The book, Cheap: The High Cost of
The book, Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, describes the history
of cheapness in our country. It exposes some of the players involved and
incredible examples of how far this culture has gone. When you track this
history, you can start to see where we are headed. Here are a few items I
took away from the book:
The book helps define the difference
between frugal and cheap. I often call myself cheap and
maybe sometimes I am but in reality, I try to be frugal. I might quickly
define being cheap as trying to save money at all costs. I could describe
being frugal as being wise with money. A smart person may spend more for a
particular item if it will last longer, like a quality piece of furniture.
A frugal person will also buy quality but also look for one that is used
so he can get quality at a low price.
The book helps to explain how the
ideal of cheapness became part of the American culture.
The proliferation of cheap and disposable products did not happen by
accident. The drive for mass manufacturing brought cheaper products with
it. Unfortunately, aggressive cost cutting measures lead to cutting
corners and lower quality.
Cheapness hurts us as a country in
ways that are not always obvious. Being cheap often
leads to Pyrrhic victories. Countries who can manufacture cheaper than we
can get the jobs that we have become accustomed to. Products that don’t
last doom us to buying them over and over again.
Unless people start to look for
quality, cheapness leads us into a downward spiral.
Cheapness makes manufacturers race to the bottom in terms of price. Low
cost increasingly becomes the only positive aspect of cheap products. It’s
a temptation that grows stronger the more we become dependent on cheapness.
It seems like a hard choice but you really can switch from being cheap to
being frugal. This book will help open your eyes as to why you should.