Part 1 • 2014 • episode "1/3" The Men Who Made Us Spend

Category: Economics
Download:

In the first of this three-part series investigating consumer spending, Jacques reveals how the concept of 'product lifespan' holds the key to our ever-churning consumerism. Exploring the historical origin of planned obsolescence, when some of the world biggest electrical manufacturers formed a light bulb cartel in the 1920s, Jacques reveals how products that are essential to our modern lifestyles are still made to break. During his investigation, Jacques uncovers the process by which a crucial transformation happened and attitudes towards spending were transformed. Instead of needing new goods because our old ones were broken, we learned to want them for reasons of fashion and aspiration - awaking a consumer appetite that could never be satisfied. In the US, he visits a recycling centre where brand-new high-tech goods are destroyed before they have even come out of the box. Jacques also meets some of the companies that encourage consumers to be dissatisfied with what they have and encourage purchases as part of an ever-faster cycle of 'upgrades'. He asks a senior IKEA executive why, despite the company's commitment to sustainability, it still encourages repeated discarding and purchasing. Jacques also talks to a former senior Apple employee who reveals how the company's new focus on fashion, with its colourful iPhones, keeps us buying even when technological innovation slows.

The Men Who Made Us Spend • 2014 • 1 episode •

Part 1

In the first of this three-part series investigating consumer spending, Jacques reveals how the concept of 'product lifespan' holds the key to our ever-churning consumerism. Exploring the historical origin of planned obsolescence, when some of the world biggest electrical manufacturers formed a light bulb cartel in the 1920s, Jacques reveals how products that are essential to our modern lifestyles are still made to break. During his investigation, Jacques uncovers the process by which a crucial transformation happened and attitudes towards spending were transformed. Instead of needing new goods because our old ones were broken, we learned to want them for reasons of fashion and aspiration - awaking a consumer appetite that could never be satisfied. In the US, he visits a recycling centre where brand-new high-tech goods are destroyed before they have even come out of the box. Jacques also meets some of the companies that encourage consumers to be dissatisfied with what they have and encourage purchases as part of an ever-faster cycle of 'upgrades'. He asks a senior IKEA executive why, despite the company's commitment to sustainability, it still encourages repeated discarding and purchasing. Jacques also talks to a former senior Apple employee who reveals how the company's new focus on fashion, with its colourful iPhones, keeps us buying even when technological innovation slows.

2014 • Economics

You might also like

Modern China

Sheryl WuDunn, a best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, illuminates the economic, financial, political and social issues in East Asia and around the world, and the economic and political uncertainties facing China today.

9/10Curiosity Retreats: 2014 Lectures • 2014 • Economics

The Rise and Fall of Nokia

Once upon a time there was a large Finnish company that manufactured the world's best and most innovative mobile phones. Nokia's annual budget was larger than that of the government of Finland and everyone who worked there shared in the windfall. But global domination cost the company its pioneering spirit and quantity gradually took over from quality, with new phone models being churned out by the dozen. Market share eroded, until in 2016, mobile phone production in Finland ceased. The Rise and Fall of Nokia is a wry morality tale for our times, told by those that lived and worked through the rollercoaster years in a company that dominated a nation.

2018 • Economics

Overpopulation – The Human Explosion Explained

In a very short amount of time the human population exploded and is still growing very fast. Will this lead to the end of our civilization?

In a Nutshell • 2016 • Economics

Grand Central Terminal

Ade Adepitan, Anita Rani, Ant Anstead and Dan Snow take a closer look at one of the most complex and powerful cities in the world, focusing on transport links in the first edition. Anita, Ade and Ant head to Grand Central Terminal, joining the daily commute on the iconic Staten Island ferry as well as the subway, suburban railroad and citibikes. Dan visits Times Square to see how the 230 LED advertising hoardings are maintained, while Ade takes a ride in a yellow cab, discovering that the business model is under threat from newly created taxi apps.

Part 1New York: America's Busiest City • 2016 • Economics

The Story of Your Enslavement

The video suggests that the vast majority of populations are treated essentially like farm animals to maximize the profits of the few. Perhaps its most disturbing suggestion is that choices that are made available to us are really nothing more than tricks to encourage the masses to be more productive.

Economics

Could A Robot Do My Job?

Britain is on the brink of a technological revolution. Machines and artificial intelligence are beginning to replace jobs like never before. Reporter Rohan Silva looks at the workplaces already using this new technology and asks whether we should feel threatened by it, or whether it will benefit all of us. Are we ready for one of the biggest changes the world of work has ever seen?

2015 • Economics