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January 2013

The Culture of Cheap in America

Remember when things were built to last…unfortunately it was not too long ago.  In the past few months, I experienced this new “Culture of Cheap”  with a Dell Laptop and a GE Microwave I bought. 


I have bought a number of Dell laptops over the last decade for myself and my employees and have never had a problem with them.  However, the Dell laptop I bought in 2011 had a hard drive failure just weeks before the 1 year warranty ended.  Sadly, Dell Customer Service acted disappointed that they would have to replace my laptop hard drive for free when I called them as my last resort to troubleshoot my problem laptop.  Also, in 2011 I bought the best GE Microwave offered at Sam’s Club.  Within 1 year and 3 months, (about 3 months after the 1 year warranty expired)  the GE Microwave stopped working.  Both of these incidents made me start thinking of this Culture of Cheap we have in America.


GE Microwave


Years ago when we bought products from a “Quality” Company these products lasted for years.  Now many common appliances/electronics from “Quality” companies are CHEAP and don’t last.  I’ve even heard of refrigerator compressors that are manufactured to fail within months after the five (5) year warranty has expired. 


This is all part of this new “Culture of Cheap” in America.  Not only is this Culture of Cheap providing poor quality products, it has cost millions of American manufacturing jobs by manufacturers moving production outside the United States to lower wage countries like China to provide these lower cost and lower quality products.


  • More than 2 million American Manufacturing jobs have been outsourced since 1983
  • Manufacturing's share of the US economy has dropped to 12 % of GDP from the high of 28.3 percent in 1953, after WW II.
  • Manufacturing employment has fallen to 9.25% of US Employment from 26.5% in 1969. 
  • In 1960, foreign goods made up just 8 percent of Americans' purchases. Today, nearly 60 percent of everything we buy is made overseas 
  • If every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S.-made goods, it would create almost 10,000 new jobs in this country

Simply put, this Culture of Cheap is providing cheap products and low paying jobs for Americans and needs to stop.  Please share your experiences with this Culture of Cheap in America.

Ben Moore
Agent Technologies, Inc.


Continue to blog about this article at:
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In This Issue

The Culture of Cheap in America

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Manufacturing Statistics January 2013


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Manufacturing Statistics 
1) Industrial production increased 0.3% in December 2012.  Manufacturing production increased 0.8% in December 2012. Source: Federal Reserve Board
2) Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in December 2012.  Manufacturing employment decreased by 25,000. Unemployment rate remained at 7.8% nationally. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
3) Manufacturing Trade Deficit increased to $48.7 billion in November 2012 on exports of $182.6 billion and imports of $231.3 billion.  Sources: Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis
4) New orders for durable manufactured goods in November 2012 increased $1.6 billion or 0.7% to 220.9 billion.  Source: Census Bureau
5) Inventories of manufactured durable goods in November 2012 increased $0.7 billion or 0.2% to $374.7 billion.  Source: Census Bureau

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