When deciding to build, construct a deck or balcony for your home the logical thing is to use materials. Which is durable and sustainable for the intent to last long as possible? Right? You expect to find this same philosophy in the marketplace when you are purchasing these materials, right? Well, unfortunately, you have another thing coming. It’s actually irrational and not an option for the market.
The majority of consumers, usually are conscious that most of American based corporations produce cheap products–especially when it’s manufactured in places like China. We ask ourselves, “It makes no sense for a multi-billion dollar corporation to develop a product that has a short lifespan because the entire objective of the corporation is to please the consumers.” It makes perfect sense, corporations main objective is to make profit, and as much profit as possible. That is why planned obsolescence was instituted into the marketplace.
For over a century, the light bulb was the iconic symbol for innovation and invention while simultaneous being the earliest examples of planned obsolescence. In December of 1924, a new cartel was born, to control the production of light bulbs; the men named the cartel, Phoebus. Light bulb manufacturers in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia were all a part of this cartel. The longevity of the light bulb has been in production since Thomas Edison’s 1500-hour bulb. Phoebus agenda was to lower lifespan of light bulb to 1000 hours. There have even been engineers throughout history that developed light bulbs lasting as long as 100,000 hours, but of course, they never reached the market.
At the time of the Great Depression, unemployment reached unprecedented heights, as a result of the global elites bankers robbing the American people into the state of penury. A prominent real estate broker, by the name of, Bernard London attempted to end the Great Depression by implementing planned obsolescence into the marketplace. He wrote meticulously of his plan in a pamphlet. As rational as it may sound, something that may seem rational, things can eventually become corrupt. In today’s consumer market, any and everything manufactured must have a lifespan to increase productivity, as well as consumption.
One of the most fundamental rules of marketing economics is “Nothing produce can be allowed to maintain a lifespan longer than what can be endured cyclical consumption.” It is nearly essential that engineers in the market design stuff that deteriorates, breakdown, and fail in allowing profit revenue to rise. That is when planned obsolescence rises to the surface. The marketplace is conscious that the longer a product is sustainable the more it has an adverse effect on the market. This dogmatic form of obsolescence explains a lot about our level of consumption; we may purchase a device–cell phone, iPhone in particular–and two years after the conclusion of our contract, we are offered a new phone. Subconsciously, this encourages planned obsolescence, the cell phone battery dies, a warranty is up and now you are encouraged to buy the newest phone on the market. A multitude of products are designed the same way – printers, televisions, light bulbs, clothing, the list is endless. This must anger consumers, like Willy Loman.
In the documentary “The Light Bulb Conspiracy” it elaborates and begins with a guy who was having difficulties with his fairly new printer, which was just stopped working; he refused to just purchase a new model, as he was suggested to by tech support. The guy in the film decides to repair the printer at his own risk. What he discovers may shock some; he discovered that embedded in printers is a chip, which determines the lifespan of printers. Due to his determination he didn’t fall victim of planned obsolesce.
The environmental effects associated with planned obsolescence is pernicious. There is nothing wrong with the progression of technology, the problem resonates when the technology and the resources–some natural–are utilized and then wasted. I have a serious problem when multi-national corporations rape the lands of places like the Congo, for their natural resources like cobalt, coltan, nickel, and copper. These exact minerals are what creates the technology we utilize each and every day, which eventually ends up in landfills and on the coast of the third world.
In relaying back to the documentary, “The Light Bulb Conspiracy” one of the key environmental issues facing planned obsolescence is the fact that our over-consumption of products has resulted in the dumping tons and tons of wasted material on to the coast of Ghana. Planned obsolescence has advanced us to the point of complete destruction of our planet. I am surely not referring to global warming–C02–I’m referring to pollution. In the free market, we are enthralled by billboards, commercials, and a multitude of advertisements to keep up with the newest trend.
Problems Facing Planned Obsolescence
Most people in this society are victims to planned obsolescence, something hard to escape. Like most of us, I love the progression of technology–to a certain extent–but, I have noticed over years that I have become an amateur hoarder as a result of my over consumption. It’s understandable that profit is the reason corporations utilize planned obsolescence in the market. Nature produces an abandon of resources for our benefit and it always becomes an issue when those resources are wasted. As technology advances our natural resources become scarce; depriving the future of what mother nature has provided.
It is great that some in the market are conscious of the destructive nature of planned obsolescence and have decided to move in the direction of altering the manufacturing tactics, of how products are produced. While there are some who feel we should take more of a radical approach; they believe we should change our mentality of consumption. This philosophy of consuming and consuming to raise GDP levels to unprecedented heights has catastrophic effects. Look at China, where Apple factories assembled suicides nets to prevent workers from committing suicide because of working excessive hours.
Before you venture and purchase that new iPad 3, let’s think twice about it. Remember, we control the market and what’s produced. People, we have more power over corporations than they want you to believe.