The Leased, the Last and the Loser.


I keep wondering when the “lease revolution” is going to take hold for the individual consumer?  But alas, the stigma of “leasing is for the least” seems to be clinging to our culture like stank on the unshaved armpits of a female U of M (Montana) graduate.

Part of this could be due to the fact that the only two real players in the consumer leasing business are Rent-a-Center and Aaron’s.  And RAC seems to be doing more payday loans and high price rentals that anything.  I’m still a little foggy about what Aaron’s actually does.  Both stores are mysterious via website.

I realize that leasing has been going gangbusters in the corporate world for over 40 years in the U.S., starting off its big kick with IBM and Xerox.  But I keep thinking that it should become mainstream to rent washers and dryers and computers and T.V.s any day now.  It certainly would encourage sustainability.

Currently the manufacturing and consuming models in the U.S. involve producing lots of crappy, “low-price” merchandise with big mark ups and expensive extended warranties that will presumably break down and have to be completely replaced within a few years.  Besides being really annoying if you desire a quality product, this model is the worst possible when it comes to sustainability.  It uses maximum resources for manufacturing, transportation and maintenance.

But it seems next to impossible to find even a single appliance available to me locally that I can lease without ever intending to own.  It seems like it would be a win, win, win (for the producer, consumer and the earth) for me to lease a quality product at a consistent monthly price for which I would never have to worry about repair.  This arrangement would save me hassle, provide the producer a more steady income to survive manic induced capitalist freak-outs (otherwise known as recessions), and the earth would be spared having to birth and subsume multiple crappy consumer goods.  So get out the soap, Granola Girl.  It’s time to wash off the stank.

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