Disposable Consumerism in the Modern World

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the waste and junk in our lives. I think I have reached a point where I can almost say I have everything that I need. Plenty of times in my past I had recorded lists of items to be purchased in the future, when the money was there. Now i’m not talking about a kid rattling off a list of anticipated gifts to a man in a red and white suit at a shopping mall. The sort of things I had longed for were what I consider to be durable goods. You might debate my person selection, but to each his own. My intention comes from 7.62×39 bulk ammo a place of long term use. One may swear a Sig is the best handgun out there today, others may reach for a CZ. In the end, neither are a shitty knock-off or severely over-hyped new trendy gizmo.

This is what I mean about consumerism gone stupid in today’s world. We have too often fallen prey to this money trap looking for cheap solutions. If you look at you collection of purchases, leaving the standard consumables aside(food and energy), what are you left with? How much crap do you buy that survives to an acceptable lifetime and was it worth it? If I look back at all the junk that has been bought and discarded, would we have been better off investing in something that lasts for decades or skimping on the cost just to throw it away and buy it again? Changing the vision of stuff into tools has been rather eye opening. Each thing we gather in our lives should be a tool, and being a tool it should last and perform to a high standard. Now I know that there are items, brands and styles that could be considered ‘the world’s best’ like Rolex and Stradivarius but why fall to the opposite end of the spectrum and buy a handful of junk that will end up failing and filling junkyards?

Who is the number one retailer in the world? Walmart. How did they get that way? They sell cheap junk and people buy it. I admit that I use Walmart to buy consumables(ammo, food, some clothing) but the other stuff they sell is just like burning a fistful of dollars. Too often have we accepted that this buy cheap and replace mentality is OK. How much of your financial freedom has been stripped from you by thinking this way? I have always been searching for quality items, within reasonable price ranges, that are built to last. Made in the USA has never been a part of this, I just look for solidly engineered and crafted products that can solve a problem and be used over and over again. I could care less if something is made in Taiwan, Germany or Ireland.. if it’s built well, it’s built well. Countless purchases of knives has taught me this well. I have purchased many a knife that failed to perform under stress, most were nameless brands in the knife industry, some well known. In the end they were not quality purchases. A hypothetical example: You buy a $20 knife, it lasts a season under hard use and now you’re out $20. Even rigorous sharpening and care won’t bring it back to life. So you go and buy another $20 knife and it craps out on you. Would an investment of $40 in a better knife up front have saved you the loss? Where is your limit of quality to cost ratio? If I were to offer you a knife for $200 that would last you 40 years.. and you turned me down buying that cheap junk instead, you would end up spending 3 times as much(assuming no inflation rise in cost of your piece of junk knife).

I guess where I’m going with this thought is that quality upfront can relieve some of the burdens of inflation and hassles of replacement. I hate the disposable mentality and the trap it puts people in both mentally and financially. From our example above, what could you have used that extra $400 on over the course of your knife’s lifetime? The initial investment can save you big in the long term. As preppers strive to become more self-sufficient and self-reliant. We think of investments that meet those needs and provide return through time which can weather inflationary changes to our monetary system. We may look at solar or other alternative energy systems with fairly steep tickets to get up and running, but in the end they will pay for themselves at the least. So when you go out to buy that next thing at the mall, take a look at your personal inventory and see if something already meets your need. If you’re replacing a broken item, would it be better to spend the extra cash on going for quality. And don’t DON’T fall for the credit scam that lets you buy more now.. you are getting double screwed in the end.

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