02 April 2009

Caveat vendor

When a producer sells a durable product to a consumer the quality and the maintenance costs and the operating costs are all implied in the product and in the sale. If the quality is not up to what the consumer had a right to expect, or if the product broke down and cost too much to repair or needed to be repaired too often, or if the cost of operating the product was higher than it needed to be, then these are all examples of the trust of the consumer having been abused and exploited for the short term gain of the producer. It is an example of profit-maximization overwhelming the obligations of the stewardship of trust.

For a consumer public to remain compliant in the face of such abuses of trust is merely to say the public has been trained into servility. Often the functions of advertising are to establish the semblance of trust-worthiness in the face of the exploitation or downright abuse of that trust.

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