Someone recently tried to hijack a post about kite board companies being crap with a quote that is the subject of this thread. ( the entire quote is too long for the subject line )
There is a long history of many, many kite companies failing. Is this due to "a race to the bottom" or is it due to consumers controlling the market through the power of the purse?
I thought it interesting that consumers of capitalist products are openly discussing companies in various ways (customer support, product quality, production delays, etc). Also, that in a free market economy they have the freedom to decide what companies they will and will not buy from based solely upon their freedom of choice. And someone, clearly with a misunderstanding of economics, makes the particular remark in the subject of this thread.
It can also be argued that capitalist economics has less to do with the dilemma than Comparative Advantage created through international open-trade agreements - that even declared socialist economies use to their advantage.
Bottom line for me I guess: I want good companies to succeed and I want to buy my kites as cheaply as I can from one of those good companies. That seems win-win as long as I can identify the "good companies"
Unfortunately some of the top US brands believe American workers are not good enough and chase the bottom in order to maximize profits. When you chase the bottom you pay the price of lower quality. I would bet that only a handful of factories in a dingy Chinese province probably service two thirds of all the kite brands in the market. Just the nature of capitalism, why then should anyone be surprised and complain about poor quality when all the companies race to the bottom and outsource (Im simplifying a complicated issue of course)???
Last edited by NYKiter on Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
NYKiter wrote:... believe American workers are not good enough and chase the bottom...
I don't believe for a moment that US companies are biased toward American workers in this way. In fact, I think your comment is ludicrous. Please don't mix a social principle with an economic one.
I do believe companies make an economic decision that leads to using foreign labor. That decision leads to maximizing profit. This is no different than US farmers using immigrant labor during harvest. This again, has nothing to do with farmers being biased against US workers. It has everything to do with lowering cost of goods sold.
OF COURSE they are biased toward American workers....they choose to outsource because Americans need health care, a safe work place and clean communities....who wants to pay for that....don't be naive. Nothing personal by the way, I purchase these kites too (never new). But, like almost everything we buy now, it only lasts half as long as it did when it was manufactured in the homeland.
Support American labor on labor day!Buy American! (its a social decision, not an economic one).
I think production of kites will be back in the US in not too distant future. As robots increase their ability to take on complex tasks at smaller scale production will be moved back. It is a process that can be completed mainly by a machine. It follows the theory of comparative advantage.
This will lead to a few significant advances: lower time to market, lower production overhead associated with shipping and storage. Unfortunately for some it will also lead to fewer kite being on sale after the season, leading to an improvement in the second hand market.
NYKiter: There is no reason why a product made abroad is synonym with lower quality. You find so many examples of absolutely atrocious American quality. Of course it is fine to make your purchase decision based on any reasoning.
Parts for my Canon camera are made in China and have no quality issues. I think there are too many kite companies, too many models of kites and not enough service. The industry's organization is not optimal. Kiteboarding shops are not set up to sell replacement parts or provide extensive warranty support. Staff is seasonal and they make money by selling lessons and gear to (mostly) newbies. Parts should be sold on Amazon or a brand sponsored website.
The market responds to customer demand- but kiting is a relatively new and small industry and it may take some time to adapt.