I Bought A Grill At Walmart

Yes, I know, so you can withhold your scorn in the satisfaction that I’ve been promptly punished by the powers that be.

Upon initial assembly of my new $25 *Deluxe* propane grill, I assumed that the small Chinese boy manning the “‘L’ washer” machine at the grill factory simply hadn’t received adequate training from HR during the sweatshop orientation process. Or maybe he’s a union kid and was on a smoke break.. Or perhaps felt like leaving out the sixteenth washer in the knowledge that some American chump would eventually rifle though every inch of packaging looking for the part that never existed.

Approximately 2/3rds through assembly, I came to the realization that the shrink-wrapped parts smell funny: a contagious-like biological odor that I imagine a despair machine must smell like. While thinking about koala bears was much more fun than trying to remember what SARS stands for, I was brought back to sadness when I realized that Mr. NoPaidOvertime Jr. also left out a ‘C’ washer. GREAT. This wan’t going well and I still had a handful of parts left on the table.

Assembly completed. Wait… Nevermind, back to step six to add the metal thing to the other metal thing.

Assembly completed? Yes! And then, suddenly… EXISTENTIAL CLARITY.

This is, without a doubt, the worst grill I have ever bought, used, fondled and, possibly, ever set my eyes upon. It is not merely a poor devise, but in strong contention for *poorest* device. It is as if an investor found an abandoned warehouse of unrelated parts and had to decide between making radiators, fire extinguishers, or grills. The feet that are supposed to fold the damn thing into a tidy ball of grill were bent in six different ways out of the box, and the handle clearly didn’t come out of the sadness-injection machine correctly.

The whole supply chain here is crap. It’s not just the factory, but design, delivery, retail, economics, ethics.. Everything about this product and the devil spawn it came from is horrible for America. Is this news? No. But we all need a periodic reminder that the crap we habitually clamor for isn’t doing us any favors.

Please don’t shop at Walmart.

Mini-Review: Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailout Will Make Things Worse


Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Meltdown is a evidence-based, academically credible, and brutally honest analysis of the causes and effects of economic depression faced in the United States since the early 1900’s. Thomas Woods’ almost adversarial opinion of the Federal Reserve is approached via many different approaches and data sources, as is his affinity of Austrian business cycle theory. (As opposed to Keynesian economics primarily seen in the U.S.)

For those with interest in macroeconomic theory or the effects of government intervention on both business and individual finance, this is absolutely required reading. Those with politically libertarian leanings will also find many of the facts presented within outright shocking. I personally finished the electronic version of this book with over 10 pages of highlights, and plan to continue following Woods’ work.

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