The American Council on Science and Health highlights Apple's marketing pitch for the new iPhone: "arsenic-free, BFR-free, mercury-free, and PVC-free." The ACSH calls it "ridiculous."
But it taps into a trend that I have been noticing in consumer products. Companies used to advertise what was in the products. Think of "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce cheese, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun." But now, especially with higher-end products, the key selling proposition seems to be what's not in the products. The hand-soap in my bathroom has a label boasting: "Paraben free, Disodium EDTA Free, Sodium Laureth/Laurel Sulfate Free." I've never heard of these things, but I suppose I should be glad they aren't in my soap. The meat I am about to cook for dinner? "No added antibiotics, No added hormones." The olive oil I will cook the vegetables in? "No chemicals, no preservatives."
We've gone from conspicuous consumption to conspicuous abstention.
I am going to have to try this approach with sales of FutureOfCapitalism subscriptions. No harmful chemicals! No Disodium EDTA!