Pop goes the industry (Metro NY)

My dead toaster, and what it means about big-box stores and the future of global capitalism. (And no, my toaster wasn’t the pop-up kind, but I guess the Metro headline writers are allowed their poetic license.)

My toaster just died. I push the button, and nothing happens: No light goes on, no toast toasts. It is an ex-toaster.

This wouldn’t be so surprising — our national motto these days should be “stuff breaks” — except it’s a Black & Decker, like my previous two toasters. Those lasted roughly ten years apiece; this one barely made it to its first birthday before giving up the ghost. And if Internet reviews are to be believed — hey, if Twitter can be a news source, so can Amazon.com — it’s a trend, with an epidemic of malfunctioning appliances littering our nation’s kitchen counters…. [read more]