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I just had an eye opening thought.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Navybass, Sep 29, 2008.

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  1. Navybass


    Mar 12, 2005
    Norfolk, Va.
    It all started with reading things on this forum and seeing quite a few comments like;

    1. Japaneese made basses are much better than American made.
    2. Japaneese, Korean, Chinese made basses cost less than American made ones.

    And other comments that are very similar.

    Now, keep this important statement in mind when you continue to read this post. I'm talking about American makes like Fender, Gibson, etc, not the boutique stuff like Alembic, Sadowsky, etc, and the Japaneese makes like Ibanez, ESP, Fender Japan, etc. I'm also not talking about the Squier, Epiphone, etc stuff, even though a lot of that stuff has good quality

    There's a reason the stuff made in the Orient can be made cheaper, and is of usually better quality. The people in the Orient take pride in everything they do. They usually put their heart and soul into their craftsmanship. They are also willing to do it for less money, which means that the company doesn't have to charge as much for the product.

    On the other hand, in America, most (notice I said "most" not "all") people go to work and the first thing they think of is what they're going to do when they get home, or the weekend sports game. They don't seem to put 100% into their jobs like in the Orient. They don't seem to take pride in what they do. Plus, they ask to get paid more money, which means the company has to charge more for the product.

    Again, I used the word "most", because I realize that not all Americans are like that. Some do actually give 100% and more to their job, but it is becoming far less common over here.

    I didn't type this to put down Americans, heck I'm an American. It's just something I've noticed. Please don't turn this thread into a flame war. Maybe others here might have more to add to this, or other observations about this subject.
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple to take alms of those who work with joy.
  3. Fetusyolk


    Aug 7, 2008
    i'm sorry to argue this but i can't imagine someone working in an american shop making fender basses not taking pride in their work. heck if i had gotten that job, i'd be psyched to go to work every day.
  4. standupright


    Jul 7, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brownchicken Browncow
    that statement was painted with a pretty broad brush. i'm not sure what your source is for feeling this way. i have have absolutely nothing against asian culture, as i have immersed myself in it for a very long time. communism does not cultivate a passion for craftsmanship. there are tons of junk instruments produced in china and other parts of asia. some of the instruments that have come from there are of very fine quality, but you are comparing such small subsection to an overall picture that it warps the perspective. FWIW i own instruments crafted in both the US and from a luthier in china, and i am extremely pleased with their quality.

    just my 2 cents.
  5. Exemption166


    Jun 2, 2008
    The japanese invented a word for working yourself to death its
    Karōshi. haha

    on the other hand, I dont mind buying a more expensive American guitar made from workers who are getting paid fairly and are not working in sweat shops.

    Everytime you buy a foreign made guitar, a little 3rd world sweatshop child dies!!
  6. mfgl


    Jul 1, 2008
    Altoona PA
    you cant see that? Can you see an American working on making Corvettes not take pride in their work? The sad fact is Americans in general dont like to work, and only do it to pay their bills. Unions killed American manufacturing, there was a time when they were needed, but that was long ago. I live in an area where unions are still pretty big. A very large factory was just shut down and moved to Mexico, people who had worked there for 18+ years were laid off, then called back to train a group of mexicans how to use the machines. Now the 8 acre factory is a parking lot. 18 years of union dues didnt save a single job. As someone who has worked in the automotive industry for 16 years its obvious that the people who build these cars could care less about the product they put out. 90% of American cars are built in canada or mexico now, thats why quality has climbed back up there in the past 7 or 8 years. I love the movie Gung Ho. I think satire is great especially when it rings so true. There are exceptions to this rule obviously. For the most part though, any company that still manufactures anything here gets the cheapest employees they can and still cant compete with other countries. We are a nation of service industry workers and consumers. Luckily we still have some good ideas to sell.
  7. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Well, I'm not qualified to address worldwide labor practices/quality. But in general, your point is well-taken. As an "old-timer", I do feel that pride in one's job is not as high of a priority as it was many years ago. People used to stick with the same employer until they retired. Workers nowadays consider almost every job to be nothing more than a stepping-stone to their next one. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. Generally, the strategy in that is to continue to improve their quality of life. But "company loyalty" is not prevalent like it once was. Sadly, many employees are working solely for the paycheck.

