You have to love Big Red (as I refer to China). If they’re not in the news because they’re threatening to utterly devalue our dollar, they’re in the news due to speculation over how they’ll jack up the Beijing Olympics. Then of course, there’s the recalls…… So far we’ve had counterfeit toothpaste, poisonous pet food, and oh yea…..the toys.
Mattel has been hit hardest, having to roll out three recalls over the last month, which marks their second biggest recall ever. So big the impact that a factory owner involved with one of the recalls actually hung himself (though the articles goes to great pains to put the blame for the lead paint on someone else).
There’s a point where my rage chip just starts melting, and the subject of toys that could give my girls brain damage is pretty high on that list of rage-o-topics. These (along with a complete degradation of our nation’s manufacturing capabilities) are the long term costs of pursuing short-term cost cutting measures in the form of using cheap out-of-country labor. We can’t force China to exert any actual oversight, and we don’t have the capability to accurately track and test the products we’re bringing in. In a bizzaro twist, it’s the US companies themselves who are policing this (due to a very real fear of their brand being destroyed in the public’s mind), yet even this isn’t enough to make those same companies look to home shores (where higher costs are balanced by better quality control and oversight) for their product needs.
Monkey mad now.