Monday, February 19, 2007

Furniture Quality Standards Take Big Hit In Bush Years

Consumers took a huge hit during the Bush Administration years, with the triple whammy of a Republican White House, Senate and Congress, that allowed various business groups to write their own legislation that weakened consumer quality, protections, or other important issues related to the welfare of the consumer.

One virtually unknown change for the worst for consumers was when the furniture industry was able to rewrite it's own industry standards regulations and furniture quality has taken a real hit. Now furniture often advetised as cherry, oak or mahogany, is often only made of pressed wood products with a very thin cherry, oak or mahogany finish, and not actually really made from these beautiful quality woods. These far cheaper pressed wood materials are simply an outright embarrassment compared to actual furniture of high quality. One religious group, the Shakers, used to built high quality wood products that would last for generations. Chairs and other items more than 100 years old built by the shakers still exist today. How many pressed wood products with only a cherry, oak or mahogany finish will last 100 or more years?

But just like the credit card industry that was able to write it's own bankruptcy law regulations in the last congress, the furniture industry, and many other industry interest groups including energy groups like coal and oil have held tremedous power in the last congress and with the White House. At least the new Democratic congress is allowing more consumer friendly hearings, such as the recent hearings in the Senate Banking Committee in which Chairman Senator Christopher Dodd is concerned with predatory mortgage companies.


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