Thursday, February 18, 2021

Why Ikea is the Future of the US Economy

My James Bond Villain Couch

Allow me to tell you how Ikea created $2,000 in "NOT-GDP."

I had worked hard.  And not only had I worked hard, but I had worked hard for 30 years.  I saved my pennies and dimes, lived in basements while renting out the upstairs of houses I owned, drove cars over 10 years old, and would bring flasks to bars so I could drink on the cheap.  And over those three decades I was able to pay off my humble house, be mortgage free, and be in the enviable position of retiring before 50.

Part of that early retirement dream was finally selling my investment properties and building my modest-but-dream home.  It would not be a luxurious home as my years of living cheaply had taught me the value of minimalism, but it would be a nice home, culminating my life's work and frugality into a home I would enjoy, not merely live in.

And so in anticipation, for one of the rare moments in my life, I afforded myself something nice.

What was that something?  Ikea's 5 piece "Morabo Sectional" replete with chaise lounge.

My house was designed to look like a Mission Impossible, late-50's, schwank bachelor pad, and I had found the James Bond Villain couch to be the centerpiece of my living room.  And so I permitted myself to drop the $3,200 on this sleek, sexy sectional.

Of course, though, with Ikea, you have to assemble your furniture. And of course, if you've ever been there, you have to use the code on the print out they give you to find all the components that go into creating the set in their warehouse.  And though I was eagerly looking forward to the day I could pour myself a small-fish bowl snifter of scotch, swirl it around in the palm of my hand, and luxuriate on Marabo 5 piece sectional as I made declarations to James Bond on how I would defeat him and achieve global domination...

that would have to wait as Ikea said half my couch was not in stock, and I would have to wait a month to get the remainder of it.

This was understandable.  Sometimes things aren't in stock.  Sometimes things are very popular and sell out quickly. Plus, COVID had people rushing to Ikea to redo their homes as they had nothing else to do.  But after a month passed, and I still had yet to receive a notification that the remaining half of my James Bond Villain couch was delivered, I checked online to see what was going on.

This then started what would inevitably become a 4 month process.

You, in theory, can check the status of your order online.  But there is such little information on Ikea's website that you are compelled to contact customer service.

Ikea is in the throes of a managerial/competency crisis, as people are losing their orders, having the wrong things delivered, etc., which makes contacting customer service about a 30 minute ordeal.

If you get to customer service, you are rolling the dice as to whether or not that person knows what they're doing.  I never received the information I needed nor the same/consistent information from each of the three reps I called to see if the remainder of my couch was ever going to be delivered.  Which compelled me to...

Revisit the physical store to see what was going on, which once again was fraught with its own problems of floor employees looking things up on databases that were not consistent with what was online.

The final straw was when I could no longer pull up my order #.  Ikea, like a heroin-addicted single mom loses her child, lost my order.  Just "poof" gone.  And thank god I saved my multi-thousand dollar receipt to prove that I had paid for it.

In the end I realized that I had wasted more time and labor dicking around with Ikea for a couch that was never going to be delivered.  And so I spent the better part of a cold Minnesota morning, loading up my truck, driving to Ikea, waiting in line, and getting a refund for my half-purchase.  And that experience was the ONLY time I dealt with a competent Ikea employee as the process, though long, went smoothly.

No doubt everybody has horror stories about buying things, delivery problems, an returning them.  But Ikea was different because of two things.  One, the inordinate amount of my time, energy, resources, and money that went into purchasing a couch that simply never existed.  And two, the incompetence at nearly every level and facet of the Ikea organization.  And though I am long over getting frustrated or angry at companies being inept in delivering what they promised, I do believe Ikea serves as foreboding omen of what the future US (and global economy) will look like.  And this is a lesson people with an IQ above 100 need to realize.

All Problems are Caused by Humans

First, you must understand where all problems in the world come from.  They come from other humans.

Yes, a tornado will destroy a house and present you a problem.
Yes, a hurricane will flood your city and damage some property.

