The new issue of Plough magazine pushes for a return to repairing things. The thrust of this new movement: "throwaway culture" is creating all sorts of problems, from landfills to euthanasia. And big business is the reason. Starting in 1923, it stopped making products intended to last for decades, subject to occasional repairs, and instead started making crap that would be obsolete, either because of fashion or the costliness of repairs or, today, technological hurdles designed to force consumers to throw away their old gadgets and buy the new model.
Consumers have begun to push back and, more importantly, central governments have, too. New laws are forcing companies to make products that last and can be repaired.
It sounds great, except: If central governments are passing these laws, that tells me one thing: Someone in business stands to gain from these new laws. There is probably a group of politically connected people who stand to profit enormously from this new movement, so I don't trust it.
I could be wrong, of course, and I hope I am, but if modern economic history (since 1688) has taught us anything, it's that Hudge and Gudge are never far apart . . . and they never sleep.