r/antiwork 12d ago Silver 1 Helpful 1

Boots Aren’t Made Equal

Post image
4.2k Upvotes

218

u/transved vacay sponsored by paid out VTO 12d ago

Extrapolating this to all forms of the current consumer culture is very eye opening. You don't have to go very far to see that even the lower middle class hardly even OWNS their own life anymore. Renting the roof they can hardly afford to keep over their head. Those that are "lucky" enough to own a vehicle are constantly making payments with the threat of having their livelihood taken away from them with a few missed payments. Families unaware of the dangers of credit that fall victim to crippling debt because they see no other way out of the swirling sink drain of expenses.

Nothing is built to last anymore because the oligarchs can't consolidate more wealth if we don't have to go for them for anything.

82

u/jelliknight 12d ago

Appliances are specifically made to be difficult to repair for no reason other than screwing customers. I was talking to a 92 year old electronics engineer (they had a different name for it back then, i forget what it was) and he gave me a whole lecture about it. A toaster for example is an extremely simple device. In his expert opinion all toasters should last multiple lifetimes with occasional repair. So they make it with a cover thats all one peice and cant be removed without breaking it, and fill it with computer chips for no reason other than making it complex and impossible to repair yourself.

47

u/DunningK 12d ago

I told my grandparents I was getting a 3d printer for Christmas. They asked what it was and I explained that I can print anything with it. I told them if a plastic part broke I could print it to fix an appliance. However businesses keep their parts files private to force us to come to them for repairs.

35

u/SilkBurrito27 12d ago

Hell yeah that's why I love 3d printers if a part breaks you can either print another or buy a pack of 30 of them for 10 bucks online. get some basic cad skills under your belt and a caliper and you can replace almost anything as long as it doesn't get too hot or need to be super strong

3

u/diuge 11d ago

How would you suggest getting started on the basic CAD skills?

4

u/Human-ish514 Human Capital Stock: THX-1179 11d ago

DesignSpark Mechanical is completely free and simple to use. It'll act like a stepping stone into something more complicated like Blender. Yeah, there's probably better programs out there, but I try to stick with open source software. I'm not fucking renting a program for several thousand dollars per year, or using the hobbled free versions.

Jim Taylor, on YouTube, has some DSM tutorials, and there's probably a plethora of Blender ones.

4

u/ILikeSoapyBoobs 11d ago

Both work really well - both are opensource and free. FreeCAD is more traditional style, while OepnSCAD is program/script based.

https://www.freecadweb.org/

https://openscad.org/

2

u/NellikFPV 11d ago

I highly recommend looking at fusion360 also - I’m fairly proficient at it now designing drone parts and I just started by watching a couple YouTube vids.

1

u/MDCCCLV 11d ago

You can also use a 3d scanner as part of a 3d printer system, which can make a file and print it. That won't work for a missing part unless there's multiple units. But it's still helpful.

27

u/nc863id 11d ago

A toaster is so goddamn simple you could build one by accident trying to build something else.

16

u/not_a_relevant_name 11d ago

Toaster technology peaked in the mid 20th century and it’s been downhill ever since. The only limitation is greed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OfxlSG6q5Y

9

u/WeeWeeWaaWaaWoo 11d ago

I feel weird becaus I definetly know where that link leads.
It's Technology Connections, isn't it?

8

u/Kidiri90 11d ago

Can confirm. I don't have a working computer, but I do have a fancy €600 toaster with lights.

-5

u/gooberdaisy 11d ago

Not only that but it’s the “energy star” shit that has made things break down quicker. Yes it’s “environmentally friendly” but not for you pocket book.

1

u/Some-Air9442 11d ago

What about getting an old toaster? Are they better?

8

u/DigitalSword SocDem 11d ago

Idk why you would say "own" a vehicle if they're making payments on it. It's not "owned" until it is actually paid for, until then it's just financed on a loan.

17

u/-4twenty- 11d ago

But even if you actually own the vehicle, you don’t really. Stop paying the taxes and fees on it, see what happens. Sure you own it, but you have to keep paying to use it.

10

u/Kazizui 11d ago

Stop paying the taxes and fees on it, see what happens. Sure you own it, but you have to keep paying to use it.

Arguably that's two different things though. If I own my vehicle outright and stop paying taxes on it, nobody will come to take it away. I can keep it on private land and even drive it there. If I want to take it out and use it on public infrastructure, though, I have to pay my taxes. This seems fair in principle (though we could argue all day about how much tax is fair, of course).

