Written in Ink

Capitalism vs. Reality: Designer Sportscar Edition

Here is an interesting thought exercise. The title to the article reads, "Trio of Lamborghinis burn in million-dollar wreck." But is that the truth? When a high-priced car is destroyed, what value is actually lost? There's the value of the parts, which may or may not be salvageable. You might say that the value of the labor required to make the car was lost.

But anyone who can afford a Lamborghini can probably afford a second Lamborghini. That's the way of the world. These cars are toys for people with too much money. In fact, this might be the very litmus test for "too much money." Did your car blow up in a wreck? And does it not affect you even a little? You must have too much money.

Our economy is swayed by perceived value. That's why luxury items like, just for example, diamonds and luxury cars still retain their value. We faulty humans assign value to just about everything. Just as De Beers keeps the value of diamonds artificially high through meticulous hording, car makers keep the value of some cars artificially high through marketing and various tricks of the trade. (They also put a premium on design and aesthetic, which is a somewhat more contentious value.)


What do you think? It's something I debate a lot: perceived value vs. (contextually) real value.


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