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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Car Evolution
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ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 29th, 2016 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

>>True... what they're doing is making it more expensive to keep a car running, which means that cars become disposable items. Except the price of a new car hasn't gotten any less, so users are only going to get bitten by that once or twice before they seriously question if it's worth it. It's also killing the second-hand market, because typically the more mileage a car has, the more maintenance it needs. [or will do].<<

That's part of a wider and equally disturbing trend of "you don't own what you buy." Generally speaking, if I'm not going to own a product, I won't pay for it. The exception is certain types of rentable service equipment that may need to be upgraded at unpredictable intervals, like ISP hardware. If it's not absolutely crucial, fuck it. If it's crucial, the company doesn't get my support, they get my very grudging endurance, and I always keep my eye out for better options. But I worry about things like TV going from a one-time expense to an ongoing one, and many computer programs the same way. It's a problem because it runs up the baseline of fixed monthly expenses in a household, at a time when real incomes are falling. Asking people to do more with less never ends well.

>> Younger buyers are the main-stay of the second-hand market, but with it being uneconomic to keep a beater running... well, like you say. It's a downwards spiral from there. Hence the rise of Uber I suppose. <<

Which is why people keep attacking all these alternatives; they don't want to lose their customer base. Except you can't have customers if people don't have money, and if people can't find some way to get shit done, then your whole society falls apart. Which is what's happening.

>>I'd imagine the end result will be the death of capitalism, the companies will either evolve away from consumer exploitation as their business model, or go under as the market collapses. <<

This would not surprise me. If a system doesn't meet people's needs, they will tear it apart and replace it with something they hope will do better. Capitalism is currently manifesting all the problems that socialists and communists predicted, which are as obvious as the failure modes capitalists pointed out for those systems.

>> Which is going to be problem though...at least in the states, because so much of your infrastructure and social structure is wedded to the status quo, it's going to be hard-to-impossible to do anything else, <<

That's true. There's a rising interest in walkable neighborhoods for people who can afford to move elsewhere. This is a good thing. But it doesn't help people who are in unwalkable neighborhoods or rural areas.

>> and that's where the vested interests don't make it down-right illegal. [e.g tiny homes and their illegality for example.] <<

It doesn't matter, honestly. You can't force people to do something they're incapable of doing no matter how much you abuse them. Making tiny houses illegal just makes people homeless. Making homelessness illegal just puts people in jail. And there's a limit to how much of a population can be supported as unproductive livestock. Prison inmates only enrich the elite; they do nothing to keep society going. The more that expands, the more trouble it causes.

You might as well just pour sugar in the gas tank.
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