Cheap, Chintzy, Fast and Brainless

Cheap, Chintzy, Fast and Brainless: welcome to the new standards.
By Paul Pannone

Reprinted from eWed News article

What’s being accepted as the new normal in the wake of a lingering economic decline is becoming increasingly concerning to a wave of professionals that understand standards will never be as they were when they were younger. The shock and dismay of declining standards are said to be forcing some into retirement to enjoy the last years of their life, away from the changes that are concerning to them.

Recent discussions with every walk of life including journalists and college professors that say they’re finding it difficult to accept the cultural changes blame the Internet, citing the rise of mediocrity and lower standards. Along with print publications, most point out the value supplied by the Net, providing real-time information exchange. But just as many say they question the value of the information.

“There are vast amounts of information in every conceivable topic but as the standards of how the information is collected and assembled decreases, the skepticism of the reader should be increasing proportionately. There are many factors to be considered; has the writer taken the time to verify the source’s statements? Were there ample attempts to garner balancing statements and differences of opinion? Those are the questions that should always be asked,” according to writers and journalists that fear the decline in quality.

The comparison of quality versus quantity is a growing concern in every aspect of life apart from professionals, as standards are felt to be giving up ground daily. Manufacturers, sales people and displaced professionals see the changes and say they’re growing increasingly wary of the rising mediocrity and its acceptance. “It wouldn’t be bad if it ends at mediocrity, who knows how low this will go?” say some that feel we’ve not yet seen the bottom of the barrel.

Have you seen this? asked one Social Media follower concerned about the decline. Dresses to be married in—we refuse to call them wedding dresses—for under $500 dollars. Veteran dress sources say the quality standards have lowered to meet the decline in consumer spending. Some say past recessions they’ve lived through forced consumers to seek lower pricing but they still demanded quality. “Not anymore; this generation was never taught what quality was. Mommy and daddy coddled them and they never had to think on their feet. Now, as consumers, it shows; they’ll take anything they’re given, as long as it’s cheap,” feel a growing number of sources.

The remarks are offset by New York wedding and other major market consultants that told eWedNews, “I cringe when I read about a $1,200 dollar dress in your articles; I have clients that spend more than that on their underwear.” While the statement may be true, cutbacks in spending at every income level, including luxury, force us to think perhaps the current $1,200 spent on “underwear” is down from $1,800 a few years ago; who would know?

Sources feel, “If manufacturers are creating products for less that is what people will be spending. When the standard price for a wedding gown used to be $3,000 dollars that’s what a bride expected to pay in her mind. Today, if a manufacturer is able to create the look she wants for less, that’s what she will be paying at the counter,” said bridal gown sources.

In all other aspects of wedding planning including the venue and meal itself, tricks to cut down the costs are being exposed. Sheryl Davies of The Wedding Guide in Canada told eWedNews, “An emerging trend; Fill’em with bread and poo- poos and they’ll eat less at dinner. But, seriously it was really a nice touch and we all got to snack!”

“There is no doubt that spending is down,” say numerous sources in the wedding industry. Others that are trying to adapt to couples that want to save money by doing it themselves say the trend may be shifting, as the economy improves. Most bridal planners in major markets say their clients have the means to fund events that will be memorable and leave lasting impressions for decades to come, while in other areas, frugality is expected to continue to guide average spending.


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