It's been at least six months since my last rant, and I think I'm allowed two per year, so here goes.
I was shopping for some supplies the other day, and I got a shock.
What's that, you say? It's something that was a bit tricky to photograph, but I think you can see it okay. This is tigertail. It's a plastic-coated stainless-steel wire used in jewellery assembly, and I use it for putting my wall hangings together. The upper piece there is a quality 7-strand Australian-made product that costs almost $38 for a roll containing 100 metres. The lower piece is a, what... 4? strand product made in That Place Where Cheap Things Are Made. It costs... get this... five bucks. For 100 metres. Retail! Standing there at the counter, I was astounded, and I think the chap helping me noticed, as he said (referring to the cheap one) "This will fall apart in a year." Lots of things ran through my head. Like this; how the hell can an Australian company compete with that, even though their product is far superior? And; so this is why things break. THIS is why things break. A manufacturer could swap from using a $38 roll to using a $5 roll. The consumer wouldn't know, the manufacturer saves $33, and the retail price can stay the same, right? GAH!
I re-stocked with the $38 roll. Walking out of there clutching it, I thought about all the substandard crap that we put up with. We put up with new cars that fail majorly when they're just out of warranty. We build 'affordable' off-the-plan houses that have frames of untreated timber, and wonder why they fill up with termites. We can buy a cheap component that costs one eighth the price of a quality one.
Things aren't designed to last any more, and this is why. GAH!