The Economics Of Troubleshooting

6633Jason Maxham writes in today’s Mises Daily: 

If we look at the contents of any landfill we quickly realize troubleshooting is a stellar example of this “fundamental problem.” Broken machines vastly outnumber the resources to fix them! Given the disparity between the quantity of breakdowns and the means to mend them, the end result is: what gets fixed is subject to a harsh but necessary triage based on people’s most pressing needs. Only the most important systems will be worthy of being fixed.

When a machine breaks down, the entirety of the economic calculation that gave rise to its purchase will be thrown into stark relief. Questions arise. What need was it fulfilling? Is the need still present? If so, what resources will be diverted to fix the machine? Will you choose a cheap, quick fix or go with a more expensive, longer-lasting solution? Or, should the machine be replaced instead?

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