Monday, April 24, 2017

The Juicero juicer is just the latest money grab from unscrupulous people in a long list of money grabs.

This blog post is a rant. By now, you've probably heard that Juicero, the $400.00 juice machine that used to be $700.00, was based on a lie. In case you haven't heard of it, the juicer was the vision of yet another capitalist crook who wanted to reinvent something that didn't need to be reinvented, only this time, it's actually caving in on him and his start-up (which the world didn't need in the first place).

There are actually a lot of things that the world doesn't need, but because of capitalism and greed we have them anyway. We didn't need Uber or Lyft. Society had taxi drivers who were doing just fine, as hobbled as the industry was with local laws and regulations. But that's just the thing...those laws and regulations are there for a reason and when a start-up brands itself as "genius" because it smells a way to make tons of money by ignoring those aforementioned regulations to conduct business, it is not "disruption" or "brilliant." No, it's being an asshole.

More examples of things the world doesn't need? How about planned obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is why you have to buy a new phone every two to three years, or why you have to upgrade your computer, or why you need to change your light bulbs. Things are made to expire. Wouldn't it be great to live in a world where things didn't expire because humans programmed them to? It would certainly help people get ahead on things that matter.

And what about monthly payment plans? The monthly bill that never ends is starting to spook me. It seems like no one wants to sell you just one thing and be done with it anymore. In today's day and age, for a company to be successful, they need to deliver a bill to you on a monthly basis. I dread the day when movie theaters reinvent themselves and refuse to sell tickets. Instead, you'll need a subscription that you just pay monthly, in order to see new release movies. Or the day when your Windows operating system on the computer becomes subscription-based, and if you don't pay up, you don't get access to any of your files.

Being able to buy one thing that lasts for a long time is a cornerstone to being able to build wealth. For example, I bought a really nice saute pan with a lid this weekend, and it is guaranteed for life. I may use this thing for the next thirty years. That's a great deal. More things in life should come with that kind of longevity. It would be better for the health and well being of the nation.

I think I'm more bothered today by what I'm seeing "out there" than ever before. In my parent's day and age, it was a given that a person could expect to be treated fairly whenever business was conducted. People had a switch in their heads that made them realize it was morally wrong to cheat someone. But in today's America, you have to be extra vigilant to be able to get even a fair deal. On most business transactions, you've probably been taken advantage of and just don't know it. And more and more, business transactions are going horribly wrong. The mortgage and home building industry (as just one example) seems to be teeming with sharks ready to tear anyone to pieces that dares to dream of owning a house. I was sickened when I saw how a local home builder here in Utah out in this place called "Daybreak" had cheated a bunch of people that had bought townhouses by using the cheapest, shoddiest materials for construction and then hiding it. Only, it didn't stay hidden for very long because things started crumbling, which is now costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix, big lawsuit incoming.

Some days I feel like everyone is lying, I feel like everyone is dishonest, and I feel like facts no longer matter. I feel like there's a reason for all of this, and it's because we (as a society) overemphasize and worship the rich. I wish there was someway to make it stop. It's not that I'm against capitalism, but I am against cheating someone just to make a buck. If you have an honest invention that people need, then you should be paid a "fair" price for it. But never, in any reality, should a juicer cost $400.00 (and that's just one example).


  1. It does seem ethics have disappeared. Everyone is trying to upsell you on every contact. One company called it entanglement (wrap that customer up, he's ours). Longevity isn't in the books, because Big Business doesn't want it, else how would they pay their directors and investors such huge bonuses, while laying off the workers.

  2. I haven't heard of this juicer, but I don't get why anyone would pay that much money either 400 or 700 for this gadget? I mean, can't you just buy juice? I also wouldn't use Uber as I just wouldn't feel safe. It seems too much like hitchhiking. I guess it's about having an app for everything and especially being the one to make that app. If there is a way to cheat, there will always be some people who will do it. Customers have to get smarter.

  3. Yeah just about everything is cheaply made, disposable, and overpriced.

  4. You make many good points and I can't disagree with you. We bought an old fridge when we we newly-weds and that fridge, already thirty years old, worked fine until we tired of it and bought a prettier one, that lasted only a few years.

  5. A very good rant Mike. Dishonesty and trickery are rampant today.

  6. I just read something yesterday about taxes. Many countries have return free taxes. The government prepares sort of an invoice type thing. The person gets it, reviews it, and then pays up. (You'd think this would be open to fraud, but it isn't. At least, not there.)

    So, why don't we do this? Because the tax prep industry has lobbied against it.

    Some days I just want to scream.

  7. Greetings from a fellow ranter! It really does seem that fraud and obsolescence is out of control in our society. And yes, I take taxis and not Uber or Lyft because I support a regulated system and drivers instead of the notoriously unfair system U and L have launched.

    A couple weeks ago Sixty Minutes had a scary piece on how companies are deliberately making cell phones and especially apps to be addictive. So when people check their cells every fifteen minutes, that's because their brains have been programmed to do so. And people wonder why I still have a land line and barely use my cell.

  8. It is unfortunate that we have to learn the hard way - as in get taken advantage of - that there are way too many scams out there. I've learned my share of lessons; but now I'm having to help my kids avoid some of the same pitfalls, and some new ones that I have to seriously think about before realizing they are scams. I also am all for capitalism, its how we motivate ourselves to work hard. But I wish some of these scammers would put as much energy to inventing helpful things as they do in scamming them.