What happened to the good ‘ol days of buying well-made merchandise?

You would surely think that with humans’ supposed level of superior thinking and technological and scientific discoveries, we could easily surpass the technological quality we achieved 50 years ago.

And yet, that is not the reality.

We purchase cars amidst the growing environment of recalls. News stories recount incidents of automobiles turning into balls of flames or malfunctioning pedals that disobey their owners and accelerate right into a telephone pole.

Our equipment needs constant updates, maintenance, care, and maybe a little prayerful pleading. It takes 23 days to figure out how to make a phone call on the newest PDA and double that to find the instructions in the instruction manual. And within a year, the appliance will have turned off due to its own free will a dozen times, completely died without immediate revitalization ten times, visited the repair shop five times, possibly traded out twice, and thrown against the wall at least once. But don’t even think about dropping it on the ground; its innerworkings will spill everywhere and the bumps and bruises it sustains will ensure that you never type another text message or make another phone call again. You might as well soak it in a tub of boiling water. That baby’s gone.

It didn’t used to be this way.

In the beginning, cell phones were hearty.

Before that, automobiles used to be able to plow through mud, drive across deep ditches, and up and over steep mounds without needing any loving care afterwards. Nowadays, drive your BMW over a pothole and you’re lookin at $500 in repairs minimum.

Or maybe it’s a young person fresh out of high school who bought his first appliance all on his own–be it something small like a toaster or something big, maybe a washing machine–and head to college.

That faithful piece of equipment would see the student through his riotous college years, his bachelor years filled with Ramen noodles and pints of beer, and eventually his first and second home with a new and growing family. Until it finally gave out after almost 20 years of reliable companionship filled with trust and loyalty. It wouldn’t have even occurred to the machine that it could fickly hang around for two or three years and then fake death by making a suspicious clanking noise as soon as its warranty was up.

No, technological equipment has proven what we as humans may deny: that our society’s improvements are not exactly “improvements.” Money comes before integrity any day, and–for some people–every day.

What a wonderful outlook to live by. Cheat people and make them come back for seconds. Trust and reliability is for sissies.