China Makes Crappy Stuff

We need to be more discriminating when we buy things from China. At least there is a high chance that the product is of low quality. Or it could be a fake. But it could even kill you.

I can remember when I was a kid that it was common to look on the bottom of a toy or a souvenir and see the label "Made in China". It's becoming even more common, and we continue to take their shoddy workmanship. It belies the fact that a communist oligarchy can actually manage productive quality. If China were to have consumer product safety guidelines like in the United States, the Chinese economy would temporarily go in the tank, until it began turning out quality products. Instead, China manages people's family sizes, freedom of speech, thought, press, and religion while the economy turns out garbage and forgeries.

Things are definitely cheaper when they come from China. But I remember a bike we bought that we couldn't even put together, let alone ride. I remember opening toys for my kids that were broken out of the box. Chinese hammers don't last too long.

Chinese products are the subject of every toy recall
in the United States this year.

As it turns out, China made all of the 24 types of toys recalled this year for safety problems. Part of that is because of the country's dominance of the toy market. But it also is attributable, no doubt, to businesses taking advantage of the country's lax health and safety standards to cut corners and maximize profits.

Add to the toy problems the pet-food poisonings that originated in tainted gluten from China and toothpaste contaminated with a toxic engine coolant, and you have a crisis in the making.

Cribs and baby seats are unsafe, toothpaste has killed people, and pet food has killed hundreds of dogs and cats and disabled thousands more.

We are a thrifty society, and we want to save money. So we buy disposable products, thinking only in the short term. China is the king of producing disposable products. If we were to look into the long term, we would demand higher quality products. But not many of those higher quality products come from China.

Since the Chinese government won't oversee product safety, we need a different solution. So look on the label. If it says China, beware.


  1. All good points. Unfortunately, consumers will continue to buy the cheap China crap because it is cheap, no matter the quality, the risks, or the effect on our own economy. Remember when Wal-Mart was proudly "American Made"? Seems like a lifetime ago...

  2. Hear, hear!

    I avoid Wal-Mart whenever I can.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Yet another view is that our trading with China has caused some positive changes to occur there that would never have otherwise occurred.

    Some argue that the strong trading link between China and the West is the main thing that has reigned in China's militaristic tendencies and kept them from overtly going on the military offensive. Economic ostracism of China would likely produce exactly the opposite result. It that what we want?

    We don't live in a perfect world. Not all of our trading partners are what we would like them to be. With China, as well as with many other countries, we wonder whether we're supporting despotic regimes or slowly causing positive change in those regimes. Is it better to cause slow change via trade or to grapple with military attacks and humanitarian disasters?

    It's so simple to be a morally superior purist. But it is not always the best course.

  5. I'm not sure what you mean by moral purist. I'm saying that if we don't discriminate as consumers by only purchasing products made in China that are high quality, we will continue to get crap.

    Interestingly, "militaristic tendencies" are being manifest by China in their relationship with the Sudan, as I wrote in a previous post.

    I read a book called "Hegemon" years ago, and the impression I got is that China was in its heyday a superpower, and their goal is to attain that status again. If we can develop a relationship with the Chinese people and get them to change their government, maybe we can avoid the coming clash of civilizations.

  6. "Chinese products are the subject of every toy recall in the United States this year."

    Find a toy not made in China.

  7. The almighty consumer (as a group) could certainly demand and get higher quality products. Perhaps we should ask why so many consumers seem satisfied to acquire low quality products, since changing that would likely change the way business is done in China.


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