I would like to forward a theory based upon my personal experience. EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING in our world is now manufactured to FAIL. These “failures” are usually not catastrophic, they are more often than not, collateral to the overall performance of the item but its failure often causes the entire item to become ineffective and a nuisance to operate..

Here is yesterday’s example. A ceiling fan. Upon reaching for the chain which operates the lights of one of our fans, the chain came off in my hands.. As I removed the outer housing of the fan, I saw that the chain was attached at the base of the fan by a very thin strip of plastic.. After it had broken, all that was left was a microscopic piece of this plastic that CANNOT be repaired or retrieved.. (Last week, another chain broke on another ceiling fan causing the fan speed to remain at a near F4 tornado level..) (By the way, yesterday, the “lifetime guarantee” relative to the upstairs bathroom sink’s faucet was suddenly NOT a “lifetime guarantee” causing a hundred dollar an hour plumber to also reap a tidy sum from me..)

This breakage is not catastrophic, the fan is still “useable” but it is inconvenient and moderately annoying. I would like the fan to operate but not necessarily with the lights burning every time. Use of something, say METAL in place of a cheap almost microscopic piece of plastic might alleviate this “replace everything” situation from recurring at such an annoying rate. The intentional use of wispy pieces of plastic denotes the fact that they KNOW that it will fail causing the inconvenience which inevitably leads to its replacement within the near future..

This particular “failure” isn’t something that you can prevent while purchasing ceiling fans as the area in question where the intentionally defective piece of see-through Swiss cheese plastic is located deep within the external housing of the fan itself, making it far from view and even farther from easy accessibility..

It seems as though every day, SOMETHING within the home “fails” and needs to be replaced. From the minutia to the overwhelming, something fails and needs to be replaced. From light bulbs (which seem to last as long as the liberal Scare America radio station..) to lawn mowers to anything and everything in-between, we are constantly spending money because everything it seems is manufactured to fail.

Please note that almost EVERYTHING is manufactured in China.. Their economy is booming because we have to replace everything due to breakage every five minutes or so and all of that cash is flowing right back to those who manufacture intentionally inferior products.. It’s impossible to actually “save” any money, say for something as silly as a “nest egg” or something, as we constantly have to replace something manufactured in China every single hour of every single day..

Those who use Chinese manufacturing also get a “cut” whenever another of whatever it is that they “produce” gets sold, regardless of the fact that another one was bought because the last one “failed” a year or so ago.. Those who sell these items are in on the deal as well.. There is NO incentive to actually make this process either less costly or less repetitive to the consumer because I am assuming that the consumer isn’t demanding that things change appreciably..

Not only are things manufactured cheaply, they are DESIGNED cheaply. We cannot blame the design upon the Chinese, the designers all HAVE to know that if they manufactured something that actually LASTS, their overall sales might not remain at such a ridiculous level.. My in-laws have both a toaster and a waffle iron that have actually been handed down for generations.. I have gone through five toasters in less than ten years and noting that impressive rate of success, I won’t even try to get a waffle iron..

Forget about the idea of “repairing” most of these items, either yourself or having it done by a trained professional.. Let’s take televisions for example..

If your television goes on the blink, you used to call the television repairman. They used to even come to your home with a bag full of oddly shaped tubes and bulbs and the repair was done on the spot..

Then the concept of “home repair” service disappeared and the repairman was housed within a shop. Now if you take your television to a repair facility (good luck even finding one anymore and good luck hauling some of these ridiculous Behemoth televisions around without a semi truck and about ten friends..) they will tell you (if they are honest..) that the cost to REPLACE your television is LESS than the cost to REPAIR it.. Another step towards the “disposable society”, another series of workers “displaced” and China gets the cash from the purchase of another inferior television..

The “good” news is that a large percentage of these televisions “fail” within the warranty period so all that you have to do is lug it back to where you purchased it from and they will send it back to China for you.. Never mind that you have to go through the hassle of getting it to the store where you purchased it from and never mind that you have to do this with all too great a frequency..

“Fairness” denotes that everyone should have access to everything. When “quality” mattered, only certain people could afford certain things because “quality” cost money and that made things “hateful” and “exclusionary” to the whiney belly crawlers of the left.. Take the “quality” out of the equasion, the price is lowered and suddenly EVERYONE can have one and the liberal “fairness” mentality is slaked..

