Thursday, September 20, 2007

Not for all the toys in China...

I heard this interview on NPR yesterday with New York Times journalist David Barboza about the recalls of toys and other goods made in China. He believes the reason Chinese manufacturers cut corners (on quality, safety, etc.) is pressure from U.S. companies to cut prices. Americans love deals, but we get more than we bargained for with lead paint covered trains and the like. (For extra credit, you can read Barboza's article "Why Lead in Toy Paint? It's Cheaper.")

Really, this goes beyond China. It's a question of what's worth paying for - a question we face often as we sort through a wide range of available products at widely differing price points. Like when I'm in the produce section wavering between organic and inexpensive: sometimes I buy organic and feel bad that I could've paid less for my veggies; other times I buy non-organic and promise to change my bargain-seeking pesticide-consuming ways once we have a baby on the way. The question has many forms. Generic or brand name? A fast food burger or a sit-down salad? Imported or domestic? Mass produced or well made?

When are you willing to shell out a little more cash? Take the poll on the right, and feel free to post additional comments here.


  1. Value is a difficult thing to determine these days partly due to the mind numbing number of choices available. It seems everything requires some research to make intelligent choices. Depending on how the item is to be used, and how long, might determine if "cheap" is good enough for limited use or for a little bit more money you will get a lifetime of use.

  2. An excellent point. Thanks for contributing!


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