But outside natural disasters and statistical chance, nearly ALL of the problems you will face, endure, suffer, and inevitably be-forced-to-overcome are caused by humans who are fucking up.  

Your boss gave you the wrong information to do the project and is now yelling at you for faulty results?
That problem is caused by your boss fucking up.

The waitress added shellfish to your salad when you expressly said NOT TO ADD SHELLFISH, and now you are being rushed to the hospital as you can't breathe?
That problem is caused by the waitress fucking up.

Perhaps you followed your heart and the money would follow when you chose your Philosophy degree, and now you're $75,000 in debt, living at home, and working the same job you did in high school?
That problem is caused by your parents and teachers fucking up.

All problems in your life, be it very important things like your career, marriage, or education to the smallest and pettiest of things like adding onions to your Sub sandwich, are caused by other humans.  And these mistakes not only create incalculable misery, but waste incredible amounts of human time and resources.

But the problem with humans does not end there.  Because in order for society to function and operate, we need to rely not on one mere human to do one mere thing, but a network of MILLIONS of humans to do their jobs correctly, all the time.  When I get gas I'm not only relying on the gas station attendant to do his job, but the pump manufacturer to do his, the credit card payment processor to do theirs, and the fuel truck driver to do his.  When you order food at a restaurant you are easily reliant upon a score of people to do their jobs the right way.  And a corporation is nothing more than thousands of little worker ants who need to do their job right, otherwise the whole thing falls apart.

And today's 2021 Ikea perfectly represents where an entire entity is decaying at this atomic level.

Understand that when I decided to buy my couch through Ikea, I did not engage in the physical buildings, materials, machinery, and inventory that physically makes up Ikea.  I decided to engage and rely upon the thousands of sentient people who control those physical assets to provide a product.  And whereas the Subway sandwich artist may goof up and give me the wrong bread or put mustard on my sandwich when I wanted none, it seems Ikea's people are incompetent at all levels.  And while it just takes one person along the chain line to screw up something, if your entire army of employees are incompetent, well then there's no helping you.

The saleswoman who ordered my couch for me (I think) didn't put the order in.  Just gave me the print out.

The three different customer service people I talked to all had different stories and resolutions to my problem, indicating to me they truly did not know what was going on.

Somebody somewhere either programmed the ordering system wrong or accidentally deleted my order.

And when I physically visited the store, the well-intended floor salesman tried to help, but wouldn't shut up long enough for me to tell him what the problem was or why I was there, which resulted in both him and I wasting about 10 minutes of our respective time.

And so though I am no financial analyst and truly couldn't care about the financial future of Ikea (I obviously never intend on shopping there again), no entity can survive this level of  widespread incompetence.  Ikea will either get it's act together, or fail.

The Ikea Economy

This then brings about a scary insight.  

There is nothing inherently wrong with Ikea's employees.  Ikea has to select from the same pool of incompetent dumbasses that currently populate the US labor market.  And Ikea is no doubt led and staffed by incompetent MBA's and "leaders" who all went to Buck Diddly's School of Business Management or some other such trash business college.  What Ikea does reflect, however, is a decrease in the overall quality and caliber of your average American worker.  The American worker of which went from a grizzled WWII vet who survived The Great Depression, to an adderall-xanax addicted Millennial or Gen Z'er who has not only been brought up under soft and undemanding conditions, but has a worthless liberal arts degree to boot.  Of course that is a very large brush to paint with, but with such weak, untested, and pampered adult children being dumped into the labor market by worthless schools and colleges, it should be no shock that with such decay at the cellular level of the economy (the individual human) companies and the overall economy should suffer, which is has.  

Labor force participation rates are going down.
Economic growth is only about 60% of what it used to be during the 40's-60's.
We have to borrow/print money to bail people/banks/students out of their stupid decisions.
Half the population is dependent on the taxpayer

And perhaps the biggest indication of Americans turning into Idiocracy,

It takes 25 years to grow, educate, and train your average person into becoming a self-supporting worker.

