Quote: "Today we have cheap Chinese products that makes it easier for half of us to do. That is why we are becoming a nation of bottom feeders. Because the bottom is all we are financially capable of feeding off of."
Do you understand the irony in this statement (particularly coming after your comment about having only a tiny wage increase)?
I feel dismay when it seems people don't get the connection between their abandoning hometown businesses and US made products to buy all the necessities of life from Walmart.
Another option to not being able to afford new or even used finished products is to do what my family has always done: make your own. You can get free instructions and patterns for building your own kayaks with less than $200 of material at Yostwerks (http://www.yostwerks.com). One enterprising home builder used aluminum crutches for the frame of hers, which she got for pennies at Goodwill stores. I got into backpacking and winter mountaineering in my 20's while supporting myself working minimum wage -- I sewed my own tent, sleeping bag, down and rain jackets and other items. Stuff I could not make I bought at thrift stores or traded for sewing skills.
I learned this from my family -- my mom sewed most of our school clothes and reupholstered discarded furniture for our home. Dad baked our bread using wild yeasts he harvested, and canned jams and preserves. Mom even made snap in screens and Dad built removeable platforms so the family could camp in our venerable 1955 Chevy station wagon. Being resourceful and imaginative can get most of what you need in life at or under your budget.
As far as kayaking goes, I've bought quality older touring kayaks for as little as $325 -- even got one with repairable issues for $100.
Personally, even though I realize my action is not even a detectable drop in the ocean, I NEVER buy anything from Walmart that I can get from a locally owned independent dealer, even if I have to pay a little more. The fact is that a lot of what you get at WM is substandard anyway (even brand names like Fruit of the Loom are contracted to produce cheapened versions to meet WM price point demands -- is it really a "bargain" when brand name underwear that used to last a couple of years disintegrates in 3 months?).
Big Box stores full of Asian goods have devastated small town economies and domestic manufacturing overall over the past 3 decades. Claiming that their "low prices" for shoddy goods improve the middle class quality of life is a short-sighted fallacy. Perhaps if there was a more robust domestic manufacturing infrastructure, lifestyles that required driving hundreds of miles per week to get to one's jobs that did not pay a living wage would be less likely. I view pouring one's income into companies like Walmart as the 21st century version "owe my soul to the company store." Cyclical economic bondage.
Wall Mount Boat Racks
Kayak Carrier Kits
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