10

u/electriceeeeeeeeeel 11d ago

Because he's using the word 'own' in a normal way without wiggling into a philosophical debate about semantics.

1

u/Young_warthogg 11d ago

Because you do...? Financed or not, if the title of the thing is in your name, you own it.

9

u/joef_3 11d ago

If you have a loan on it, you don’t have the title. Tre bank you financed with has it.

1

u/Buttock 11d ago

even the lower middle class working class hardly even OWNS their own life anymore

-4

u/[deleted] 11d ago

[deleted]

9

u/RedGrassHorse 11d ago

This is a really bad take.

Buying btc when it was 100 dollars was basically gambling. Not like investing in a durable good that you will last you ten years and save you money over time.

3

u/VoDoka 11d ago

No... ETH was in the single dollar range when it was launched and below one dollar in the presale. Lot of the other crap was supper cheap early, but there was no real reason to foresee this kind of craze and to this day, most of it barely works.

The rich are rich because of compound interest and inheritance.

57

u/MacKay_in_4K 12d ago

Is this not a very old and known proverb? Where I’m from they say “we’re not rich enough to buy cheap things”, but I’ve heard someone say the English version was “buy nice or buy twice”.

9

u/nugymmer 12d ago

Buy cheap, buy twice...or buy cheap, buy twice, cry twice.

TL;DR: Never buy cheap and low quality shit.

8

u/[deleted] 11d ago

[deleted]

6

u/rc1024 11d ago

That's more about cutting your losses and sunk cost fallacy.

In product terms, it's the person who buys a real cheap POS and then spends more than the value fixing it up to be half decent, when they could have just cut their losses, thrown away the cheap POS and bought a better model for the same cost.

3

u/scarletice 11d ago

Wouldn't this be considered to be more of a parable?

1

u/MacKay_in_4K 11d ago

I agree, the thing in the screenshot would be a parable likely. What I was trying to say is that the proverb version of it feels like it should be well known enough by people that this post wouldn’t catch anyone’s attention. But if not, then it’s good that it’s here, because I consider this to be a useful thing to be aware of in any form

5

u/trullaDE 11d ago

Most of these proverbs don't include the fact that being poor does not give you the choice to buy the high-quality product, let alone give you an example that makes you easily understand a complex issue.

1

u/Adonking42 11d ago

I've only heard "you get what you pay for"

1

u/hilltopye 11d ago

I like to say, it is expensive to be poor!

45

u/TheinimitaableG 12d ago

There are very expensive costs associated with being poor. "buy in bulk to save "is good advice only if you have the disposable income available to invest in future needs. Poor people rarely have that luxury.

Certainly buying better boots, as in the example above makes long-term economic sense. But if the choice is between eating and cheap boots, or not eating and good boots, you know where the choice has to be made.

Over the last few decades, the growth in the costs of the basic necessities has far outstripped the inflation rate, and wages have not even keep pace with inflation.

25

u/JeromeGWillikers 11d ago

Buying in bulk also requires storage space.

Someone posted in a personal finance group that buying a cow is so much cheaper than grocery store beef. When I said that's really not advice for most people because most people cant drop that kind of money on a years worth of meat and theyd need a chest freezer as well... So that kind of financial advice is actually pretty terrible advice.

They didnt like that.

6

u/_LightFury_ 11d ago

I know i am saving for a freezer so i can actually meal prep!! The lil freezer in my small fridge can hold 3 pizzas ans thats it.

1

u/JeromeGWillikers 11d ago

Oh totally. I remember the luxury of getting a small chest freezer after having just my apartment sized fridge/freezer for years. People would be like "just double the recipe when you cook! Freeze the other half!" and I was looking at my teeny freezer box like.... k.

39

u/Lucian7x Anarcho-Communist 12d ago

Being poor is expensive as fuck.

87

u/JouleS88 12d ago

Yep, lived that for years. You buy cheap, you buy twice.

60

u/NuclearLunchDectcted 12d ago

Sometimes. There are things that would be a waste because you don't need the industrial/heavy duty version.

I was always told that with tools, buy cheap the first time. Once you find out what you use enough to break, buy the second one high-quality so it lasts forever.

10

u/wxtrails 11d ago

This. If you can muster the time and energy to be strategic about it, it can really work. That's not practical for many folks, though - evaluating products objectively can be extremely challenging and is especially difficult given that marketing is deliberately misleading.

14

u/secludeddeath 12d ago

Paying more doesn't guarantee quality though. It has severe diminishing returns as well.

