Are we destroying our future?

  Chas49 12:07 05 Sep 2008

Having lived through a period where business's, particularly steel and cast iron factories, and the forever rising cost of living and higher wages( perhaps this should be reversed?) I find that the cheap shops sprang up (charity shops not included - they sell goods donated to them - as far as I know and serve a purpose - well I know of some who do). The goods sold in these now quite large business's come from abroad, are cheap and in most cases of good quality. An instance of this cheapness - I bought a camera bag, good quality, many compartments, tough and with convenient Velcro fastened pockets on the outside - the cost? and unbelievable £3.95! Anywhere else they are above £30. If we can buy goods this cheaply then will other manufacturers come down with their price - of course not, they will go out of business. Logically if this sort of trend continues then we, as a nation, will become completely dependant of the 'third world' and China for these items. Now, we are being screwed by the energy suppiers!

Pessimistic, cynical ? - perhaps, but, to me, that is the way things are going. My neighbour has just up sticks and emigrated to Canada with his family.

  GRIDD 12:11 05 Sep 2008

I seriously doubt a £3.95 import is off as good quality as a branded top quality bag.

  Chas49 12:23 05 Sep 2008

I couldn't believe my luck either so your skepticism is understandable. But a fact is a fact, it really is good quality and I nearly broke all speed records getting away from the till - less they change their mind !!

  interzone55 12:40 05 Sep 2008

On the whole, clothes in Primark are as good quality as designer clothes - often they're made in the same factories.

On the other hand, these cheap & expensive products are nowhere near the quality of mid-market clothes that are manufactured to be both ageless and durable.

The same is true in many markets, such as household cleaners, all the supermarket brands are the same stuff, with different scents added, as many of the branded products. they come off the same production lines, they just change the bottles & labels between batches.

  Cymro. 12:41 05 Sep 2008

You make some good points in your posting, but are not comparing like with like. The £3.95 item was produced by workers in sweat-shop conditions and for the sort of wages that workers in the west could never survive on.

As for western manufacturers coming down in their prices as you say "of course not". They can never compete on equal terms with the imports from places such as China about all they can do is become as officiant as possible and concentrate on the quality top end of the market. As you say many of them will go out of business.

As for your friend emigrating to Canada, I wish him all the luck in the world, but suspect that he will find some things very much the same over there as they are in this country. Canada may be better off as regards fuel, I don`t know, but I bet that the pound shop has long since arrived on the other side of the Atlantic.

I have always said on this forum that all in all there is still no better country to live in than the U.K.

  birdface 12:41 05 Sep 2008

Unfortunately the quality of clothes and shoes etc has declined rapidly.Now its mostly cheap shops with cheap clothes they don't make them like they used to.Most getting imported from abroad.There are shops with good brand clothes but unfortunately I can't afford to use them any more.Maybe if I win the lottery some day.Maybe!!!

  Cymro. 12:54 05 Sep 2008

As you say buteman
"There are shops with good brand clothes but unfortunately I can't afford to use them any more".

You and me both, and a lot of people on this forum I suspect.
We live in a through away society and let`s be honest about it not many people espesially the young even want clothes that are going to last a lifetime these days. I have no interest in keeping up with the latest fashions but the young do.

People go away on their annual holiday to the sun and just buy a load of shorts and tea shirts etc. They buy just enough to last them the couple or weeks or so that they are away for. They don`t have to bother washing them while they are away and don`t even bring them back home with them. As I have said as for as clothes go we are in the ultimate through away society.

  robgf 12:56 05 Sep 2008

The problem is that British society is now split in two.

There are those with very well paying jobs, who worry that the credit crunch means that they wont be able to afford a new BMW this year.

And then there is the large servant class, doing warehousing, cleaning, etc. Who earn minimum wage, or just over and worry how they will afford the rent/mortgage.

There is a small group of mid level earners, who still receive a reasonable wage. But this group is shrinking fast as they find themselves redundant and discover (to their surprise) that jobs with their previous pay and conditions no longer exist.

This is the future that Mrs Thatcher hoped for, when she and the unions did everything possible to damage British manufacturing.
Now we are heading for a third world economy, service industries and tourism, the only thing slowing the slide, is the remnants of old industries, hanging on grimly.

  DippyGirl 13:13 05 Sep 2008

Leaving aside the morals (are there any morals in the new "global economy"?) of buying goods from sweat shops as manufacturing has been off-shored we now see services going the same away.
Global prices of energy and food are increasing as demand increases, particularly from the new and emerging economies.
As wages decline in the UK, people wont be able to afford food, energy, housing etc. so if you cant afford the basics you wont be spending on "extras" so pubs will close (see other thread) other local services will also go to the wall.
Tax income will shrink.
Who then pays for the infrastucture - Govt, Health, Education etc.

Not a bright future

  interzone55 13:27 05 Sep 2008

"The problem is that British society is now split in two."

What do you mean "now split", it always has been, and always will be. A quick read of Dickens will confirm that.

The simple fact is that there will always be chiefs & indians, the chiefs either have the status or inclination to succeed. The indians unfortunately don't have either status or inclination, and so are unlikely to succeed.

This was shown perfectly on Channel 4 News yesterday on their story about less women in boardrooms. A lady who ran her own lingerie business said that it isn't a case of glass ceiling preventing women from entering the boardrooms, the biggest thing holding women back is that many don't want or need the power, they have more pressing needs, such as raising a family. I know it isn't a very PC thing to say, but most women I know have no desire whatsoever of running a company, they just want a simple life with a nice house and family and enough money to put food on the table.
(I'm going to duck down now to avoid the flames)

  Chas49 13:38 05 Sep 2008

Many good replies.

DippyGirl: We appear to be thinking along the same lines.
Robgf: Could we appear to be resurrecting the old class system?
A throw away society -indeed we are - this applies to electronics too - cheaper to buy new than pay for a repair (If you could find someone reliable to do it!).
I told my neighbour that conditions in Canada could be very similar to here in the UK - he knew, as always, that I was wrong - but then, I was wrong (according to him) when, two years ago, I told him that house prices would fall - he got £20,000 less than he expected (other things applied here when, as time to go got very close he had to accept a very late offer).
I agree with you that the camera bag was made in a sweat shop, like perhaps a lot of these cheap products - the point is that they are being bought - and I hold my hand up that I am guilty of this too.

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