In the day following the release of the Mitchell Report, the one thing that all sports analysts agree on is that the 80-plus baseball players named in the report took the steroids in order to increase their competitive advantage.

In my mind, while not illegal, the woodworking companies that deliberately choose to cut quality in order to low-ball a competitor’s price are proving just as unethical in their quest for a competitive advantage. By making cheaper, yet inferior products, they help to create a poor perception of the industry as a whole.

It’s time to level the playing field and ensure that all products, whether manufactured domestically or imported, meet consistent standards of quality. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has its hands full with recalls; like baseball, it’s time for the woodworking industry to self-monitor its members. There are other ways to make a product better, cheaper and faster, without cutting quality, and especially, without the loss of reputation.

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