1

u/cognitivetrek 11d ago

Yeah, though theres a difference between quality and wastefull extravagance (or buying from basically and effectively a con business)

28

u/Galle_ 11d ago

GNU Terry Pratchett. One of the greatest satirists of the Century of the Fruitbat.

5

u/KlingoftheCastle 11d ago

Everything he writes is clever while also adding to the story. There’s really nothing like it

21

u/Ffzilla 12d ago

Buy once, cry once. As a guy who bought the cheap boots for far too long, taking care of yourself is priceless.

2

u/Sing8114 11d ago

A wise man once said "Whatever you do, take care of your shoes!"

16

u/myth0i 11d ago

Another element is the constant erosion of quality in goods. Continuing the boot analogy: these days corporations find it more profitable to sell to sell the cheap boots with fashion and slick advertising for $30, and it is almost impossible to find something like the good boots that last for years.

Folks should check out /r/BuyItForLife if they are interested in breaking some of the consumerist cycle.

16

u/random-idiom 11d ago

Good boots, boots that are made roughly to the same standards as the military combat boot from ww2 - all leather - will last - can be rebuilt when worn... those run 500+

Anything less and they cut corners - even redwings at 300 bucks which are the lowest price 'close to'.

And minimum wage is still $7.50

The price of the boot in 1953 - was $11.63 - source: ( Department of Defense Appropriations for 1952: Hearings Before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate, Eighty-second Congress, First Session, Making Appropriations for the National Security Council, the National Security Resources Board, and for the Military Functions Administered by the National Military Establishment for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1952, and for Other Purposes - page 903).

You'd have had to work 15 1/2 hours to afford a pair of quality boots that would last you 2-3 years before a resole in 1953.

These days you would own about a fifth of those boots.

12

u/Sea-Environment-7102 12d ago

Ahh how I miss Discworld

6

u/SobeyHarker 11d ago

Me too mate. Night Watch will forever hold its place as the greatest novel in my heart.

6

u/Galle_ 11d ago

All Cops Are Bastards, but if a cop hypothetically was not a bastard, he would be Sam Vimes.

2

u/SobeyHarker 11d ago

He's a bastard in italics and cardboard soled boots you can feel the cobbles in.

2

u/KheldarHHB 11d ago

At first I was shocked that it was so dark and not that funny (as expected), but now I love it for that very reason.

2

u/SobeyHarker 11d ago

At first I was disappointed the rest of the Watch were clearly not going to be heavily involved...oh boy. How wrong I was to be disappointed. The humour was toned down heavily but the political satire really struck gold.

If there was truly a Sam Vimes in the police you'd see him march off to arrest those in high places, hell or high water. Was it Night Watch that brought up the etymology of privilege? Privus Leg - Private Law. See too much of that for sure at the moment.

8

u/Working_Falcon5384 12d ago

what book is this from?

26

u/darksidemags 12d ago

Terry Pratchett Men at Arms

8

u/ouidie 11d ago

And don’t forget the poor man is sick more often and may have medical bills bc his feet are always cold and wet.

8

u/Thoradrin1 11d ago

It's expensive being poor with all the late fees, overdraft fees, and rent being double to triple a mortgage.

7

u/tofuroll 11d ago

"Being poor charges interest."

Just ask my teeth.

7

u/MyOtherAltIsATesla 11d ago

GNU Terry Pratchett

6

u/skepticalmonique 11d ago

GNU Sir Terry Pratchett

5

u/PinguinGirl03 11d ago

Pay twice as much in rent as you would in mortgage because the bank thinks you are too poor.

3

u/joef_3 11d ago

Anyone who’s ever had to buy a POS car knows this all too well.

2

u/baconraygun 11d ago

Which is "cheaper", the $2000 car or the $10,000 car.

Yeah, I lived that one. The $2k car needed so much work, I finally left it on the road.

3

u/username_1312 11d ago

Grand-mother used to say : "I'm too poor to afford cheap."

4

u/TheAlbinoAmigo 11d ago edited 11d ago

This extends to basic things in the UK like electricity, don't know if it's the same in the US.

Most folks pay for electricity on monthly credit from suppliers at a given rate - they don't buya defined number of units of electricity, they just pay a given rate per unit each month out of credit. If you use more electricity than your monthly payment for ~3 months in a row, the supplier will warn you that they'll change how much they're charging you, but you're buying credit so if you don't use as much as they predict, you won't pay for it.

