How widespread is “Planned Obsolescence?”

The Light Bulb Conspiracy – Planned Obsolescence documentary

Some of you might not realize that many things we buy these days – break or don’t last long on purpose, according to this documentary The Light Bulb Conspiracy.

This movie documents various forces behind consumerism in the early 20th century, and is quite thought-provoking. The part about the chip inside the inkjet printer was disturbing. Shouldn’t criminal charges be filed against companies the limit the usable life-span of their products?

It brings up several important points to consider:

  • Do you think planned obsolescence is necessary to “provide jobs” in this economy? If everything lasted, what would people do for work?
  • It also makes you wonder what else is shoddily made on purpose? Stuff like our highway pavement (perpetual construction all over the place), cars, furniture, etc…
  • What do you think the few truly “disposable” products are besides food and fuel? Don’t you think if we took the money out of the equation, that we’d have superior quality across the board?

Excellent video regardless.

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3 Comments on "How widespread is “Planned Obsolescence?”"


Member
HansBrix
3 years 4 days ago

Detroit used to think planned obsolescence was a winning strategy. My parents, once Chrysler people, couldn’t fathom the idea that a car could make it seven years without becoming a rattling sputtering rust bucket. They switched to Toyota in the mid-1980s and never looked back.

And with the Yangmingtan Bridge coming down (the sixth major bridge in China to collapse since July of last year) it looks like the Chinese have discovered the wonders of shoddy construction. Some point to similar short cuts made in building construction which will create some hilarity in 5-10 years.

Closer to home, I have trouble believing that some of the newer construction esp in the back side of town will last. I had a friend tell me how a truck rumbling down the street caused the china to rattle in her fifth floor unit. I’ve heard stories of balconies separating from walls, and walls so thin that a sneeze invites a “bless you” from the neighbors next door.

Then we have our fairly new but crumbling waterfront. Some in China are starting to attribute their bridge problem to corruption. That’s my thinking here. That or incompetence. What else could it be?

Member
animal_lover
3 years 4 days ago

Yep Corruption / Fraiud. Put enough layers of players and length of time in between transactions and the players have enough time TO spend the monies and skirt responsibilities that become more and more difficult to chase down.[quote comment=”216867″]Detroit used to think planned obsolescence was a winning strategy. My parents, once Chrysler people, couldn’t fathom the idea that a car could make it seven years without becoming a rattling sputtering rust bucket. They switched to Toyota in the mid-1980s and never looked back.And with the Yangmingtan Bridge coming down (the sixth major bridge in China to collapse since July of last year) it looks like the Chinese have discovered the wonders of shoddy construction. Some point to similar short cuts made in building construction which will create some hilarity in 5-10 years.Closer to home, I have trouble believing that some of the newer construction esp in the back side of town will last. I had a friend tell me how a truck rumbling down the street caused the china to rattle in her fifth floor unit. I’ve heard stories of balconies separating from walls, and walls so thin that a sneeze invites a “bless you” from the neighbors next door.Then we have our fairly new but crumbling waterfront. Some in China are starting to attribute their bridge problem to corruption. That’s my thinking here. That or incompetence. What else could it be?[/quote]

Member
Frankie
3 years 4 days ago

I agree and add that products are also made cheaply in order to maximize profit margins up front. Planned or not some companies probably don’t care if their products break after the warranty period.