world's population increasing by 800 million in the
I, for one, am not willing to even ENTERTAIN the idea of the wife washing my
shirts by pounding them with a rock on the stream bed.
I don't know either Simon or Ehrlich (although I have heard of
them)..the date was wrong, but clean water is a problem in many areas of
the US. China and India have horrible problems with air and water
pollution. I just saw a headline about California nearing total lack of
water for irrigation of farm fields due to drought (can you say "food
supply"?). They have an energy crisis every time the weather gets hot.
The NW US has a bad drought. N. Atlantic fisheries are badly depleted
of certain fish, like cod. The Gulf of Mexico has cut back severely on
grouper fishing. From all appearances, we are glad to go to war (pick a
reason) to have some control of the oil supply. Clean coal? Guess
there will be jobs for those Americans who don't work at WalMart.
Horsesh*t. There is no shortage of POTABLE water in virtually ANY place
in the US.
Admittedly, one might have to drill a deep well to get it in a few
places but, for the VAST majority of Americans, clean water is readily
available. Our rivers are clean, our streams are clean and, with rare
exception, our ground water is pristine.
California could slide into the Pacific ocean and, within a short time,
their lost agricultural output would be replaced by other producing
areas of the world. Yeah, we'd have to settle for Florida or Honduras
oranges, and, temporarily, for a higher price, but we'd muddle through.
California would not be the agricultural giant it is today were it not
for the foresight of the mega builders of the early 20th century. If
the regulatory and environmental restrictions of today were in place
then, California would be a desert today and drought would be common.
You don't say? <Duh!>
You don't suppose that fact could be due largely to the fact that they
haven't upgraded their power grid for the last 20-30 years.
But, not to worry: They're erecting windmills and solar farms. If
they're lucky, it'll keep up with the increase in their population.
Then, again, they'll probably just tax their citizens so much that their
population stagnates or, better, declines to meet their power generating
Sounds good to me. We could build solar and wind farms like never
before and still be plunged into darkness and cold if the oil stopped.
Oh, yeah! In case you haven't heard: There IS *NO* "alternative"
energy. Not yet, anyway. And probably not for a LONG time to come.
Yep. Clean - as in SCRUBBED clean. The same goes for oil.
You forgot nuclear power. StratCom has LOTS of it and the <coff, hack>
"fine" folks in the Middle East know it - probably not well enough, but
I hope they don't make us demonstrate it. We WILL get the oil. Unlike
all civilizations of the past, however, we'll pay $$ for our plunder.
Then: We have nothing to fear but FEAR itself.
Now: Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.
Oops. You're exactly right: She would.
Then, she would surely volunteer to mow the lawn half the time (she's
done it once in >35 years) and shovel the snow (I don't think she's EVER
done it) - to name a few outdoor things.
I've changed my mind: She would insist on an automatic rock.
I agree...Especially since Walmart and Macdonalds are the only ones making
any money now..It seems when money is tight some fall off their high horses
and buy things where their dollar buys the most..I chuckle seeing all the
Volvos , Saabs , Toyota Landrovers and SUV's packing the Walmart parking lot
theses days..Speaking of Autos , how many of you Walmart bashers drive
AMERICAN autos?? Or does your buy local American made only apply to retail
stores and hardware stores ??? I suppose Walmart is to blame for JUNK
American cars too and not the union and bad management...I suppose you all
also think the unions had nothing to do with pricing themselves out of the
market and forcing the companies over seas to compete...You guys crack me
I almost forgot - my '84 Buick runs fine. A tad rusty. Only lemon I
ever bought was a brand new Datsun. Owned three Chevy's, one new; all
great cars. Agree the unions have priced themselves out of many jobs,
and have no sympathy for that - another major problem for manufacturing
is the Worker's Comp. system - ought to be trashed, but no pol' will
ever have the guts to suggest that. Unless Obama gets universal
healthcare, but highly doubtful even then. My grandkids don't work yet,
but they will have to pay off our horrendous debts first.
Saturn was a great little car - for a while. What happened with Saturn?
Dumped in favor of trucks and SUV's?
What model Buick, and how many miles on it?
Best buy I ever had in a used car was an '84 LeSabre, bought in 1991 at about
55K miles... sold it in 2001 at 209K, still running fine. The only major
repair was a transmission rebuild at 150K.
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