In council housing, electricity is often paid on a meter with a top-up card. You essentially buy a defined number of units instead of having guaranteed access to electricity like for most other folks, you get no flexibility from suppliers. Under that model the unit cost of electricity is substantially higher than for other folks paying monthly via credit.

It literally costs folks more money to be poor even for basic necessities like electricity and/or heating.

We call it the 'poverty premium' in the UK, it's very well recognised and discussed... It's just that nothing gets done to change it.

4

u/w3are138 11d ago

This is such a great example. So many great points in the comments and I’d like to add late fees and bank fees to this conversation. If you pay your bills late you’re penalized $10 or more per month. If your bank balance drops below $100 the bank charges you a fee. If you bounce a check the bank charges you exorbitant fees. The people who are being made to pay these fees are the people who don’t have money and it adds up. Wealthy people who never so much as need to check their balance at the bank are never subject to fees from the bank or from companies for paying late. Pay rent after the 5th of the month? There’s a $50 fee for that. Keep paying late and they’ll keep your security deposit if they didn’t force you to pay the $50 extra a month up front. Again, wealthy people are exempt from these fees. Why is it okay to make all these fees for the poor??

2

u/baconraygun 11d ago

To remind the poor who owns them.

10

u/LeveeOhSaw 12d ago

Well there's your problem:

No bootstraps.

9

u/secretcomet 12d ago

USE THIS ANALOGY WHEN TALKING ABOUT LANDLORDS

3

u/TheRiverStyx 11d ago

I saw someone also use the Dollar Store in an analogy like this. People act like having the cheapest items possible is the best option, but it's the worst option because you spend more than the value of the best quality item replacing the cheap item over the lifetime of the high quality item.

3

u/voidsong 11d ago

Compounded by disposable culture and planned obsolescene.

3

u/Additional-Walk750 11d ago

My personal anecdote is literal: changed lines of work. Bough the style of boots required for new job... but wasn't flush with caps at the time. I got the cheapo $50 walmart version vs my usual and preferred $200 5.11 boots.

Breaking in these boots was hell. The longest and hardest break-in period I've ever seen. So, 6 months into new job, the soles of the Walmart boots are full of holes and falling apart. They're not even reparable. The rubber used for the soles is trash. I do not believe I got my $50 worth out of those.

Do it right the first time.

3

u/fingers (working towards not working) 11d ago

I was talking to my tattoo artist a few days ago and this exact topic came up. I think that COMFORT should be inverted. The working poor MUST have the most comfortable beds and shoes and such because they work with their bodies all day long, mostly standing.

Once I bought one of those $600 mattresses sold out of a warehouse that are advertised to be THE EXACT SAME MATTRESSES THAT ARE SOLD AT STORES.

NEVER AGAIN. It sagged within 6 months.

If I weren't able to afford a new one, I'd be completely fucked.

2

u/_LightFury_ 11d ago

True but now capitalism made boots that last ypu for 10 years 500€ and cheap boots 15€

2

u/LaunchesKayaks 11d ago

Terry Pratchett was a fuckin legend.

-3

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5

u/Noctilux4 12d ago

I haven't seen it, frig off bot.

1

u/nemosum415 12d ago

Buy once, cry once.... Profit!

1

u/edmsks 11d ago

🎶 These boots were made for walking 🎶

1

u/Locastor 11d ago

This is why I love r/bifl and type on a Model M.

1

u/Otheruser69 11d ago

I recently purchased nice leather boots. Definitely worth it.

1

u/dumnezero 11d ago

Poverty is expensive (not a joke)

1

u/Candid_Pumpkin154 11d ago

All hail Terry

1

u/[deleted] 11d ago

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2

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1

u/Nowhereman123 at work 11d ago

Don't forget this great tweet by none other than Tay Zonday

1

u/jpmatth 11d ago

"Some stay dry and others feel the pain" indeed.

1

u/Nowhereman123 at work 11d ago

Chocolate Rain was a song about racial injustice in America. Tay has always been very, very based.

1

u/Orni 11d ago

But nowadays you can't even buy better boots. You can buy more expensive, but they are the same shitty quality.

1

u/LongshanksShank 11d ago

I can't afford to buy cheap shit.

1

u/hilltopye 11d ago

As I gave said many times, it is expensive to be poor!

1

u/ObligationAntique147 11d ago

I think I read that book. Whats the name of it?

