Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Throw-away Society?

Scrapbook #4: Throw-away society?

PDF of the same: 

Summary of article:

Sweden is again leading the way with progressive policy by offering tax breaks to its citizens on the repair of their used or broken items, thus incentivizing their reducing waste by precluding the repair's prohibitively costing the near full price it often otherwise would to fix.  

Reason article was selected:

Do we as a society behave unethically by replacing and throwing away our items, and, specifically, our technology, too often and soon?  Should our government enact progressive taxation so as to, as Sweden’s finance and consumption minister Per Bolund describes it in the article, 'nudge' consumers to make right decisions for the sake of the health of our planet?

Personal/social values at stake:

While it's unethical to be wasteful, and I am a big proponent of repairing many items, certainly those that were ideally of high quality to begin with, the nature of technology is specifically not newfangled, but, rather, constantly innovative and progressive.  Therefore, technology's rapid development makes it an exception to this rule.  Users greatly benefit from the frequent replacement of their devices after they become outdated within just a couple of years.  Moore's law, which refers to an observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, is that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits doubles every year, as they have since their invention.

Yet, then again, while Moore's law predicts that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future, some say it will end in 2020 or so.  And, even now, in contradistinction to just a few years ago, I can note that many I know are fatigued with the thought of upgrading their iPhones, as the latest generation (seven) fails to pique interest.  More and more are opting to replace a broken screen, for example, rather than the entire device.  Similarly, for another example, the MacBooks have been getting limited updates over the course of several years and are still so avant-garde.  Therefore, as technological advancements decrease, it becomes more sensible to repair even these, and a tax break for doing so would be welcome.

Creditability of the source:

Fast Company describes itself as a leading progressive, business media company, which was launched in November 1995 by Alan Webber and Bill Taylor, two formerHarvard Business Review editors.


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