9/28/13

Today’s post is on a lighter note than usual but a fairly important subject from a day-to-day perspective.

The EU is NOT one of my favorite bureaucracies, speaking mildly. I think it is a bloated unelected governmental authority that adds to the regulations maze and inefficiency that harms our economies with very little to show for it. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that, for a change, they are advocating a SENSIBLE suggestion.

It seems that the EU is pushing for a law that will make all electronic mobile devices be able to use the same charger to charge the batteries. Wow…we only had to wait twenty-five years for that. Given the pace of development in technology, it is really shocking that for a QUARTER of a CENTURY, which in technology terms, that is equal to the Cambrian Period in geology, OEMs were allowed to RIP off their customers and world resources just for profit.

How otherwise can one explain the fact that EVERY device manufacturer has a different charger and even worse, the same manufacturer has different chargers for its own different devices? So I have a laptop by Toshiba. I had laptops made by them for TWENTY-FIVE years, which is hard to imagine really. Every time I replace and upgrade to a new version, roughly every two or three years, I have to buy a new charger.

Why? Couldn’t Toshiba make sure that the chargers are the same?

Of course they could. It is simply a way to make money. Laptops are very competitive but accessories are less so. I am sure that their profit margins on accessories like a charger are much higher. Also, many people buy more than one charger for the same device during the device useful lifetime. In short, they RIP us off.

Further, have you ever thought of the waste of resources and the creation of waste? These charges are difficult to dispose of, they include hazardous chemicals and they fill the waste dumps and pollute the world. All for no good reason other than pure greed. I am not a crazy environmentalist as you all know, but this is a really a criminal case that should have been stopped YEARS ago. Rather than wasting time on trying to curb economic development that all these environmental agencies are doing, how about doing something useful that has a BENEFICIAL economic effect AND a huge impact on the environment.

If all the chargers for all the devices were mandated to be identical, consumers would have saved TRILLIONS of $ in the last ten years, and the world would have BILLIONS less chargers to manufacture and then to dispose of. Think of the saving of resources that this would generate.

WHAT A RIP OFF!

It is surprising to see such sensible suggestion from the EU. GOOD FOR THEM!