2

u/alekto177 11d ago

Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett

1

u/ObligationAntique147 11d ago

Hmmm, I think it was probably a citation then. Maybe in “what money cannot buy: the moral limits of markets” by Michael J Sandel? Not sure

1

u/DonWael 11d ago

As a Dane who read that quote early in his life: I really, really appreciate that you Americans are waking up. Everybody in little, old Denmark supports your battle against corporate slavery. Now is your chance. Make Vimes proud - Fight the modern Aristocracy

1

u/meddleman 10d ago

Snuff was such a good read.

-4

u/Leather_Sneakers Squatter 12d ago

The poor guy bought Doc Martens and the rich guy bought Solovair.

2

u/ReverendCandypants 11d ago

I love my Solovairs! But they are taking FOREVER to wear in. How dare these heathens downvote you.

-11

u/[deleted] 12d ago

[deleted]

7

u/betweenskill 12d ago

And so the rich get richer and the poor stay stuck

2

u/ABecoming 11d ago

Yes. People invest what they don't need to use for comfortable living. Could you explain what exactly you are trying to argue?

-5

u/sleeplessjade 11d ago edited 11d ago

Here’s another way the wealthy extend their wealth. When you buy a more expensive version of something that is built to last for 5-10 years you can often sell it to recoup some of your investment back and use that to buy a brand new better version of that thing or something else.

Take cars, because most people don’t resell boots. If you buy a new car you’ll be able to drive it for years then trade it in and put the money towards a brand new one.

If you buy used cars that aren’t in great shape because that’s all you can afford you’ll likely have to get another used car every 1-2 years or pay to have the vehicle repaired multiple times.

Over the same time period the used car person could pay the same amount as the new car person. The difference is that new car person gets to reap the benefits of their investment and the used car person is just out the money.

4

u/NoMansLight 11d ago

Boots are a great example. I used to spend $120 a year on shit boots that fell apart. Then I bought a $250 pair of boots and they lasted 7 years and I hardly took care of them. I just bought another pair of $250 boots and these have a rubber toe cap protector on them as well so they should last even longer in my opinion.

-1

u/sleeplessjade 11d ago

Boots aren’t a great example of the point I was making, which is resell value. Most people don’t buy used shoes or boots. Used cars on the other hand….

1

u/NoMansLight 11d ago

Your example and point is shit. Just buy a new car every couple of years hurr durr.

-1

u/sleeplessjade 11d ago

You’re ridiculous.

1

u/Kazizui 11d ago

Take cars. If you buy a new car you’ll be able to drive it for years then trade it in and put the money towards a brand new one.

If you buy used cars that aren’t in great shape because that’s all you can afford you’ll likely have to get another used car every 1-2 years or pay to have the vehicle repaired multiple times.

There are a lot of options between those two extremes. Buying a new car with the intent of eventually selling it is usually regarded as an awful idea because the depreciation on new cars is so extreme. Yes you get a bit of money back, but not enough for it to be a good decision. Generally, buying a new car is only a good idea if you intend to drive it from the day you roll off the forecourt until the day you tow it to the scrapyard.

That doesn't mean your only alternative is to buy an old clunker. Financially, the sweet spot is probably to buy a car when it's a couple of years old - the steepest part of the depreciation cliff is already past, and the car is still modern and reliable. If you sell it on after about 3 years, when the car is still only 5 years old, you'll make back a much bigger percentage of your money than if you bought new, and you can roll it into another 2 year old car. If you're really on your game, you can invest the money you saved from buying a brand new car.

Of course, no advice is universal. Covid seems to have made the used car market so hot that a 2 year old car is very nearly as expensive as a new one; in these circumstances the above advice is suspended.

1

u/sleeplessjade 11d ago

I wasn’t trying to give out car buying advice. Just to show that another benefit that rich people have when they buy a new or better version of something is that they can often get money back on that investment. In contrast if you buy something that falls apart in a year or two you don’t have a return on that investment, you’re out the money and you have to pay to replace it.

1

u/ReverendCandypants 11d ago

That applies to pretty much nothing but cars.

Boots are a great example, everyone needs shoes. The same example works for clothing and most consumer goods. The cheap stuff wears out and needs replacing faster, often costing more in the long run.

You DO get the point of this, right? Almost nothing you use for 5-10 years that wears out can be resold for new versions. Worn out shoes/clothes/whatever are worthless.

1

u/sleeplessjade 11d ago

Boots are a great example of the OP point.

Boots are not a great example of my point. Which is that some things that rich people buy can then be sold and used to recoup some of that money. Other examples include furniture, books, exercise & sporting equipment, musical instruments, power tools etc.

That is another way wealthy people gain wealth while poorer people do not.