Can’t Afford Not to Consume

I don’t yet understand why it costs more to fix an old cassette deck than to buy a new one.

I suppose I do understand. The labor cost for an American technician to fix a tape deck costs more than the foreign labor to assemble one, plus parts. That, and the fact that the shipping and warehousing of individual parts costs more than the bulk orders used by assembly plants.

So, my refusal to put my cassette deck in the trash (as everyone is telling me to do) ends up costing me more than buying a new one. Or to take my cell phone to ericsson to get the volume button replaced will cost $150 (yes, that’s true) while a new one will cost slightly less. It doesn’t make sense. Could someone really be making more money this way?

Yes and no.

This seeming paradox is solved once we stop looking at what fixing vs. replacing costs me as an individual, and start looking at the cost to the entire system. Who pays for the disposal of my old tape deck? Where does it go? Whose resources are used to make the new one? How much toxic waste is created by that? When is that paid for?

Today, most references to collective costs are mistaken for some form of rehashed communism. Meanwhile, the hard left mistakes all notions of free market forces as the tyranny of the individual. (And, of course, to us ‘spiritual’ folks, the individual doesn’t even exist.)

There’s got to be a frame of reference for finances that stresses collective costs while acknowledging the efficiency of market forces. If you know the name of this model, let me know.

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