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Viewer Mail--Op Ed
#11

Mr. Spalding:

Why are you so convinced that your product (whatever sort of contraption it is) will become some kind of collectible?

J.M.

There are several reasons for my conviction.

1. This product enables you to teach yourself.

2.This product is functional as a learning tool and at the same time pleasing to the aesthetic sensibilities.

3. This product will always be made in the United States.

4. The unique serialization format will make it easy to formulate the products fair value in the future.

5. This product is manufactured in limited production runs; it is not mass produced.

6. It's the kind of thing you might want to pass on to a kid someday.

7. It possesses a notion of novelty. Because of the product's simplicity, funtionality, and aesthetic qualities it has the potential for "fad appeal." You may be able to say someday that this product was like a pet rock for golf . . . a functional pet rock.

8. It has the potential to be a future antique. This product flies in the face of the modern trend of turning durable products into consumable products. This current trend is what I like to refer to as "inflation through quality attrition." Many of the products we buy seem affordable now, however, their value goes down over time because of shoddy material and a lack of workmanship. Not only that, but many of the products that are the same price now as they were fifteen years ago (a bargain right?) have a downwardly spiraling cost basis. This is because the multi-nationals are, and have been, shipping American jobs overseas where wage earners literally make pennies per hour and are subjected to brutal working conditions. Can you say Kathy Lee? This I like to call "back door inflation." Are these slavemasters passing the "savings" on to the American consumers as a reward for stealing jobs from them? Nooooooooo!

This disintegration of quality forces many people to buy the same thing many times over and, adding insult to injury, pay way too much for the priviledge of doing so. Nearly nothing made today will be considered a functional antique in the distant future because most things just aren't made like they were when Great Grandma was a kid. No one wants to make a refrigerator that lasts forty years. I know, "but Great Grandma didn't have an ice maker"...Oh the humanity! ;~)

TS

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