It seems to me that many Americans have gotten used to lack of quality control regarding many desired and needed items for use around the home. I have not! I had the good fortune to have a Father (born 1904 in Connecticut) who would not tolerate shoddy workmanship, either in running our 100-acre farm with the help of a hard working wife/mother of five children, or anything that he purchased after he had to medically retire from the Service Station that he built and ran.
I am 76 years old, and have the same philosophy. Too many American companies have shifted production overseas and neglected to insist on Quality Control! They have either never learned ethics, or do not really care. Ethics is defined as a code of behavior in reference to a group, whether family, community or a nation. The dos and don’ts in a company makes up its ethics, and when management does not insist, and Monitor Quality Control, they let down their company, themselves, and their customers. Effectively, they are over-pricing and under-delivering their product. I consider that a form of “theft”. Hence: Quality Control requires Ethics, and Good Ethics equal Quality Control!
It was the final straw recently, when going out to water my flowers, and the not-inexpensive hose recently purchased with a plastic & brass fastener to the hose bib broke clean off! As Dad always said, “you get what you pay for”, but all too often paying more does not equate with great quality.
From the time I was age five and Dad taught me how to plant peas, exactly one inch apart down the absolutely straight furrow he had made with the hoe, to everything else we did on the farm, I was inculcated with striving for perfection. When he was nine years old he was trapping muskrats to get $1 a pelt, and he saved every penny. He was a self-taught welder, mechanic, surveyor, and started his own gas/service station/towing service in 1927. He thrived in the Great Depression because he could and did do it all and was open (just call him) 24/7! The motto in large red letters over the door said: “SERVICE WITH A SMILE”.
When we moved to the farm in 1941, he painted the renovated 1805 farm house, roofed the long tobacco barn, had a vehicle repair shop, fixed all our used tractors, trucks, the cars my older brothers dented, repaired one of the early washer and dryer, tiled the bathroom, repaired just about everything. We raised all our food, and meat animals. We helped him plant 250 blueberry plants, 500 pine trees, harvest hay, slaughter chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. Everyone of us had “chores”, and he worked harder than all of us. Even when he injured himself, if he could tolerate the pain, he went back to doing what “needed to be done”. There was no quit in him ever! If we did a shoddy job, he retrained us and insisted we do it right. He never raised his voice, had a sense of humor, but we all knew that he expected us to do our very best. He loved to garden and would leave produce on a neighbor’s doorstep, and we sold produce at our little roadside stand. Eventually we were running three freezers filled with meat and vegetables.
Connecticut was a powerhouse manufacturing state, and essential to the effort in World War II. Pratt & Whitney engines, Stanley Works tools, and so much more. Most of our manufacturing has gone overseas, and management all too often does not insist that Quality Control is absolutely necessary. They are neglecting the Code of Ethics, and letting themselves down and we, the consumers! I was appalled a few decades ago to read that colleges were teaching ethics. Good grief! If a child has not been taught ethics by the age of 8 or 9, then parents are failing them. College is generally too late!
We paid top dollar for an American Made (I will not mention the brand) top of the line 15,000 Watt propane-fueled generator six years ago, and it is serviced yearly. It has worked every time, but one time. It kept kicking off after a snow storm, and an emergency call to our electrician resulted in him changing the fuse. I asked him: “Is the fuse made in USA, or Made in China”? The answer was China! I was not surprised.
The generator was very helpful, however, we always have Plan B – a living room propane heater, plenty of stored water, months of variety of long dated food, two ways to cook it, hand crank radios, flashlights, candles, blankets, everything required to shelter in place and the 2nd Amendment lives in this home.
I believe in corporate profits, and have always been a Capitalist, but, not at the expense of quality control ethics. So, now I am checking ratings on an American-made rubber garden hoses, with 100% brass fitting, and hoping for the best.
Dad passed in 1987, but to his dying day, he never did less than his best in anything he grew or made, and demanded the same from others. He was not perfect, but his business ethics were!