I know exactly what's ruining the economy.

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    Sep 03, 2012 11:36 PM GMT
    And it ain't dems or repubs (or indies).

    It's planned obsolescence, combined with clever marketing.

    When I was growing up, you could buy an electronic gadget and it would last for several years. Now when you buy one, you have to expect it to be inoperative within the next 1 - 5 years (and if you wait 5 years to 'upgrade' people say you're 'behind').

    This isn't exclusive to electronics. It's also seen this in regular household items such as brooms, vacuums, light bulbs, etc. The majority of things we buy are designed to fail shortly after the warranty expires, just so we'll buy the "latest and greatest."

    Fashion changes every season. Nothing new there, but other than business/corporate functions, do you really "need" new clothes every season? This is a result of clever marketing. When I see someone well-dressed in a club, I instantly thing "30-thousand-dollar-a-year-millionaire." People who have money don't waste it on the latest trends. That's why they have money.

    The days of buying something "for keeps" are gone. Now we're expected to keep spending and spending. We live in a disposable world. Ignoring the effect on nature, the effect on our pocketbooks is far beyond what climate change could bring.

    And yeah, I know this subject has been brought up before. I just wanted to rekindle the fire (without buying a tablet) and see what the latest opinions are on this subject.
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    Sep 04, 2012 12:09 AM GMT
    Another poster embedded this into a similar past thread...

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    Sep 04, 2012 12:34 AM GMT
    It's gonna get crazy in the coming months when Apple releases the next iphone. All those little docks and cables are heading straight to the landfill because people will feel that they are obsolete now. icon_lol.gificon_rolleyes.gif
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    Sep 04, 2012 12:36 AM GMT
    PAUL FOR PRESIDENT 2012! icon_lol.gif
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    Sep 04, 2012 12:41 AM GMT
    That makes a lot of sense. I had this discussion with a date I had a few days ago-- how the saying "They don't build 'em like they used to" is actually quite true. People in the past made products to last because it was necessary for at least three ways:

    1) Acquisition. The uncertainty of new customers. As a business owner back in the day, the flow of customers wasn't always steady (depending on what their trade/skill was in and where they worked at).

    2) Reputation. They had to make sure they had a good reputation in their local area. Back in the day, people competed for not only customers but notoriety too-- it was business as much as it was personal.

    3) Passion. Making shoddy product was not only dishonest but against their desires-- to make something beautiful, powerful, and durable. They were more artisan than scum-bag entrepreneurs.

    As America (and many other nation-states) began to move into an economy of artisans to industrialization, things began to change. The products were not industry standard but rather hand-made. While industrializing did expedite the process and make certain aspects more time-saving and efficient, it also detracted in other parts-- namely when companies solely began to rely even on the parts that required human hands to be replaced by machinery. There are some things that machines and industrialization simply does better than human hands. With other things, human ingenuity will simply always trump technology.

    As the years rolled on, certain things in the manufacture of a product -did- get better. Perhaps, at least for certain products, human hands were no longer even a requirement. The maximum and optimal standard of that product may be achieved purely through machines given their precise nature; however, companies became less personal and more about profit. Most companies, all they REALLY do (from my experience) is change the product's design, make tiny adjustments in the actual blueprint of the product, and give it a new label calling it the "Whatchamacallit 2000" or "Thingamajigger Pro Plus". Many of these suit ups are nothing more than cosmetic upgrades; fancy names to skirt up and play up the actual product so it may seem "new" and "shiny" to sheep-like consumers. Even the wolves though are kept in the dark, for the most part.

    What -truly- happens behind each company is hard to say. Businesses pour TONS of money into advertisement and PR so that customers may trust and be convinced in the 'superiority' of their product. It's the Capitalistic standard. They also have a team of lawyers to gag certain orders/demands. Everyone, these days, is kept in the dark (for the most part). It's "The Jungle" all over again.

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    Sep 04, 2012 1:00 AM GMT
    Ugh, you just said everything that's been on my mind for quite some time. I hate it, really I do, I still have the phone I've been using since 2008 and only got that because the one before it that I had since 2003 was destroyed. I hate when people say I need to get a BlackBerry or need to get whatever.