Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Okay, let's discuss irony.

I was watching the news this morning as I was getting ready for work when a story about the Mattel Toy company came on. If you've been in the dark for the last few months, Mattel Toys is having to recall millions of toys from American homes and retail stores because of possible threats of lead poisoning.

The broadcast showed plenty of angry parents who voiced complaints about their children's lives being in DANGER!

"Little Tommy loves to chew on things with lead paint on them, and now he might die!"

What frustrates me about this entire situation is how Americans want cheaper products, thereby forcing American Corporations to out-source labor, which in turn send jobs over seas to places like China where CHILDREN work in very dangerous conditions just to pump out shitty toys to lazy Americans. Come on! Am I crazy or does anybody else notice the problem with this situation?

American parents couldn't care less about the Chinese children who lose their childhood because they're forced to work for cheap just so American children can enjoy their own childhood more and their parents can buy the fucking toys for next to nothing.

Excuse me for my lack of empathy, but America is getting all she deserves with this recall situation! From pet food to toys to tires, we are getting our comeuppance. It's our want and "need" to have the cheapest product possible that has treated us to the tragic full-circle of irony.

We make other children, people, and families suffer because we want cheap things, and we're fine with that. So, I say, instead of blaming the government, Mattel, or China for such hazards, we should begin blaming ourselves.


Blogger xH8mailx said...

While to a degree I back up what you are saying 100% (holy shit did I just drop a Bushism....partial 100% support), there are a few things that need to be taken into account. Toys are not cheap, far from it. Were consumer cost the real culprit here, wouldn't toys cost 50% less and Mattel and Hasbro would have more money than god?

Given the argument that you have presented, Americans won't readily buy that which is overpriced (see the PSP, Iphone, etc.). Americans get boners off of high price tags as a rule. Shit, explain the number of Hummers on the road if that's not the case. What the toy manufacturers are afraid of is that if the price goes up, not every household will be able to afford them, which will in turn cause the manufacturers to have to spend more on ads (lets face it, if there isn't one in every other household, there isn't word of mouth and "keeping up with the jones-ism")which in turn drives prices farther up.

I may be grasping at straws here but doesn't the real problem boil down to corporate greed? Toy company outsources to a third world manufacturer, which in turn outsources to a sweatshop. Mattel pays a little less for their "Barbie my first dry anal rape playset" (you know, to get ready for the real world) from "manufacturer x" (but doesn't drop the price - this is business, its all about the Benjamins).

"Manufacturer x" then contracts "sweatshop y" to do the dirty work for a "fair" wage in the third world country of choice (see: 5 rupees and a pointed stick with an extra rock every 2 weeks as a bonus). "Manufacturer x" keeps the bulk of the money. Now the funny thing is that the "employees" of "sweatshop y" don't feel taken advantage of because they are receiving what is known as a prevailing wage in their chunk of the world. However "manufacturer x" is making windfall profits (which is really weird in a communist country but I digress).

Unfortunately, Mattel and "manufacturer x" are the ones that are taking advantage and the consumer is duped into thinking that its their fault for wanting the cheap alternative... all the while neglecting the fact that when there is nothing else, the alternative becomes the status quo (see: KROQ).

Rinse and repeat.

The problem seems to me to lie with the run amok version of capitalism that is the status quo. Between the financial shitstorm that the Fed has unleashed upon the masses (foreclosure anyone) and the bullshit consumer culture that is so fucking prevalent (thanks, Big Business), its a fucking wonder we haven't fallen off into the sea.

I can hardly afford any of the "cheap" toys for my kids impending birthday because I only make $20 an hour and need a roof over my head and A/C in this hotass desert.

I'm sorry for ranting but its what I do.

12:10 PM  

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