The Overwhelming Cost of Obsolescence

Obsolescence is defined as a manufacturing decision by a company to make consumer products in such a way that they become out-of-date or completely useless within a known time period. The main goal of this type of production is to ensure that consumers will have to buy the product multiple times, rather than only once. This naturally stimulates demand for an industry’s products because consumers have to keep coming back again and again. Products ranging from inexpensive light bulbs to high-priced goods such as cars and buildings are subject to planned obsolescence by manufacturers and producers alike.

Think about this for a moment. Tomorrow’s useless waste is everything we loved today.

I don’t consider myself to be much of a “futurist”… but trust me when I say we’ve become far too used to this way of thinking. It’s okay to throw it away if we can’t fix it. We actually know well in advance that most of the things we consume now can’t be upgraded much at all as time passes… and we don’t seem to care. We don’t seem to care, because it’s become so much cheaper to just run out and buy a new one.

We fail to realize what we are doing and perpetrating by continually purchasing new…  wasteful products. The cycle continues.. and continues… and continues. Multiply this by five billion people, and you can begin to finally see the real danger lurking just around the bend… just by being complacent about all of it. So… what do we do?

Get involved.

Send an e-mail to your state senator/representative and let him/her know that this whole concept of “bailing out” large manufacturers [the latest being the car industry] should come with a much more practical consumer price tag… one that allows for far more product longevity. We can’t afford to compromise on this anymore.

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~ by upbeatmag on November 15, 2008.

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