The recall this week of thousands of kilometres of dodgy electrical cable across Australia underines the absolute madness of buying cheap products to save money. Local electrician, business owner and Westender columnist had just written a piece for us called Total Recall, which was rolling off the presses when the recall was announced.
The announcement from Fair Trade is available at the Westender website.
As tradesmen and electrical retailers argue with government about who will foot the bill for the testing of cables in the thousands of affected homes and retail premises, everyone tut tuts knowingly about the shonky Chinese importer who foisted the heat affected cable on us.
We all know that quality is cost effective but we are all guilty of buying on price. As Big Mal wrote in last month’s Westender, “We get angry when we purchase a ridiculously cheap product from a ‘Mega Store’, only to find when home, a part is missing, its already broken or it lasts for only two weeks.
“Did we actually want quality but didn’t want to pay for it? In our hearts I think we know it’s rubbish, but we buy it because it’s cheap. Unfortunately it wasn’t really all that cheap in the end, hey?
“Perhaps we should ask doctors and surgeons to offer a discount and see where that leads.”
You can read the full text of Mal’s prescient pontification right here.
It is a timely reminder that there is no joy in knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. That a disposable culture cannot last and that the worship of money is indeed a root cause of evil consequences.
Cliches are cliches because they encapsulate the truth. A stitch in time saves nine and as the guillotined man said, I’m getting out of here while I’m still a head.