    However, I would like to think that most people who seek employment building musical instruments do so because they are drawn to that type of work. If so, then I would think that they WOULD take pride in their work.
  8. Being originally from lansing, MI I am prone to buy into the "Buy American" mindset... However.. Whilst i was young in the 80's the American Autoworkers REALLY had the time to quash those pesky asian car makers.. and simply laid a goose egg.
    I am not fond of Asian made instuments.. HOWEVER my '51 reissue P-bass plays the same if not better than ANY MIA I have tried yet.
    So I have to give the Japanese thier due on that bass.. BRAVO.. well done Crafted in Japan indeed.
  9. mfgl


    Jul 1, 2008
    Altoona PA
    Ps China, indochina , malaysia do produce a lot of sweatshop junk. Its Japan and Korea I believe where the high pride workers are that make some of the finest products in every field. Japanese steel has always been known as some of the finest, Japanese cars, Japanese beef. I think its the influence of Samurai mentality.

    PPS. I was in home depot and lowes today, doing some remodeling at home, even our plywood is made in china. Its hard to believe its cheaper to make plywood in china and ship it to America then it is to make our own wood.
  10. standupright


    Jul 7, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brownchicken Browncow
    to the first part of your post.....

    IMO i think that this is due to the fact the company loyalty to it's employee's has diminished over the years. the easiest way for a company to save money is by controlling it's labor expenses of the majority of it's lower workforce.
  11. Is the Original poster willing to work for 10 percent or less of what he earns now, for at least a few years..then come back and tell us how that pride of work thing is coming along? While refusing to be labeled a nationalist, I still maintain that to keep a strong economy one must be willing to pay a little more to support the lifestyle and ideals one holds for themselves. To do less seems morally questionable. Do we want our Sons and Daughters to have to work in sweatshops, with no benefits, and little pay, to contend with blooming third world cheap labor? We could only blame our own greed eh? Notice I did not raise the issue of quality, as we all should know by now that it is indeed relative to the materials, design, and builder...not the name brand or place of origin.
  12. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    When an american product is either good enough, or they perceive it's good enough to be considered 'better' than a foreign made product the American way is not to price it effectively and sell a lot of them, but instead to price it unrealistically high, sell a few, then complain because they can't compete because of foreign low wages, etc. so need subsidies, bail-outs, blah blah blah to make the difference.

    When in reality the focus isn't on producing a good product, the american business focus is on making a product that's 'perceived' as high quality, making an inflated profit for the business people based on that perceived quality, selling the business, then watching as the sold business is ran into the ground unprofitably once people start having problems with the product or realize the product isn't actually quality.
  13. DaveF


    Dec 22, 2007
    New Westminster, BC
    I think you're reading too much into it.

    They have better manufacturing processes, access to cheaper materials, cheaper labour and a strong international export-based economy.

    I don't think a Japanese guy loves making guitars any more than an American guy (case by case may vary)
  14. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Is that from The Prophet?
  15. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Is that from The Prohet?

  16. Geddy Claypool

    Geddy Claypool SX J-75/Traben Neo 4 -> SVT-CL/SVT-810E

    Aug 3, 2008
    A. They don't (necessarily) die.

    B. If you don't buy a foreign made guitar, they make less money and therefore have to lay their workers off, throwing poor people out onto the street.
  17. Navybass


    Mar 12, 2005
    Norfolk, Va.
    They may or may not, but they still give it their all. That's the difference, with some Americans if they don't like to do something, they won't give it their all and it will show in the work produced. Most Japaneese will give it 100% even if they don't like what they're doing. I guess the best way to word it is that they may not like what they do but their pride comes from knowing they did the best job they could on it anyway, and if they do like what they're doing, then it's a double positive for them. They take pride in the end result, knowing they did the best job they could.

    Again, take note that I don't say "all", because there will always be exceptions.
  18. Big Galoot

    Big Galoot

    Aug 14, 2008
    Just because it rhymes with cheese doesn't mean you spell it that way.
  19. I buy american whenever pactical. It makes a big difference in my purchasing decisions. I'm not going to pretend US made equipment is better in every instance (although it often is), but I just like to do what I can to help the economy. When the US economy is better I make more money through my investments and employer.

    The odds are much higher that someone in california or new york will do business with my employer than someone in jakarta or seoul.

    Calling all US workers lazy is highly inaccurate in my opinion. We have tons of good, hardworking people in this country. I drive a US made car, live in a US made house, listen to my music through US made speakers and headphones, and play US made basses for fun. Unfortunately at work I have to operate an brazillian made machine :smug: although it does a good job too.
  20. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Yes sir! That quote just sort of popped into my head when I read the part about people not liking what they do.

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