And here is where Idiocracy, the "Ikea Economy" becomes a reality.  Because we are no longer aiming to put men on Mars or develop hover-cars.  We're not even trying to get the nuclear family with a white picket fence.  We're just trying to keep it together.  And worse than that (and this is perhaps the ultimate form of "The Ikea Economy"), the majority of our resources are being spent cleaning up other people's mistakes.  And that does not produce real GDP.

An Economy of Broken Glass

It is unavoidable that a certain percent of an economy's labor has to be spent cleaning up other people's mistakes.  Humans are not perfect and everybody will err, and that err will require a commensurate (perhaps even exponential) amount of resources to clean up.  But if the cellular unit of the economy - humans - are decaying at a rate that they do nothing but fuck up, the percent of the economy that goes to cleaning up broken windows increases at the opportunity cost of genuine economic growth.  

A perfect example of this is social workers.  

Social workers don't produce anything of value.  They merely clean up the mess of broken homes, deadbeat dads, and single mom sluts.  And one can't even claim they do that as poverty, crime, and dysfunctional homes are not only still present, but on the increase.  But their salaries are still counted in GDP and GDP per capita, when there was nothing of value produced there.

But what if on every level, every human, in every institution of the economy, decayed to this level, not just the "social work industry?"

It cost me $2,000 in lost wages and time to order a FREAKING COUCH.

What if one person at the water sanitation department screwed up?  That cost the Michigan taxpayers $600 million with the Flint Michigan water crisis.

What if you major in a dumb subject and need to go back to college to get a degree that's employable?
That is potentially going to cost the US taxpayer $1 trillion.

And forget big ticket items.  What if every interaction you have to have with every human over the course of one day, involves 1 in 10 of these humans fucking up?  Forget water or a college degree, you will waste hours of time just buying a video game or getting gas.

And this is the ultimate cost of "The Ikea Economy."  Certainly, there will be great and many and costly boondoggles like higher education, the welfare state, or the banking crisis.  But when it comes to the normal day to day functioning of society, where we engage in hundreds of individual actions directly and indirectly with thousands of individual people, normal day to day functioning, be it your job, your home, or merely going out in public, will become increasingly less efficient, more costly, and more difficult.  You will have to order your burger three times before the waiter gets it right.  You will have to ask the Ikea rep DO YOU HAVE THIS IN STOCK, and then VERIFY IT IS IN STOCK, before you fork over your credit card.  You will have to check with UPS four times to find out where your package is.  And you will have to call up the electric company three times to get them to turn your power back on.

I may have had a bad experience with Ikea, but I fear it will now become the norm.

The New Normal

The new normal economy will represent what I've been predicting for quite sometime - a second world economy.  

With the average American being a complete idiot, not to mention incredibly spoiled and thinking real work is beneath them AND with enough government welfare/UBI to prevent them from ever having the fear of homelessness or starvation kick their ass into being a responsible adult, you can expect the US (and other nations) to become increasingly like second and third world economies.  Supply chains will become increasingly unreliable.  Bribery will be the most efficient means to get things done.  Underground, black market, or mafia economies will become the most efficient channels by which to get things done.  And the intelligent individual will simply limit the amount of interaction he/she needs to have with the rest of society.  Larger organizations will no longer be functional or feasible, often times being bailed out by a printing press. Entrepreneurs will simply say, "why bother?"  And the real costs of goods will go up.  

But the real problem, I predict, most people will face is the maddening psychological environment this will create.

Think about my desire to buy a couch from Ikea on a very basic, simple, and moral level.

Ikea claimed unto me they had my James Bond Villain couch.  Why else would they advertise it, let alone allow me to purchase it in advance?

But Ikea was not capable of delivering my couch, and I'm pretty sure somewhere in the chain of command of Ikea a man knew this.

This then behooves the question, why are you going through the facade of even offering the couch?  Why are you even in business?  What psychotic mentally ill reason do you have to waste my, and other people's, time?

