Wake Up People!
Who remembers Windows 95? And ’98, ME, 2000 and XP etc. etc. Yep, every few years it would get slower and eventually become unusable with other software and/or hardware and we were forced to upgrade. Pay for an upgrade that is. It’s happened to my old iPad. It’s now rubbish and can’t run anything anymore.
So what you might think but look at other things you have bought or owned. This is a worrying trend that is becoming more and more the norm with more and more products.
Ask yourself how often you change or upgrade your phone for example? Probably a couple of years because the batteries are made to pack in after 2-3 years. Replacing the battery is usually so difficult or more expensive than buying a new phone that we don’t bother. But here’s the thing. If you can’t open the back of something and fiddle with it then you do not really own it do you?
We are losing ownership of things.
Phone companies slow down your phone to force you to upgrade. Samsung have actually been fined for this!
This practise has a name – planned obsolescence. It’s over 100 years old and was thought up so people would be forced to keep buying products and therefore keep the economy going. Cars, agricultural equipment, even hospital machines are made to become obsolete over time.
With a growing population this isn’t such an issue as more people are coming along all the time to buy new stuff but during the 70s the demographics in western countries changed and population growth slowed. Some countries thought immigration would solve the problem and so started importing people who they thought would buy more things. This didn’t work though and so companies started making low quality products so we’d have to repurchase in a short space of time instead.
But there’s more. Much more. Companies are also rolling out subscription services for their products. As Photoshop users will know, you can’t buy a simple CD of the software anymore but have to subscribe to the cloud to have access to the program. I for one have stopped using it as I can’t afford to subscribe. Microsoft Office is also going that way, as are other software packages.
TV, streaming music – yep, subscriptions again. Broadband, phone contracts, so much of the technology we rely on now is moving to a monthly payment model. Don’t pay don’t get. You own nothing. Sound familiar?
OK, what about car leasing? Rather than buying a car people are now encouraged to lease one (or hire it), forever. Once again you don’t own it. If you stop paying you become carless.
Remember, a service is something someone does for you. A product is something you own. If you are paying for a service then you do not own anything. This new hardware (which is a product) as a service model is coming into all aspects of our life. The annoying thing is that it will satisfy the green lobby and companies and/or government will have total control over the life cycle of a ‘product’ (now a service!) not the owner (i.e. you).
The plan is for people to pay subscription services for everything they own, (although they won’t own it of course) and keep paying for things (they don’t own and never will) until they die.
What will they start with? Probably the most expensive things, (as they can make the most money from that) so your house will be subscription only or rented.
Governments will take housing from private landlords and either keep for themselves or dish out to friends in the city and big corporations. So you’ll either pay rent to the government or to city bankers.
EVs are a big talking point at the moment, even though no-one seems to have thought this through properly. I mean, where will all the terraced properties charge their cars? Oh yes and there isn’t enough lithium on the planet to make the batteries either. Not a problem they will say. We can all share cars then. Once again we won’t own them.
The crazy thing is that many youngsters are actually onboard with this dystopian future as they keep getting told by the media that they can’t afford a house. So sharing and subscribing seems OK to them. The idiots who spout this mantra seem to have short memories though as I remember a time when a week’s wages was required to pay a month’s mortgage, otherwise the banks wouldn’t lend. People did this weird thing back in the day, it was called ‘saving’.
Many younger people seem oblivious to the dangers of this new way of living. Yet, owning stuff, making things personal to you, is important. We don’t all want to become drones continually serving the elites surely? Things you own can be customised to yourself. Being individual makes us happy.
This is why many people are wary of digital IDs and of government backed digital currency. Your bank account and house can be seized by the government at any time. It’s one of the reasons why cryptocurrency is one of the few things you can truly own.
So what can we do? Well, the easiest things to do is vote with your wallet. Don’t subscribe to anything unless you have to. If that is the only choice try going without. Keep using cash, save, buy shares after the next stock market crash, read – keep aware of what’s going on, don’t trust governments and always question the mainstream media. Don’t give in.