Created Problems, Multi-Million Dollar Solutions: How Companies Profit Off Manufactured Issues

A typical sales tactic is to sell someone a solution to their problem. However, companies learned long ago that they could create problems and sell the solutions, reaping in the big bucks. 

Here are examples where companies created a problem and then sold unwitting consumers their solution to that problem. 

Gaming Microtransactions

Man holding phone looking like he's concentrating hard.
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Gaming companies created a problem: Their games were too grindy and boring. The solution? Microtransactions which allow players to buy boosts to glide past the worst parts. 

We’ll never understand why people buy games and then pay not to play them, but gaming companies rake in profits with this system, so they are unlikely to stop soon. 

No Outside Water

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Most theme parks, movie theaters, zoos, and other fun places don’t allow people to bring outside containers, even for water. No worries, though; they’ll sell you a new water bottle with a horrific mark-up. 

Printer Ink

large printer printing out a sample of all the colors.
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Your printer ran out of bright yellow ink just as you needed to print a black-and-white document. Sorry, you can’t print anything now. 

The manufactured problem forces consumers to buy more ink they don’t need. 

Tax Filing

Block letters "t" "a" and "x" standing atop small piles of coins that get progressively bigger to spell out "tax."
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Tax software companies lobby to keep the tax code complex and to prevent the IRS from producing free software for the populace. 

Though they didn’t make a complex tax code, their work keeping it confusing and preventing free filing options allows them to sell their tax filing software to the public. 

Nestle’s Evil Formula Plan

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There’s no more insidious example of a company creating a problem for profits than what Nestle did to impoverished mothers overseas. Nestle offered these breastfeeding mothers “free” formula for just long enough for their milk supply to run dry, and then they charged them for it. Mothers couldn’t afford the cost, resulting in malnourished babies. 

Nice Lawns

Pretty green grass in a well manicured front lawn landscape.
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Green lawns are useless. They’re just a cultural symbol to show everyone else how well off you are. However, they’re so engrained that most HOAs require them, so now we have to buy a bunch of junk for their upkeep when we could grow useful stuff like food and flowers. 


Soldiers in formation presenting arms in salute.
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The US supplies terrorist cells, those cells become powerful, and then we need to go to war to stop them. These wars make influential business owners very wealthy, so they donate to war hawk politicians to keep the cycle going.

Wireless Ear Buds

White wireless ear buds on a blue background.
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The iPhone learned they could get folks to buy anything. They removed the headphone jack for their iPhones and forced users to buy their wireless earbuds, raking in the profits. 

Planned Obsolescence

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Many companies create products they know won’t last to force consumers to buy a new one every few years. They don’t make things like they used to because making lasting products is less profitable. 

Subscription Models

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It’s getting much harder to buy and own things you like. Everything from software to music to car seat warmers is moving to a subscription model, allowing companies to make even more money to the determinant of consumers who have to pay more for the same thing. 


A pretty woman looks unsure and insecure on a bright purple background.
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The world runs on insecurity. People see perfection everywhere they look, and messages bombard them with what they can buy to become perfect themselves. 

Schools and Prisons

A Corrections officer standing in front of a jail cell.
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Prisons are profitable, but schools are not. Politicians purposefully pull money from education, knowing that uneducated people are more likely to end up in jail. The for-profit prison system wins, and society loses. 

Legal Scams 

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Some companies found ways to legally scam folks out of their hard earned money. 

Here are the top scams we all just accepted as normal. 

Calling Things “Girly”

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Men share the weirdest things they’ve been called “girly” for enjoying. Who profits when one gender can’t enjoy certain things?

Is America Actually Dystopian?

Panaoramic of a city with the top mirroring the bottom in a fantastical manner.
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Although there are many fantastic things about living in the US, some of our systems and laws leave many scratching their heads, wondering if we’re already living in a dystopian nightmare. 

Here’s the evidence that makes us wonder if America is actually a dystopia.  

Spot The Propaganda

Man with a tv head playing puppet master to a group of smaller people with tvs for heads.
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Propaganda surrounds us. It attempts to sway our thinking in both mundane and critical ways. Here are some examples of propaganda we see every day.

Why No One Wants To Work Anymore

woman throwing papers behind her as she quits her job.
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The common boomer refrain derides younger generations for refusing awful working conditions. Are they right?

Find out why no one wants to work anymore

Source: Reddit