quality. friday night i was out with a guy from work for a bite to eat before drinks. not sure how we stumbled upon it, but somehow we both noticed a fundamental difference between europeans and americans. in europe, people are still willing to pay a premium for quality. in america, we (by 'we' i mean the general public) buy the cheapest one available. here, so much is driven by the bottom line, so if you can get 1 more widget per dollar, then it's worth it. the fact that this cheaper widget will last half as long or be half as reliable is not of concern.
the effect of this trickles down. as less people support companies that produce more expensive, but higher quality items, those comapanies have to find ways to compete to remain in business. this usually means producing lower quality, finding ways to reach the market at mixed levels to maintain necessary margins, or closing their doors. as quality decreases, but the abundance of cheap goods increase, the amount of waste generated will increase. in the long run, making and consuming quality is win-win.