Or rather, we
get what they refuse
to pay for. Certainly, the American consumer is too willing to just buy garbage so long as it's perceived as a "good deal" - our favorite euphemism for "cheap." But in this New Gilded Age, profit margins
are up across industries. That's why newsmedia business reports have been so positive the last 7 years, since the targeted demographic of every Business Section of every newspaper, magazine and TV news show is the wealthy capitalist who has significant investments.
The truth, as anyone who has to rely on an actual paycheck knows - and whose interest in the paycheck's amount is more than curiosity or a spirit of competitiveness - is that the economy sucks and has for a long time. It's just that corporations are perfectly capable of making money in a bad economy. All they have to do is reduce their costs, and the best way to do that is of course to outsource the manufacturing of their goods to places that have few worker protections, few product quality or safety standards and a government that will always look the other way so long as its hold on power isn't threatened. Some place exactly like China.