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Over Easy: Dumpster Diving Observations

Fred and I diving for scrap metal a couple of years ago.

On July 23, Forbes published an article titled The End of Chinese Manufacturing and Rebirth of U.S. Industry, that discusses the ‘Made in China’ era. I wondered if the article might explain a return to real jobs, in this country. By that I mean the end of mass production, the return of pride, more things made by hand, better quality. But, the article does not address our loss of craftsmanship and precise arts, for example.

I was raised with the notion that if we worked hard and if we worked with pride, we would do better than our parents, and in turn, our kids would do better than us. This is no longer true. I associate the term ‘outsourcing’ with Made in China.

What I have observed in dumpster diving over the past several years is a decline in quality. Of everything. Vintage items are well made, whether it is furniture, or watches, or clothing or appliances. Today, things may look good on outward appearance, but if you are lucky enough to get things home, they either don’t work, don’t work well, or, and I believe IKEA and Walamrt bank on this, they only last a short time.

I can safely say from experience, that the Era of Disposable junk is ‘in.’ My vintage drill, grinder, and tools are solid, cast aluminum, heavy, and made to last. I don’t see much in the line of vintage tools in the dumpsters, and there is a reason. The trash is populated with plastic parts and Things That Fall Off. Also, kids used to play with toys, when they were well-made and sturdy. Since I love toys, I keep a small collection of vintage toys I remember from growing up: See-n-Say, Etch-a-sketch, things that wind up. Nowadays, the dumpsters are absolutely full of cheap junk plastic toys. (Many of the toys pretend kill and maim, and the current trend is to dress kids, even infants, in camouflage, and complete the outfit with a sidearm, rifle, or shotgun.

I am very sorry for the short post today; I am working on my legal case (again), and time got away from me. I’ll just share some irony: In the very same dumpster where I found an article extolling President George Bush for being responsible to our substantial freedoms and great strides toward more freedom, I also found a small bundle of letters, written by an inmate, who was in prison.

We are not limited to talking about the made in China era, or dumpsters! So much is happening, please chime in with your thoughts.

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