Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Emotions have replaced careful analysis in society

P. T. Barnum said it best over a century and a half ago when he noted, “There's a sucker born every minute.” I learned it the hard way at an automobile auction when car shopping recently in an effort to replace my 16-year old truck that had an engine failure last summer. Equipped with information from a major publication on the fair market value of an automobile, I scanned three vehicles at the auction I thought was worth the possibility. I checked fair market value, and deducted properly for defects that need repair for a fair market value that I could use for the purchase.

I learned the hard lesson. Two bidders online (both resellers) went for the same vehicle, and grabbed it for 60% greater than the fair market value, as posted by nationally renowned sources. I thought why it had happened to me. It finally dawned why. In my efforts to follow the Dave Ramsey way of auto buying, we checked fair market values to purchase the vehicle at fair market value. The buyers who were successful were resellers, not having seen the vehicle at the auction, and only basing it on outside pictures, and not inside, made it clear they were being suckers. They did not care for the fair market value of the vehicle, and only looked at their intrinsic value based on emotions. Obviously, as we saw in the most recent election, emotions matter more than those who analyse on any front. What gives in our society? Have we become a society that values emotions and refuses to look deeper before anything?

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