My thoughts have been building on this for a while and this may be little more than a rant but I want to put my ideas up for discussion.
Let me paint you three pictures:
1. I recently had to scrap my 1995 BMW 3 series car. I had always serviced it at a BMW dealer, often paying more than £1000 per year on things like new suspension, brakes, etc and the thing was as well-maintained as a 20 year old car can be. And yet its market value was less than the price of a replacement bonnet! I had bumped into a van which had high bumpers and these had pushed in the grill, thus bending the bonnet. The lights also needed realigning and possibly the grill needed replacing but the damage was minimal. Think of all the complexity of a car like that, a system that tells you when it needs servicing, air-bags, h-plane adjustable seats, sun-roof, electric windows and a beautifully reliable and powerful engine. And yet its total value was less than a basic piece of pressed steel which probably cost all of £20 to make. Luckily, because my car had been well-maintained I got an offer near the maximum for a car of that age but if it had been tatty it could have been worth only £150 or even less. What a waste of metal and technology! What a wasteful society we live in! That car could have run for another 20 years with a new bonnet. Continue reading “Old cars: Do we Need a Social Market Economy instead of Social Capitalism?”