Over the last several decades we have become a throw-away society. My parents, who grew up during the Depression, tried to fix broken products with replacement parts rather than throwing them away and buying new ones. I often worked with my Dad fixing washers and dryers, and remodeling, rewiring, and rooting sewer lines to save money.
For the generation that followed (including mine) it was often cheaper and less hassle to throw away a product and buy a new one. The latest product typically had more features and better performance, often at lower cost than fixing the broken item. Our conditioning to replace rather than fix was an easy transition.
Consumers came to expect each new product to have significant improvements. Manufacturers, in turn, drove technology development ever faster, a treadmill that caused all suppliers to run faster and spend more money to remain competitive.
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