Software Needs To Be More Expensive

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2024-03-31 06:30:05

Software, like coffee, is too artificially cheap, and we need to make it more expensive. I have one suggestion for how to do that.

One of the ideas that James Hoffmann — probably the most influential… influencer in the coffee industry — works hard to popularize is that “coffee needs to be more expensive”.

The coffee industry is famously exploitative. Despite relatively thin margins for independent café owners1, there are no shortage of horrific stories about labor exploitation and even slavery in the coffee supply chain.

To summarize a point that Mr. Hoffman has made over a quite long series of videos and interviews2, some of this can be fixed by regulatory efforts. Enforcement of supply chain policies both by manufacturers and governments can help spot and avoid this type of exploitation. Some of it can be fixed by discernment on the part of consumers. You can try to buy fair-trade coffee, avoid brands that you know have problematic supply-chain histories.

Ultimately, though, even if there is perfect, universal, zero-cost enforcement of supply chain integrity… consumers still have to be willing to, you know, pay more for the coffee. It costs more to pay wages than to have slaves.

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