Yes, when in doubt always blame the consumer. No matter how crummy the product is, somewhere out there is a person who sees no problem at all with letting babies play in five gallon buckets of water. Really, the next time you buy a bucket, check out the side and you will see a picture of a baby with a red line drawn through it. They wouldn’t have done that if someone hadn’t sued them because of a child drowning in one. The next time you climb a ladder, check your weight. They only hold so much, and let’s face it; you don’t want to lie about how heavy you are while climbing twenty feet in the air on a ladder that might collapse!
Basically as of late in corporate America’s eyes and the courts the consumer or user is the one who bears the brunt of responsibly for product safety. Buyers beware, if you get hurt using this product it probably is your fault, not the manufactures. After all, how can a company be held responsible if their products are used in ways they were not designed for or in an unsafe manner? In their eyes, when it comes to the safety of their products, companies are responsible only so far.
It’s a good thing they have Madison Avenue, millions of dollars of congressional paid support and a general public too dumb to know when they have had to support this kind of thinking. Take the financial meltdown. Wall Street’s fault? No. You should have known better. Even the master ponsie schemer himself, Bernie Maddoff, has told people you should have known this was too good to be true! Yesterday’s headlines in all the papers pointed out that hedge fund managers had to know this was a scam, but still they collected billions of dollars in fees. Not their fault, but yours for not questioning those checks you got! For those who say this isn’t exactly product safety, well being that more than half of Corporate America earns their income not on a product per-se but from financial services, maybe it is!
Understanding that all corporations are liable to their shareholders first and the consumers only if they have to be, has been a rude awakening of modern day consumers. Of course the first thing you hear when a product hurts, maims, poisons or kills someone is why the government hasn’t stepped in and made this product safe for us. Sadly, what government testing that does get done in most cases is usually done on a product after it is sold and out in the public.
Time and time again we hear of inspectors that work right along with the companies in doing inspections. As far as eggs, lettuce, meat and a host of other products, how is that working out for us? Intensified testing only seems to get done when problems occur. Like most government agencies the vast areas they are responsible for makes one wonder how anything gets inspected. According to some reports, a government official inspects less than 1% of the beef we eat by actually looking at it.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to safety. There are no easy answers either in trying to find money to pay for government to act as a watchdog over the safety of the products we use. Given the fact that Congress seems to be hell bent on protecting the producer and not necessarily the consumer, we can only expect things to get a lot worse before they get better. Oh, yeah, and when things are finally addressed regarding product safety, the only one who will get blamed for letting things get so bad will be, yes, you guessed it, the consumer!