When VCR’s first became “available” to the world, they sold in excess of a thousand dollars, therefore limiting the people with the disposable income for such a thing. The only folks with VCR’s were television stations and very “rich” people.. This was so “exclusionary” so “hateful” to the masses that only the “rich” could afford them.. It was only a matter of time before they became “mass produced” and they seemed to EAT more tapes than they ever played..

Even more frustrating is the concept of the “evolving technology” that makes what you have obsolete. Now China manufactures DVD players, which are an obvious step up from the lowly VCR, and they are available to anyone for less than one hundred dollars.. Be aware, you DVD owners will need to get your “Blue Ray”, which is the next step up from the lowly DVD.. In about another few months, your Blue Rays will give way to the next phenomenon and you will be replacing your collection AGAIN..

Next week when whatever it is it breaks, replace it with another one.. Never fear, for it too will be made in China..


24 responses to “Everything

  1. Family,

    Just something in case everyone was bored with the political thing..

    Thanks as always,


  2. What a timely article. I was watching This Old House and they showed a lawn mower which was still running in good condition after 20 years. My wife and I have always said things are manufactured with a planned obsolescence. I have been in my home 30+ years and have replaced the water heater almost like clock work every six or seven years, when the warranty expires.

  3. This article reminds me of my earliest experience with this issue – baby swings. I had three children between ’81 and ’87. I bought three baby swings in 6 years. Any parent knows that having a swing is the only way to eat dinner the first few months (among other things…) They are only good up to about 5 months or so because any kid that is crawling pretty good doesn’t want to be confined anymore, so it’s not like they get just a ton of wear and tear. My husband is an engineer, so, naturally, he took the first one apart when it would no longer wind up and found out that it was made with PLASTIC gears – that were, of course, stripped. Broken teeth. No way to replace them! So we bought a second one for kid number 2. Same thing – lasted about 4 -5 months and zap – again! Had to get a third one. Funny thing – I noticed the ancient swing with the flimsy cloth seat (not a hard one with the fancy padding, like mine) that someone donated to the church nursery years before was still running through all three of mine (I actually considered “borrowing” it at one point! ) I looked at the insides one time and found METAL gears in that one. Imagine that! When I talked to my Dad about having to buy three of the silly things, he smiled and told me it was called “planned obsolescence – they do it on purpose to force you to buy again”. I have always remembered that term since then and, yes, have now had the experience with lots more things.
    (Nice distraction Larry – I AM rather tired of these depressing election choices, or lack thereof….)

  4. Richard,

    I didn’t know that a television had an “expiration date” like a pound of hamburger..

    Didn’t know that “technology” like the VCR/DVD did as well..

    Just about done with it all..

    Thanks as always,


  5. Quite hilarious, Larry! And from personal experience I know exactly what you’re talking about. Don’t even get me started on craftmanship! The common refrain you’ll hear now-a-days when it comes to software of a computer is that ”it’s cheaper to buy a new one than to repair the one you have.” I’ve asked myself the question, with so many people out of work, shouldn’t there be repair shops opening? I mean, come on, cleaning or replacing a part on a printer has got to cost less than buying a new one even with the guy’s labor!

    15 years ago a friend of mine had an old Maytag washer and dryer sitting in his auto repair shop, I needed a washer and dryer, the dryer needed a set of rollers to support the ‘barrel’ of the dryer. I ordered them at which time the salesman told me there were two sets of rollers and that usually when one set went out the other would closely folllow. I told him I’d take the chance and left with one. As I said, that was 15 years ago, my Maytag’s are still running strong and haven’t had a single problem with either one of them. They were both made in America! No Chinese marks on them.

    By the way, Larry, a variable wall switch, and a little wiring on the fan motor will defeat that plastic.

  6. C.,

    I’ve taken to taking the nuts and bolts provided “durning assembly” and “upgrading” them at my local hardware store with much better ones..

    Additional brackets and braces are a help to add longitivity to the project but it adds dollars to something that should come “complete”..

    I’ll bet that I am not alone in this..

    Thanks as always,


  7. Joe,

    I’m off to the hardware store..

    Then again, the wife wants to “update” the style of the fans so I may just start from scratch..

    Thanks as always,


  8. Family,

    The latest and probably the MOST IMPORTANT TOTD ever: here is a link:


    Thanks as always,


  9. Great article today! You are so right!!!!

    Only one thing… you can’t take the new TV’s back to the store… they want you to take it to the “service center” or mail it off somewhere so it can be fixed. What a scam!

