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The high cost of Chinese junk.

By       Message Ed Martin     Permalink
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The Associated Press reports that the Michigan-based Ecology Center along with the national Center for Health, Environment and Justice and groups in other states joined to test 1,268 items, most purchased at Wal-Mart, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us in the last six months.

Only 20 percent of the toys and other products had no trace of lead or harmful chemicals, according to the results.

This is just one example of low cost junk made in China that is actually unusable because it is poisonous and dangerous if used.  What about products other than toys that are made in China and are not even tested?  Shoes, for instance.  It's just about impossible to find a pair of shoes that are not made in China.  What are they made of?  Are they poisonous, too?  We don't know.

From my personal experience in the construction industry, I've found that Chinese products are the most expensive to use.  About a third of a box of nails must be discarded because they don't have proper points and are made of low tensile instead of high tensile metal and bend before being hammered in.  Screws are made the same way, the heads pop off before they can be seated.  Drill bits are made the same way, and will wear out drilling one hole.  Drill motors don't have the power for all day, heavy duty use.  They won't drive screws and burn out after a day of normal use.  I've had to re-thread Chinese bolts and nuts because the threads are not cut to standard US thread sizes.  The Chinese bolts are made to look like a standard thread bolt, but they're not. 

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I bought four light bulbs, made in China, for $1.00.  All four burned out within four hours.  I can buy a 500 hour bulb made in the USA for $.50.  The cost for the USA made bulb is $.50 for 500 hours versus $125.00 using Chinese bulbs.  They are real expensive bulbs.  A toilet tank fill valve used to be made of solid brass, cost $20 and would last 20 years.  Now, the valve is made of plastic, costs $10 and lasts one year.  That's $1.00 per year versus $10 per year for just the cheaper valve, alone.  That's not counting the $100 or more the plumber will charge you to replace the cheap valve.  The cheap one is more expensive to use than the expensive one.  But, they don't make the brass one anymore.

The Chinese products are actually fakes.  They're made of the cheapest material available.  Any and all kinds of metal is melted down to make items that require high tensile steel to be usable.  They're made to look like the real thing, but they're not.  The only purpose they serve is to be sold.  Once they're sold, they have completed what they were made to do.  After buying them, you might as well throw them in the trash can there at the door of the store as you go out.  You'll come out ahead.

I might be pissing off the Chinese and messing up our diplomatic relations with China, but I don't care.  I'm fed up with cheap Chinese junk.  You can't buy good anymore.  No one makes it.  The best you can find now is absolute junk.

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The Pentagon outsources the production of a lot of their equipment to foreign countries.  It might be that they can get military equipment made cheaper that way.  The Air Force might consider getting fighter planes made a whole lot cheaper in China.  But, I don't think they would be able to find pilots who are willing to fly a fighter plane that sells for $1.95.

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Ed Martin is an ordinary person who is recovering from being badly over-educated. Born in the middle of the Great Depression, he is not affiliated with nor a member of any political, social or religious organization. He is especially interested in (more...)

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