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Would you like a receipt? May 4, 2006

Posted by Q in Links, Random.
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Now generally I am not am not one to tell people what they can/cannot do or should/shouldn’t do with their money, nor am I one to say that every dime of disposable income should go directly to helping “the less fortunate.” But still, when I read stuff like this:

Mystery Bidder Spends $95 Million on a Picasso

I start to think, “$207.5 million spent in one night… on art??” Now, don’t get me wrong. I value art (and in a greater sense “the arts”). But I think there comes a point when things get to be ridiculous. Houses, cars, and, yes, art. You committed $95 million just to say, “I’ve got this one piece of art work.”

Now I am not just hung up on the one guy who paid that much. It was an auction. That means at least one other person was willing to pay up to just under $95 million. I mean law of supply and demand is great. It works well, generally speaking. But this application is a bit ludicrous to me. Actually, the root cause is what I find ludicrous. People are willing to pay millions upon millions for status. I understand this Russian-sounding gentleman was not identified so there is no way of know the extent to which he is active in his community or the global community. But that does not negate my belief that $95 million is a grotesque amount for a status symbol.

I am happy for people who have worked hard, pulled themselves up by the boot straps, had a dream and never let it go, etc. That’s great. You earned your keep. However, there comes a point where one really should begin thinking about the world around you and how you can make it better. I would like to think that point is from dollar 1, but I am pretty certain it has to come before number 94,999,999.

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