And thus apply this flawed economic/business mentality to the overall economy:

What if that's every economic interaction and transaction in the economy?  That you're not sure you're going to be delivered what you asked?  That one party says they're going to do "X" and only 50% of the time does so?  To a certain extent this is already happening.  Ikea promising couches that never were.  Universities promises educations/career that would never pay.  Target promising fat women men will inevitably some day like them.  But aside from the obvious and INCREDIBLE economic costs, not to mention all the added costs it takes to clean up these messes, what about the psychological toll people will pay living in this incompetent, mad, Ikea world?

Thankfully, I am a minimalist.  Thankfully, I am old.  And thankfully, I no longer care about society or the economy.  I am going to spend the rest of my days laughing at stupid people making stupid mistakes and screaming at the sky for problems brought about by their own stupidity.  But if you are smarter than the average bear and wish to avoid the pain and agony of this Ikea Economy that cometh, may I strongly recommend you minimize the amount of stuff you need, the number of people you rely on, and prepare yourself psychology for the incompetence that is about to ensue?


Check out Aaron's other cool stuff below!

Asshole Consulting
YouTube Channel
Books by Aaron
Older Brother!!!!

Amazon Affiliate


Anonymous said...

Could not agree more with the whole thrust of this article, especially the comment that the average worker thinks real work is beneath them. I see this all the time and it is depressing. It's magical thinking really. Too many people seem to think that being born in America entitles them to live a life of relative ease and comfort just by virtue of their having been born there (no effort required on their part). It cannot last.

HOSP said...

"The new normal economy will represent what I've been predicting for quite sometime - a second world economy." You are being too optimistic about the USA moving to a second world economy. The USA is already 2nd world in many geographic areas and moving towards 3rd world fast. Some cities (e.g. Baltimore, Detroit, Filthadelphia, San Franshitsco, are already in the running for 3rd world status. It's only going to get worse for many of these large cities as the 2020's roll along. Cities are losing their "productive" tax base at a faster rate of recent times, thanks to the China Cooties. Just in my neighborhood (a suburb outside a large east coast city) the price of homes have exploded, with people moving in from various east coast cities. But even in the suburb where we live, the 2nd world economy is a rising sun on the horizon. It's just little things that you mention are happening here and other suburbs. Many think the suburbs will be immune for the 2nd and 3rd world status...uh huh. The same incompetents at Ikea, are worse in gubmint. Because the gubmint employees hate the taxpayer and could care less about them, thus provide crappy gubmint services. Ask any gubmint employee (especially the police) why they stay at their crappy job, the pension. So, you the taxpayer get crappy gubmint services, high taxes, plus you get to pay for these crappy parasitic human beings paychecks and their pensions! What a bargain...

Tucanae Services said...

I have to say -- spot on. I am doing battle with Home Despot right now over a $55 item that is supposedly 'delivered' but they can't find it in the store! Either FedEx is lying that it was delivered or they are.

As to causes. Well there is enough to go around but some insights:

* If you can't touch it don't assume they have it. Floor displays don't count.
* Yes the customer can be the blame. What most people don't realize is that the US transitioned to a self serve economy back in the 80's. Which translate to the customer being aware, diligent and not assuming you will receive 'help'.
* Just in Time delivery systems are beyond the average $10/hr bloke to fix. They don't have the means or access to do so. In a good deal of cases the screw up is back in the management chain.
* Supply chain is too long. If I walk into a store and see the tag says 'made in china' I might as well get on AliBaba or DHGate, find the product and order thru them. I just eliminated X layers of opportunity for screw ups.

The saving grace if there is one, nobody else on the planet is doing any better.

LBD said...

Aaron, you have come to the stage in life where you should be delegating this stuff. If you hire an interior designer, they take care of all the aggravation and if IKEA can’t accommodate your plan, they know where to find the same look from different furniture places.

Although IKEA may have this type of furniture at a cheap price, it is not the best quality. As you have discovered, there are additional cost to “do it yourself “: if an interior designer is helping you, you’ll find they can achieve a more complete version of your Bond villain lair.

I learned this some years ago when I used a designer for my small, poky living room. Her design made it so much better looking and more functional than I could have done myself. Is there a cost for professional services? Yes. They are professional.

