The rationality of the market

My printer is broken. For ages I have put off doing anything about it, but I now need it working again. I have had it diagnosed. It has a blocked ink line. I can’t fix it myself but it is a trivial matter. Something that should take no time and little effort to repair.

So, here are the economics.

  • Cost of having my old printer repaired: £49 (labour) + £58 (parts) + £20 (delivery to the one place where they will fix it) + £20 (delivery back to me again) + VAT = £176.40
  • Cost of a new printer: £37.95

Of course, this totally fails to count all kinds of externalised costs such as that of wasting resources on manufacturing and transporting something across the world that does not need to be made.

Capitalism can be so stupid.

2 thoughts on “The rationality of the market

  1. It’s great isn’t it. I had same problem but mine was under warranty so same process miraculously free.
    Of course, this is because the economic model is: sell printer at loss, make bundles on print cartridges.
    Get out the quills…

    1. I had forgotten the ink part of the equation. That’s because I have been using cheaper, non-proprietary ink for years, and filling up the cartridges with a syringe, which I enjoy for the same reasons as I still write with bottle-filled fountain pens. I suppose on that level, it is kind of rational, like razor blades. But rational within very constrained boundaries. A nice example of a badly-conceived reward structure, don’t you think?

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