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Affluent Society - The US and the aftermath

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by MeenLoch, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. MeenLoch

    MeenLoch Silver IL'ite

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    Before the title turns out to be a misnomer, let me explain it. In the past few decades due to the numerous technological advances and good discipline among citizens, America and many other countries have benefited greatly.

    The quality of life is high, given that people do what they are supposed to, systems are organized and daily living is so easy and convenient. I am talking in terms of shopping, general lifestyle, paying bills and services like telephone and high speed internet.

    There is a flip side to this affluent society, an equally affluent lifestyle ! Here is what I mean

    1. People THROW electronic goods when they don't work. I am not exaggerating. There are no small electric shops which can repair stuff and the authorized dealers charge so much for the labor that we are half way buying a new item. I have experienced this in case of my blender, laptop. When we visited stores they suggested us to buy a new one instead of repairing existing one. This is when my electronic item does not work. I can always re-sell if it worked.

    2. Taking lunch to office is a new concept here for some reason. now Americans realize that it s cheaper. I would say this is one among the lessons which needs to travel from East to West. There are so many chain stores like Mc.Donalds, Burger king, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks that anybody can grab anything on the way. The disadvantage is that it s not cost effective on a long run. Besides, nothing matches home made food.

    3. Single person per car. Car-pooling and Van pooling is practiced, but a good chunk of population which travels by car, prefers going alone. It takes a personal finance book or blog to teach people that there are CHEAPER ALTERNATIVES everywhere. Perception differs. I ll leave it at that.

    4. If one has to dispose something big like a fridge or a furniture, you need to pay them to dispose. There is not raddhi like concept here, where they take your newspapers, magazines or waste items and pay for you. You pay them. And it s usually a big amount.


    There are many such inflexibilities that come along with the unmatchable quality of life US provides.

    In certain aspects like above, I feel our age old conservative cost-effective ways rule.

    Correct me if I have read something wrong. Also pen down your experience so far.


    You must watch this 20 mins video
    http://www.storyofstuff.com/

    Also read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumerism
     
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  2. Nivedi

    Nivedi New IL'ite

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    ML,

    I agree recycling is a part of our lives in India. We have been recycling paper since ages. Although not all plastic can be reused, we tend to put them to use in some way or the other.

    I have experienced problems with getting my kitchen gadgets repaired in the US. A small part may need to be serviced, but the cost of gettting that done is higher that the cost of the product itself. In India we have repairmen for all sorts of things and the labour cost is small too. The life of these gadgets is much longer and we do'nt have to toss them out. E-waste is becoming a hazard to deal with.

    Rechargeable batteries can be used in a big way too.
     
  3. MeenLoch

    MeenLoch Silver IL'ite

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  4. geetsun

    geetsun Junior IL'ite

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    Dear Meenloch, this 'affluent society system' is gradually coming up in India also. Presently here also, no one is willing to repair goods. In our case, let me tell u we have got a good old scooter which still starts simply in the first kick itself. However, every now and then there arises some small repair or the other but the mechanic coolly says you just sell it off - means u just give it to him as a junk material - and buy a new one. Likewise, we have afridge which is still working but since we need a bigger fridge, we asked the companywalas to take it in exchange, either they have straightaway told that who will take it from us or else the dealer/even the company itself- i won't name the company which is a reputed one - is ready to take it for an exchange value which we found to be included in the price of the new fridge itself. Regarding car pool, here also most of the people prefer going single not only they are not willing to mingle much but also because of security. Of course, kabaddiwala system is still in existence. America might have understood the importance of home lunch but in India that system is also becoming vogue just becauseof better financial standing coupled with dearth of time. geetsun
     

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