At this time in your life you will find it’s worth it.

Best regards, and no, I’m not a designer.

Unknown said...

Son, you wrote a book on "enjoy the decline", you just didn't plan on it hitting while you were around to see it. Welcome my friend. I advise you to leave such dreams behind you, and accept reality. If you think your minor "misorder" is bad, you're in for a doosey! Good luck escaping. If I see you in my "abouts" we can talk, I'll even buy you a beer.

LGC said...

absolutely 100% true. and it's been true for quite a while to be honest, but it has really picked up speed this last year. They don't even pretend to care that they are useless. And let's not even talk about government offices that you "need" to do business with (DMV, county clerk, etc). JHC

I have lately wondered if while you are enjoying the decline if you had ever expected the decline to be this fast (and clearly picking up speed)?

Anonymous said...

I bought a spice rack off the Ikea website 2 months ago, and the tracking says that the order hasn't even been picked and packed yet.

Anonymous said...

The condition of the US economy had been devolving slowly but surely from about 1965, to pick a reasonable start date, to roughly the turn of the century, about a 35 year time frame. For those who remember, the mid 60’s was a time when the word inflation, defined by the general public to mean rising prices, began to circulate widely.

Then around the time of the dot-com bust, the decline took a sharp downturn from it’s slow & steady descent due to enormous govt interventions led by the Smirking Chimp. This continued until the 2008 bust, and, once again, the downturn took another steep dive when the boy president Herbert Hoover Obama & Co. started their massive financial & freedom restricting interventions which continued for 8 long years.

Then it was the idiot-savant’s turn. Orange Man not only continued Barry’s interventions but accelerated them(!) despite his claims to the contrary. Then the absolute topper came with govt’s edicts regarding the phony virus which, in fact, actually destroyed the economy. Note: hat tip to DJT (sarc) for setting a record by being the 1st ever president to attempt to intentionally take down the entire U.S. economy.

Now, is it any wonder why we find ourselves trapped in an situation which resembles a burning, smoking, shot-up WW1 bi-plane spiraling into the ground. I know that Cappy knows that this problem didn’t start yesterday. But at this point in time to expect the kind of good customer service that many had come to expect 30 or 40 years ago is a bit naive. It just ain’t gonna happen. And the reality is that it’s going to get worse...much much worse. We have devolved into a 2nd world nation and the next step is 3rd world status. Venezuela here we come. Enjoy the ride.

Klaus said...

Mega-cool rant, Aaron. I've never lived in the Third World but that's how I imagine it is. That is, you want something and hear, "Yes, yes! No problem, no problem!" and then just get excuses.

I hope someone forwards this to "the firm in question". Maybe you then WILL get your couch and you can recite Gert Fröbe,

"No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"

Keep up the good work.

A Texan said...

The other is issues though have to do with the fact that most of these people employed know they are merely a human resource, so what point is there doing the job well? I'm sure just about every MBA out there thinks 'any monkey can do these lower level jobs' and they make sure you know that. The results in service to the consumer speak for themselves. This mentality as you well know has seeped into almost every public and private sector institution with a handful of exceptions.

Besides, Bob the parts guy at the lawn store, who has been there 30 years and loved by customers because he knew his stuff and could find that weird part for your Japanese tractor or chainsaw, was simply costing them too much anyway.

Hockeyguy said...

All of your observations are spot-on. I've had similar conversations recently with my girlfriend about how you can talk to 3 different people 3 different times who are all in the same organization and should have access to the exact same databases and logs of any/all prior interactions, yet none of them seem to know the most basic information about you or your issue, thus requiring several re-iterations of transmission of basic information which promptly seems to become lost. It seems to me that this experience used to be primarily limited to dealing with government bureaucracies, but has now started to reach saturation levels in the private sector, making it much more noticeable in the last 5 years because it's starting to happen way more often to the average person.

Speaking of the average person who think real work is beneath them, I read a really interesting article at the Atlantic recently about a guy that studies civilizations and has come up with some common flaws across ALL civilizations which help explain why they all eventually collapse and fail, and one of them is: a bloated elite class with too few elite jobs to go around.

