Going downhill benefits only the few

Today we’ll point out just a couple out of thousands of examples of how everyone almost “tolerates” the decline of quality in just about everything that exists.

The pressing questions are:

  • Since when did this become almost acceptable?
  • Why do companies get away with it sans accountability?
  • What can we do about it?

22836813 – quality control

The decline of quality {in just about everything!}

We’ve taken notice of the overall “shoddiness” of more and more things as time goes on. Especially compared to how things used to be. This article will mention just a few recent ones off the top of our heads.

[ Clothing ]

Apparently ripped shirts now sell for big bucks. Who knew?

Most of everything we buy these days literally fall apart or disintegrates. And we’re not kids rolling in the dirt, either. And not economy brands! Tommy Bahama, Nordstrom, and countless others. For that reason alone it might be financially prudent to pay as little as possible for your clothing if they’re just going to get thrown out anyway.

[ Packaging, bags ]

Every time we go shopping.

One of our pet peeves is “shoddy” packaging. Especially for food. Lids don’t stay on. Bottles are too thin. Flimsy, floppy, and weak. Same with grocery bags. We found a pack of ShopRite bags from 20 years ago – and they were 5x the thickness and could be re-used for tons of other things. These days, the bags often rip on the way home.

[ Technology ]

Some is getting better, most is getting worse.

More and more – “tech” is also becoming lower in quality. While much of the technology industry bakes in “planned obsolescence” (especially telecommunications devices and computers), the shoddy manufacturing also applies to almost all other tech. Music equipment. Cameras. Even tools and kitchen appliances. Stuff just breaks way more often!

[ Service ]

That look from 90% of employees everywhere.

Beyond the degrading quality of “stuff,” we’ve noticed a drastic decline in “customer service.” More and more, we’re seeing such poor quality “front-facing” employees everywhere. From general ineptitude to awful interpersonal skills, to downright rudeness and disrespect. These types of people would most certainly be UNEMPLOYED 30 years ago. Today? They probably never get terminated because of the fear of backlash against these weak companies. Take note of how many people are profoundly listless, zero-energy, and limp-wristed. We now make a point to acknowledge both competence and positive work attitude. How can any company tolerate bad employees? Or are they just not paying attention?

Corporate profits at the expense of us

There are many reasons why companies produce things with the intent to cost them as little as possible. Profit being the main one.

But there are other reasons as well – such as over-reaching government regulations, as well as overall economic conditions and overhead (transportation costs, legal issues, etc.)

The ones that suffer and “pay the price” are US most of the time. Consequently – the negativity also hits the companies themselves, as more and more are facing troubles in their businesses, even sometimes closing down for good.

Options to mitigate this declining quality trend

It is still possible to find quality consumer goods out there. The options are becoming fewer and fewer, though. And you usually have to pay a premium.

Just make sure it’s something practical and you plan on using for a long time.

But there are ways to respond to this trend.

  1. Pull back. Spend less. Make do with what you have. A strong economic response often works wonders (but hard to pull off.)
  2. Try to buy used if that makes sense.
  3. Borrow and trade with neighbors.
  4. Complain. Businesses dislike squeaky wheels. You’d be surprised and what you might achieve if you took the time to complain (also helpful on social media). Problem is that most folks do not have the time to complain regularly.

In general – opting-out is usually the best advice for most options (other than required, practical things).

Living a simpler life with less “stuff” can have a profound effect on your well-being, as well as your bank account.

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.