I know, I know, parents are worried about their kids… and rightfully so.Â But there is a point where, when playing the blame game, that you actually, you know, blame the right people.Â Of course, it is really easy to just lay all the blame at the feet if China for all the toy recalls and such this year.Â But trying to boycott “Made in China” is more than a fruitless quest, it is putting on some serious blinders to some other culprits and accomplices.
If you are at least in your 40s (possibly younger), you remember ads for “Look for the Union Label.”Â It was all about pride, and craftsmanship, and having products made safely here.Â In those days, imports almost alway had tariffs put on them to help our safe, clean, and law abiding factories compete with the low cost slave labor shops of the times.Â That battle has long since been lost on many fronts.Â The tariffs began falling away when the corporations here, rather than attempting any longer to compete with these factories, instead opted to use them, and thus American corporations became the major importers, so they had to get the government to lower those tariffs.Â And the government complied, most likely with an argument that it was “good for the economy.”
So companies such as Mattel, and Fischer-Price, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, and other companies fattened up their bottom lines.Â Way back when it was “Made in Japan,” until that became too expensive, so it was then “Made in Hong Kong” then “Made in Taiwan” and of course now, “Made in China.”Â The never ending pursuit of squeezing another nickel out of every toy made.Â But somewhere in this process, something was forgotten.Â These corporations seem to have forgotten anything they may have known about doing right by the consumer.Â That is a “cost center” and thus, it was all about the price.Â Why do anything to make sure the factories you are using over there don’t use lead paints?Â Why set up some sort of QA operation that ensures the toys you are importing are actually up to the specifications you supposedly had communicated to these outsources factories?Â These are expenses, that is why they don’t do them.
While it is easy to just blame China, and leave it at that (hey why not, that is all you hear about when you read a story or listen to the news), that is simply not true. Â Sure, now as a PR stunt after they basically got caught not giving a damn about the consumer, these companies “vow” to ensure that their toys are safe.Â But what you don’t hear in that snippet is that thanks to the “added expense” ofÂ making sure they don’t kill their customers, consumer will again take it in the shorts (or more specifically in the wallet) by this time next year when it is anticipated that in order to make “safe toys” consumers will be hit with the bill.Â Deflecting blame andÂ a B.S. story… it is the only thing these companies will give you for free.Â So give them something for free.Â The blame for these toys.Â After all they deserve some “credit” for this fiasco.