Saturday, August 20, 2016

Is ‘up-to-date’ Good?


Have you ever wondered why the so-called smart-phone today doesn’t last long? You might find that your gadget can only be with you for just one up to three years. After few years holding the phone, you will be feeling that it’s too obsolete to have the phone that you actually dreamed of purchasing. In fact, in the past, for instance, we had NOKIA 1100 or the like for more than three years. One of my aunties now still uses NOKIA basic phone that she bought seven years ago. She didn’t plan to change it with the new one anyway. I argued that the phone manufacturers now set the quality of their products low so the customers are ‘encouraged’ to buy again and again, especially in the case of smart phones. They are so brainy in making ads to persuade us to buy their hottest products. Now, are you feeling sort of ashamed of having iPhone 4 while your friends are using iPhone 6s? Well, if you are, Apple’s innovation is successful in influencing you, then.
I personally don’t like to be dictated by marketing guys to acquire their appealing stuffs. If I think I don’t need the new one or the old one is not broken, I won’t buy the brand-new one. But if I genuinely need it, for example, for my work, I may consider to buy. In fact, knowing the principle of finance lets me think to focus on the ‘need’ instead of ‘want’ when I would buy something. Function must be somehow more than feature. But, if there are too many people like me, I realize it won’t be good for economy. Why?
What I have previously explained is from the narrow perspective or micro, i.e. my own view. Nevertheless, from the macro view point, the manufacturers or companies are doing good for our economy. They create products that ease our lives, they indirectly construct roads and bridges with their taxes, they reduce unemployment by hiring workers. So, if we don’t buy their products, shall we have good roads? Shall we have people working? Nonetheless, this applies if only the manufacturers are located in our country. If we import the products from foreign countries, the results for our economy will not be significant. Our government only has small portion from the products we buy. So, being the importer countries is often painful. Let’s pray may Indonesia become the exporter country someday.
The government must be in the side of businesses in generating the economy. So, the government rules the manufacturers to create quality products that satisfy the customers but also sets the rule that often requires the manufacturers to increase tax payment. As a consequence, the producers strive hard to influence us to keep buying so that their profit increases. As an example, US government makes policy stating that cars must not be too long on the roads. The car tax increases annually making car owners think twice to keep possessing their cars. Buying the new cars is considered cheaper so the US-based car manufacturers get benefit from this policy. It’s not doubt that the used cars in the USA are way cheaper than here in Indonesia. All in all, making the product long-lasting is not really good for our economy since in macro scale it will hurt the manufacturers and not favorable for our government. The economy keeps growing because of our consumption. C in the formula Y=C+I+G+(X-M) is so influential especially in developing country such as Indonesia. Yet, the products consumed must be made in here. So, happy buying the local products for the sake of our economy!    

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