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Is Planned Obsolescence Anti-American? How does it relate to Monopolies and The Declaration of Independence

I had a friend send me a video in regards to “Everything Edison Motors is Against.” In the video (see below), the gentlemen doing the reporting talks about how Detroit made a new DT12 automatic transmission. This transmission is non-repairable.

If the transmission stops working, then one can not take it to your local mechanic shop to get it repaired. One will have to fork out the money to get a new one. It is planned obsolescence.

What is Planned Obsolescence:1

  • “In economics and industrial design, planned obsolescence (also called built-in obsolescence or premature obsolescence) is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life or a purposely frail design, so that it becomes obsolete after a certain pre-determined period of time upon which it decrementally functions or suddenly ceases to function, or might be perceived as unfashionable.”
  • “The rationale behind this strategy is to generate long-term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases (referred to as “shortening the replacement cycle”).”
  • “It is the deliberate shortening of a lifespan of a product to force people to purchase functional replacements.”
  • “Planned obsolescence tends to work best when a producer has at least an oligopoly.” 

What is an oligopoly?2

  • “An oligopoly (from Greek ὀλίγος, oligos “few” and πωλεῖν, polein “to sell”) is a market structure in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of large sellers or producers.”
  • “Oligopolies often result from the desire to maximize profits, which can lead to collusion between companies. This reduces competition, increases prices for consumers, and lowers wages for employees.”

What is collusion?3

  • Complicity
  • Conspiracy
  • Deceit
  • Scam
  • Racket
  • Scheme
  • Trick
  • Bait and switch
  • Plot
  • Shell game

Are there any laws against such practices?2

  • “In the US, the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission are tasked with stopping collusion.” 
  • “However, corporations can evade legal consequences through tacit collusion, as collusion can only be proven through actual and direct communication between companies.”

It sounds like in 1981, the seeds of a pro-monopoly were being sown.

  • “The available statistics just aren’t very good, which isn’t an accident. In 1981 — around the time that the Reagan administration was launching the modern pro-monopoly era — the Federal Trade Commission suspended a program that collected data on industry concentration”5

As the Federal government showed they were not going to keep track of the monopolies, a private watch dog group came forward to check the oligopolies of collusion and conspiracy.

  • “Fortunately, researchers in the private sector have recently begun filling in the gaps . . . the Open Markets Institute — an anti-monopoly think tank — is . . . showing the market share that the largest companies have in each industry . . . Big companies are much more dominant than they were even 15 years ago.”5

I first learned about planned obsolescence after watching Robots (2005). Where an attempted hostile takeover of Bigweld Industries takes place by way of Phineas T. Ratchet and his mother, Madame Gasket.

  • “Phineas T. Ratchet, who, in Bigweld’s absence, has stopped producing spare parts and inventions in favor of expensive “upgrades”, thereby “outmoding” robots who are unable or unwilling to pay for them. Meanwhile, Ratchet’s mother, Madame Gasket, runs the Chop Shop, a facility that collects scrap, spare parts, and outmoded robots and recycles them into ingots for upgrades.”4

Please watch the attached YouTube videos (below) talking about the Planned Obsolescence in Robots to see how it hurts the general population and benefits a few.

Oligopoly are monopolies, and they are anti-American. We can trace that sentiment back to the Boston Tea Party that led up to the Declaration of Independence, which created, established and evolved into the American System. It broke from the British system along with monopolies.

“The popular telling of the Boston Tea Party gets something wrong. The colonists were not responding to a tax increase. They were responding to the Tea Act of 1773, which granted a tea monopoly in the colonies to the well-connected East India Company. Merchants based in the Americas would be shut out of the market.”5

Americans seem oblivious this see-saw battle back and forth our country has been having with monopolies. It is not talked about or even found in our current textbooks for our children to read and understand in schools from elementary from college. This is not by accident either.

“Of course, monopolies and other corporate giants have fought back against these assaults on their power, and sometimes succeeded for years or decades at a time. It happened during the age of Rockefeller and Morgan. Over the past 40 years, it has happened again.”5

When one study’s history, they will start to run into the name of Rockefeller and Morgan and realize how much power they have accumulated up to this point. It has been done under our noses. It is not healthy for our economy or our freedoms. Our freedoms have been curtailed now and will continue to be destroyed for future generations, unless we educate ourselves and understand the problem and figure out how to solve it.

“The federal government, under presidents of both parties, has largely surrendered to monopoly power. “The ‘anti’ in ‘antitrust’ has been discarded,” as the legal scholar Tim Wu puts it in his new book, “The Curse of Bigness.” Washington allows most megamergers to proceed either straight up or with only fig-leaf changes. The government has also done nothing to prevent the emergence of dominant new technology companies that mimic the old AT&T monopoly.”5

Thomas Jefferson was against monopolies and unlimited corporations.

“I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and to bid defiance to the laws of their country.”6

The American spirit was anti-monopoly, with a combination of “farmers”, “small-town entrepreneurs” and small town business (research Main Street vs Wall Street).

“A strong strain of anti-monopoly sentiment has run through our politics ever since. America was born as “a nation of farmers and small-town entrepreneurs,” the historian Richard Hofstadter once wrote, “anti-authoritarian, egalitarian and competitive.”5 

The monopolies influence and power has grown stature and in different areas of our life. Monopolies have their claws in everything from A to Z. These monopolies in the form of corporations, private public partnerships, Special Districts are being touted as the new and greatest thing since sliced bread. They are called by something new, but “. . . there is nothing new thing under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

What we are seeing with the alignment of government and corporations is not new either. Benito Mussolini would tell us, “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

Utah has become a target of Corporatism:

“Corporate fascism has taken over the state and the lines between government branches, government itself, and business has been blurred beyond anything our founders envisioned. . . . and selling our state out to the United Nations and the globalist agenda.”7

We need to reach out to our neighbors and educate them on what is happening to our State and to our people for the present and for our future posterity in the form of our children and grandchildren.

“At this point Utah must start to acknowledge what they have participated in, grown, and pushed. We must start to change course and undo these ties and get back to true honest government for the people, of the people, and by the people.”7

We have a choice to make as the window continues to shrink, day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

“We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” — Louis D. Brandeis *

(1) Planned Obsolescence

(2) Oligopoly

(3) Collusion

(4) Robots (2005 film)

(5) The Monopolization of America

(6) Thomas Jefferson letter to George Logan

(7) Action: Utah Leg, Changing our Form of Government – Public/Private is Illegal

* “The true foundation of a republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.” — Thomas Jefferson


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