    China screws with us in so may ways, and we just stand here and take it. The Donald is right. Geez! Didn’t I just say that about something else this week?

  10. Right on Larry,
    For several years now, even sales people refer to most TV’s, PC’s and most other gadgets as throw aways. So true and such a wste of time. My last washing maching from Sears lasted 20 years. The new one of niine years is already on the way out.
    Thanks for the change of pace.

  11. Before we started dealing with China, our unemployment rate was around 3% or less, and it was a ‘real’ percentage , unlike the current numbers that the Bureau of Labor Statistics admits is based on a ” tweaked” formula.

    When China got caught shipping toys with lead paint, their solution – send more toys with lead paint. These cheating Communists can do as they please, since they know that the WIW ( Wimps in Washington ) won’t do anything . The WIW will talk about the loss of real jobs, but will do nothing to stop the outsourcing, but sometimes they even encourage it. Why can’t we get the rest of the industrialized countries to challenge the Chinese regarding their devalued currency ?

    If we the citizens, not the WIW , want to change things , then we should boycott the Chinese products. Yes, it is easier said than done, but obviously something must be done. And, we have plenty of business types who will then mfg. the products that are in demand.

    We’ve made quality products in the past – why can’t we do it again ?
    Imagine the concept – paying people to mfg. a quality product here. Having them be proud of their efforts, doing something constructive, instead of becoming a slave to the gov’t. by being paid ” not to work ” !!

    Then, we can once again be proud of that label that was once put on products , namely : MADE IN THE USA .

    Just a thought .

  12. JJ,

    Just a caution on the Made in the USA…Tain’t necessarily so!

    A number of years back I had bought one of those motorized toothbrushes made by Crest. Crest, a fine upstanding American company, right? Been around for who knows how long, I remember their advertisements when I was a kid. (Imagine that!) Within a year it started cracking and quickly became useless. I e-mailed Crest about it and found that they weren’t responsible for their own toothbrushes, a company in Canada handled that. I e-mailed them and after returning the brush, they wanted it in the original package,NOT, I received a second one for free which promptly broke within six months. Again I e-mailed the company in Canada and after reassuring me that they would send another brush free of charge, told me that they were going to get in touch with the manufacturers in CHINA and discuss making changes to the design.

    I had also decided to start using an electric razor. The only one I could find amongst the many that didn’t say “made in China” on the packaging was a Remington razor. That was the one I bought. It lately has shown more of a liking for the flesh on my face than my whiskers and I thought it might be time to order new blades and microscreen for it. As I was trying to locate the model number of the razor inside the microscreen, there, in type smaller than legal font of a contract I found, made in CHINA right below the model number of the razor itself.

  13. Larry, the “old ones” did last a lot longer than ones made today. For example, I bought a used two-slot toaster in 1973 at a garage sale for two dollars. It worked perfectly until it finally “gave up the ghost” in 2010! (I think I got my money’s worth out of it!)

    I can’t help but wonder if the tags that say “Made in China” are made in China! (Those “Made in China” tags don’t indicate in smaller print “Made in China”!)

    By the way, I loved your serious sarcasm about today’s “manufactured technology”! (Pun intended)

  14. Yep hit the nail on the head. My 30 year old wonder bar disappeared so I went to the local chain store and bought another one, it snapped in half when I tried to use it to pull a nail. Went to local hardware store and bought one made in the USA. used it to demolish a wall even hitting it with a 5 lb hammer to cut nails. didn’t even scratch the paint.. The one that broke was mad in Mexico. My washer and dryer was an old school maytag set and was 24 years old, gave it to Good will and bought a front loader set.
    8 repairs under warranty and two not under warranty in 6 years. Plastic gears in washer for heavens sake. Everything is designed with a finite life expectancy car doors are designed to open a few thousand times and wear out. I have looked at lawn mowers and passed rebuilt my old one the new ones are designed to last a couple of years and break. Ditto for most small gas engines under 8 horsepower. SIASSL

  15. Let’s see what WordPress does to this URL:

    This is a video regarding eight attempts to delete the Natural Born clause from the Constitution prior to 2008. Rather a scary scenario. But if he isn’t president, you can’t impeach him, but you sure as heck could arrest him and throw him in the slammer. What a beautiful mind picture that is.