We seem to be knee-deep in this phase right now, where everyone is college-educated with a gender-studies degree, yet very few are actually intelligent or wise.

Chris in Iowa said...


Roadtrip down south and buy from Warren Buffet at Nebraska Furniture Mart (or Homemakers in Des Moines, he owns both of them).

Post Alley Crackpot said...

"... as Ikea said half my couch was not in stock ..."

So let's get this straight: you bought a bunch of boxes that yielded half of a couch, which wasn't going to be usable, and took it on faith that the supply chain would deliver your other half?

Where were you in 2020? Mars? Epsilon Theta Three? On the bridge of the Heart of Gold after Marvin took it over?

Because if there's one lesson you should have learned in 2020, it's Don't Trust The Damned Supply Chain.

Let's change the tune!

"Why Captain Capitalism is the Future of Whinging About the US Economy"

Major points:

1. Why own your fuck-ups?
2. Always be blaming something else.
3. Blame humans, they're only human, after all.
4. Especially blame humans who weren't around to save you from having to own your fuck-ups.
5. Self-service is just another word for masturbating while shopping.
6. Also, blame another generation, it's fun and livens up the breaks between masturbating.
7. "Доверяй, но проверяй" only works when you trust the verification (and the Russian).
8. That sound of broken glass comes from the fire extinguisher being needed to put out the dumpster fire.
9. Johnny Mnemonic wants disease-free $10k hookers and room service, but who can he trust?
10. What if every economic transaction means you fuck yourself in your own arsehole or pay someone else to do it?
11. Eventually maybe you'll lie to yourself enough about not minding the pain.
12. You then realise only cut-rate Bond villains want James Bond Couches.
13. A few quotes from Diderot on the virtues of tossing out some old robe, or maybe more of the ultra-self-service with the bliss of ratiocinated competence ... READERS, YOU DECIDE!

Don't forget to collect your commemorative Dementia Joe Baizuo free cushioned butt ring!

Anonymous said...

This future is already here. People are worthless.
Your only as strong as your weakest link...good luck finding the link that isn't weak. he'll be the guy with the disgusted look on his face and if you look in his eyes you'll see a desperate desire to pull out a shotgun and kill every last shit stain he works with.
It's past time for a lot of over due late term abortions.

Zendo Deb said...

Sorry to hear that your experience was such a nightmare.

Hope you find another villain's couch to go with the space-age bachelor-pad vibe. I always liked the midcentury modern look.

Here's a bit of Space Age Bachelor Pad Music - but not from the 1950s/1960s...

From Tikiyaki Airways, Captain Lush announcing that the "No Drinking" sign has been turned off, and again, that the descent into Waikiki has begun.

"Thank you for drinking with Tikiyaki Airways!"

Anonymous said...

Love reading your stuff Aaron. Have been doing it a long time.


You are violating your own rules about living are building a new house thats expensive and that you say may require a small mortgage....meaning you are taking on debt in middle age. You own at least 3 or 4 cars and several motorcycles. You rent an expensive apartment. You travel a lot more than the average person which still costs money regardless of how cheap you do it. Thats just a few of the things that go against your own creed that i have heard a thousand times from you.

You are making things too complicated for yourself man. You are building your own trap.

Ryan from Illinois

Anonymous said...

Cappy mic drop your work is done.

Every incoming paid request just point them to this article.

Should I .... Which side of IKEA do you want to be on?
Why did they....because they work for IKEA.
Should I believe....there is no IKEA couch.

Long slow clap.

Ahuehuete said...

Supply chains are a wreck. Ordered some new appliances (wall oven, cooktop, etc.) as part of a minor kitchen remodel. Promised delivery dates came and went, and was wondering if they would ever arrive. They did finally arrive, about 4 months after ordering them.

TheTrophyOne said...

Props to Aaron. He mentioned he would never have his James Bond Bachelor pad in, "Enjoy The Decline." Now he just has to get Eva Mendes over there.

