Country of Origin

We've been hearing some anti- "Made In China" sentiment around the store lately. I have a problem with this.

True, over the years we have been burned with some worse-than-shoddy Chinese goods which we should never have purchased.  But I've had crap from Italy, too.  Shouldn't have bought that either. It was always an attempt to replace something good with something less costly.  Chinese make some dynamite vases. And phones.

Personally, I have an anti-crap bias, and crap is crap, no matter where you make it.

The consumer says "I won't pay that for this!"  Then retailers complain to manufacturers about prices being too high, so the manufacturers go to China (or India, Bangladesh, Phillipines) to get things made more cheaply.  And everybody tries to pretend that the cheaper product is just as good as the more expensive one but here's the dirty little secret: if it were just as good it wouldn't be cheaper. Sorry. At least in the apparel industry, where the reality is what you touch, what you see. But if that's all you can afford, then you buy it and you convince yourself it's just as good, but you know you're only fooling yourself.

It has nothing to do with where it's made. Or it shouldn't anyway. If the Chinese decided to make a really great shirt - I mean as good as, say, Robert Talbott makes - they could for sure. Would it be cheaper? A bit. But they've shot themselves in the foot, because "Made in China" is synonymous with MUCH cheaper, so everyone would say it's a rip-off. But that's another story.

So don't be put off by Made In China. Or Made In Yonkers, Tehran, Moscow. That's just xenophobic nonsense. But if you want to know why it's good, not good, worth the price, etc., just ask.

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