It seems that nearly every week a new toy is being recalled. Last night, I heard a mother on the news complaining that, “We shouldn’t have to watch our children’s toys. Companies hire people for that.” I couldn’t believe it.
Whatever happened to parental responsibility in raising children? How can a parent possibly be so gullible as to believe that some corporate capitalist organization is more concerned about their child’s safety than its own profits?
Oh sure, companies hire inspectors to inspect the finished product. But, what is hidden away inside of the finished product, the inspector is most likely to miss when the product is checked on at the end of the assembly line. And what about Quality Control?
I personally worked for a manufacturer for 8 years. I know about Quality Control.
Here’s how it works. Engineering wants to make a great product, but Mr. Skinflint in Purchasing and Mr. Scrooge in Accounting insists that it’s costing too much for the springs; that Mr. Keep-our-customer in Marketing needs to get with the engineers and see if he can find a way to use a lighter weight or lesser quality spring in the product.
Mr. Proud in Engineering says, “Oh, no, no, no we can’t do that; it won’t work. Mr. Skinflint, insists, “Make it work; we are spending way too much here for this crap.” Mr. Keep-our-customer in Marketing says to Mr. Proud in Engineering; look, we have to fudge here; I know the customer wants this tolerance of spring, but Mr. Skinflint in Purchasing and Mr. Scrooge in Accounting just aren’t going to give us any leeway here, so we’re going to have to go with the cheaper spring supplier, okay.
We’ll just have to make do. Let’s get a prototype in here and see if it will work.
The prototype is built and tested and Viola! It works, once, twice, three times. It’s inspected with its hidden cheap springs inside, packaged and shipped to Mr. Happy Customer who stocks his stores and begins selling.
Children begin playing with the new toy product and after a couple of days of play, they end up getting blinded by a piece of plastic that is hurled from the toy as a cheapo spring snaps. We have children all over the country with damaged eyes and big gouges in their faces from flying plastic pieces.
A massive recall is instituted to protect the company from a big lawsuit and Mr. Scrooge, Mr. Skinflint and their friends go on to make the next cheapo toy. Quality Control isn’t what it was in your Great-Grandparent’s day folks. The day of the Capitalist Creeper is here and your children are the victims.
The bottom line is, if you want safe children; get involved. Check out the toy companies; check out the toys, yourselves. Don’t just buy’em. And if you want better toys and higher standards of safety; write letters and suggest them. Write your senators, your representatives, and your congress people.
Lobby for them. You still have some voice in this country and you can and should use it. What it boils down to is are you going to take responsibility for your child’s health and well being or are you going to leave it up to some greedy corporation who has never seen your child. To whom your child is nothing but a profit. It really does take one person at a time to change things. It could be you. Or, just don’t buy them.