When you are young, people say, "You're not the only person in the world." "It'a not all about you!"

Then you grow up and have problems and point the finger at the other people involved who sabotaged you, and you get, "What was your part in this situation?" "Don't blame others." "You need to stop blaming others and accept responsibility for yourself!"


"I'm not the only person in the world." AND
"It's not all about me."

Extreme ownership of problems is some stupid shit, in my opinion.

By the guidelines of extreme ownership, the people who died in the Twin Towers on 9/11 are at fault because THEY CHOSE TO GO TO WORK that day.

The kids who got shot at Columbine? It's THEIR FAULT FOR GOING TO SCHOOL THAT DAY.


One upside of this economy is I will always be able to get a job doing whatever because I surpass so many people in appearance, attitude, and personality.

Ahuehuete said...

"We seem to be knee-deep in this phase right now, where everyone is college-educated with a gender-studies degree, yet very few are actually intelligent or wise."

And most are unemployable. They can't even make coffee at Starbucks without messing it up.

Christine said...

My kitchen cabinets and bookshelves come from IKEA, but if you're able, you should shop for furniture from other retailers and designers. Next time you have a major furniture purchase in the works, do check out places like Blu Dot, CB2, EQ3, Maiden Home, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. The cost may be competitive with IKEA or may be a bit higher, but it will be worth it in terms of quality, and better customer service. I think Wayfair's website is too overwhelming to sift through.

Joe Bar said...

I think you are dealing with the wrong end of the chain. I support, and employ, small local businesses whenever possible. I may pay a little more, hell, I can afford it, but I find they will go out of their way to satisfy. They have to. Haven't been to a "Big Box" store in 6 months.

Anonymous said...

Interesting points - some other data points to consider (though I don't claim to have actually info/statistics for the entire USA)

1. Boeing 737 Max
2. Texas utilities (don't know the whole story here - it's a little more complicated, I suppose)
3. Some recent personal experiences with LG appliances (a South Korean company - so I wouldn't say it's just US companies having issues)
4. There's some great working companies, or if they do have issues, the customer service is friendly and actually helpful - in my recent experience - for example Home Depot and some smaller family owned-businesses.

Also, another point to consider - in general when people feel stressed, their fluid short-term intelligence may slightly drop - this may in part be what is accounting for some stuff. But the kicker is that this (hypothetically) could in some cases create a slight negative feedback loop.

In any case, while what you're saying may be true, I certainly do wish the best for the US (and really the whole world).

Quartz said...

The world has operate like this ab initio. Everyone fucks up. Even me. Even you. What matters is how we deal with it. Ikea clearly deals with it poorly.

Anonymous said...

Ikea offers low quality for a premium. There are much better options.

kurt9 said...

...making it much more noticeable in the last 5 years...

That would be around 2015. Those born in 1995 turned 20 years old that year.

This fits my general observation that the Millennials are actually three generations. The early Millennials (born 80-87) are little different than Gen X and are quite functional. Thos born between '97-94 are somewhat less functional. Those born 1995 and after have significant issues.

Anonymous said...

You should just DIY that, it would cost less time, money and satisfaction.

I can give you my experience. I wanted to buy a kitchen, i've confronted different price estimates between stores including Ikea. I've ended with a better deal, cost effective, better in quality, no problems with lost items and bs of supply chain, by buying at a local carpenter's shop.

By the way, having a bad buying experience, it's the cost of the consumer's laziness of not caring about the product the consumer wants to buy.

Anonymous said...

From the folks at Ikea

Nightbulb said...

Everything I ever needed to know about IKEA I learned from Tyler Durden.

I have my own tools and acres of oak and cedar trees. With all these resources a man can build lots of furniture and sell some. There is plenty of firewood for the wood stoves, so no heating bills. A man can cook anything fast on a brick rocket stove. A brick oven for baking bread stuffs will turn out fresh loafs for about 25 cents worth of flour apiece.

Growing food, fire cooking, and gardening is much more fun than most people know. Playing in the dirt and playing with matches is childhood reloaded.