Apparently, one of the side effects of “the great recession” has been that people are hanging on to consumer items for longer periods of time, and not upgrading with the same fever as the boom times of last decade. Average car ownership is over five years, which is apparently some sort of record. Cell phones are up to a year and a half, and computers are last longer as well.

It will be interesting to see what happens when the economy starts picking up again – will we all turn back into consumer whores at the stroke of midnight, or will we end up hoarding empty milk cartons and used saran wrap like our Depression-surviving forbears?

4 Responses to “Longevity”

  1. Dan says:

    I’ve heard a good number of folk say that returning to rampant consumerism and constantly upgrading our shit is how the economy will start picking up again. If that’s true, I have to wonder about the general health of a system that’s driven by constantly going 100mph and trying to outdo itself…sounds like the mentality of a coke addict.

  2. Pitt says:

    I bought a car from an older man recently. He said he had some old parts for it back in his shed that he’d give me with it. As he peered around his shed, I noticed a nail driven into the wall with dozens of small red strings draped over it. Below it was a pile of neatly folded empty dog food bags. He had been removing the little rip-open strings from the dog food bags, and saving the strings and the bags, for probably years. Amazing.

  3. Pitt says:

    I think its interesting how the product life cycles of some consumer items have flip-flopped. It used to be people bought new cars every 2 or 3 years, and a radio, refrigerator, TV, etc would last 10, 15 years or more. Now it seems like folks are holding on to their cars (which, objectively, are more reliable and longer lasting than most of their forebears- at least up to the point where their electronic gee-gaws stop working) but tradng in their TV’s and whatnot much sooner.

    I’ve been berated more than once by Verizon for having an antiquated cell phone- the audacity of someone thinking they could eek 2 or 3 years out of one!

  4. Kevin says:

    Understood, my vehicle is a 2003, when we got rid of the wife’s Grand Am it was well over 10 years old. I save scrap metal and know I’m going to find a use for that random something or other at some point.

    On the flip side I’m a sucker for bike related stuff and will replace something before it breaks or just for the want of something cool.

    Considering my livelihood is based on consumerism, I say bring on the coke addict mentality I’ve got the good stuff.

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