January 11th, 2008 , 09:03 am
Metroblogging Austin M.L.Kellog
posted a "
" article about razor blades in supermarkets, reading it, it seemed like a good chance to comment and post a link to the Story of Stuff. Yes, it's political and a lot of you will be voting soon, so something worth considering, see the
Story of Stuff
Here was my response:
Ahh yes, one of the great marketing successes of our times, disposable razor blades. As you say, Razor brides are indeed highly prized and carefully secured because their high price of purchase makes you feel like you are being ripped off and so it wouldn't be so bad to have stolen them. They are often secured with security(RFID and other) tags in a supermarket as well as being stored in alarmed cabinets.
One of the few other things held in such high contempt as disposable razor blades are inkjet printer cartridges. Again, it simply can't and doesn't cost that much to make and manufacture them, yet again we are held hostage by the large corporations over pricing. They are also similarly secured often in places where they can be easily stolen.
The one thing both these treasured items have in common, planned obsolescence. Just as soon as you find a suitable alternative or replacement they change the design for the base unit, the razor, the printer, making any supply of the old stock and the old unit redundant. It's the culmination and masterstroke of the post 2nd world war consumer society.
The only thing one might ask about both the razor blade and inkjet printer pricing, is where is the legendary American consumer pricing protection, the anti-trust protection, ahh, it doesn't matter they are only razor blades.