Put the responsibility where it belongs: the manufacturer

Finally, someone bothering to talk about whose fault all this plastic crap is.

It’s not the consumer’s. It’s the producer’s.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47) have introduced legislation, the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act (H. R. 5845, S.3263), to require producers of certain products to provide for their disposal. In economic jargon, producers will be required to accept some of the negative externalities of their products, rather than continuing to shift those costs to the public.

The horror.

The thought was so horrible that the beverage industry created an organization to convince the public that consumers bore all the responsibility for waste: Keep America Beautiful. If you’re of a certain age, you’ve seen their work.

In 1953, Vermont’s state legislature had a brain wave: beer companies start pollution, legislation can stop it. They passed a statute banning the sale of beer and ale in one-way bottles. … That October, Keep America Beautiful was born

The Crying Indian,” Ginger Strand, Orion Magazine (November 2008)

This is a fantastic piece, because nothing in it is objectionable or wrong. It’s so subtle; even the tagline is true. The campaign’s genius, however, is in the unasked question: where does all of that waste come from? The wrapper thrown out the car window wasn’t created, ex nihilo, by the car passenger. It was sold to him by someone else.

A New Kind of Credit Card?

A while back Apple announced plans to launch the Apple Card. It launched.

A new kind of credit card. Created by Apple, not a bank.

Issued by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Salt Lake City Branch.

Apple Card completely rethinks everything about the credit card.

It represents all the things Apple stands for. Like simplicity, transparency, and privacy.

And it’s the first card that actually encourages you to pay less interest.

https://www.apple.com/apple-card/

What’s that again? Less interest? Tell me more!

Variable APRs range from 12.99% to 23.99% based on creditworthiness. Rates as of August 2, 2019.

https://www.apple.com/apple-card/#footnote-4

Weird. That sounds exactly like every other credit card I’ve ever had.

The Apple Card app in the Wallet does have some nifty features, such as math and pretty pictures, to help you estimate and plan payments on the card. This is novel. And the card itself is physically satisfying.

But the Apple Card feels like a missed opportunity to make a significantly different credit card. Like many decisions of the Tim Cook era this one is safely pretending to be radical. A truly new kind of credit card would have the following features

  • Low interest, such as one percentage point over the prime rate, for everybody.
  • Provide a ladder out of debt, not just a shovel to make the hole bigger.

I’m sure this card will be profitable.