  16. Can you stand one more?
    It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula
    Vista, CA . He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to ‘explain
    God.’ I wonder if any of us could have done as well?
    [ …. and he had such an assignment, in California, and someone published
    it. I guess miracles do happen! … ]

    ‘One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones
    that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He
    doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and
    easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time
    teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and

    ‘God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of
    this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times
    beside bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because
    of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise
    in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.’

    ‘God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him
    pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time by going over your mom and
    dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.’

    ‘Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any
    in Chula Vista … At least there aren’t any who come to our church.’

    ‘Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water
    and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to
    learn about God.. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they
    crucified him But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his
    father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and
    God said O.K.’

    ‘His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work
    on earth so he told him he didn’t have to go out on the road anymore. He
    could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening
    to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and
    which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a
    secretary, only more important.’

    ‘You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they
    got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.’

    ‘You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if
    there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God!

    Don’t skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to
    the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn’t come out at the beach
    until noon anyway.’

    r’If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very
    lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp, but
    God can.. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared, in the dark
    or when you can’t swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.’

    ‘But…..you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I
    figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.

    And…that’s why I believe in God.’

  17. Every newspaper and magazine in our nation should reprint the following:

    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
    the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,
    its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..”
    — Winston Churchill

    These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read: Unfortunately, most voters don’t know this.

    1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

    5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them; and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

  18. A word on vacuums–I bought a Riccar 12 years ago and never had a problem with it. A couple of years ago, I decided I needed a bigger one and bought another Riccar, from the same local shop. When it needed a belt replaced I took it in and the shop replaced the belt, but also gave it a complete “tune up” without my even asking. I didn’t even know it was still under warranty, but it was, and I now have a vac that works and looks like new, didn’t pay another dime, and all I had to do was take it to the shop down the street. Look it up….they are made…..in Missouri!!!

  19. Joe,

    When I said MADE IN THE USA , I did not mean assembled in the USA with foreign parts, I really meant MADE IN THE USA , and with pride !!

    No offense, just a clarification.

  20. To Joe…way back up at the top.
    You mentioned that surely it would be cheaper to replace one little part rather replace the whole machine. In days gone by that was absolutely true. However, here is a perfect example for you:
    Printers: As a general rule, printers come with a ink cartridge installed. Some of these cartridges contain less ink that the ones you buy in the store but a large part of them have the exact same cartridge you will replace them with. Makes sense; right? But here is the kicker, especially for pretty basic printers. That replacement ink cartridge costs more than the printer did when it was brand new. It only makes sense to just toss it and buy a new printer instead.
    This is why you can go into a lot of second-hand stores and find printers that look like brand new for a few bucks. The catch is when you go to buy a new ink cartridge, usually the cartidge is missing but almost always, it is empty. The manufacturers have found that they can get you to replace your old printer (read, usually built better and will last almost forever) with a brand new fancy one. All they have to do is bring the price way down and you feel like you are getting a really great deal. However, what they are really doing is basically giving you a new printer knowing they can make their money back when you go to buy ink.

    Oh, and one more little tidbit. Virtually all new printers will have a caution not to use anything except OEM cartridges. They don’t bother to explain why or anything, they just caution you not to do it. Truth be known, they are simply trying to make sure you come back to them for your ink cartridge replacements so they can make up the money they lost on the printer itself. Ever wonder why you can go to a place like Office Max and get a cartridge refilled for $10 or $15 but to buy a new OEM cartridge may cost upwards of $40? The point is, Office Max doesn’t need to try to recoup the money lost in providing a really cheap printer. They are just selling you ink!

  21. Another thing you need to know, they tell you when to replace the ink cartridge. I ignore that until the printer finally won’t print. I did this with the office printer and I got an extra 6 weeks printing after it told me to replace!

  22. Richard—I even have one that when it says you need to replace the cartridge it just quits working…it won’t do anything at all until you take that cartridge out of the machine.

  23. Remember when Gillette gave away free razors, but you had to buy their razor blades , since no one else could make the blades ?

    The ink cartridge business is a huge money maker, so much so that I’m surprised that there has not been an expose’ as yet !

  24. They may be made to fail. I also beleive that they are made so they can make more money and shaft America for letting them build anything. Most times the directions to put things together are in broken English and sometimes make no sense at all. We need to do it overselves. If you want something done right, do it yourself.

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