Comment 26463

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 07, 2008 at 17:11:16

There's no doubt that all manner of bad policy arises out of homeowners attempting to protect or enhance the value of their "investments" (a very silly financial proposition, given the extra hundreds of thousands they'll be spending on the mortgages).

I still don't buy that it's all the fault of homebuyers though. Most markets, like suburban housing, are an interaction of a small, centralized and very influential group and a vast and atomized group of individuals. Power resides with the homebuilders. It's the same reason millions of cell phone customers still can't get a phone that's sealed at the seams and waterproof, or an answer to exactly what the hell all of those "network connection charges" actually mean. It's also why it's more profitable for Ford to produce cars that explode, enveloping customers in fiery death, rather than spending a few dollars a car on safety precautions. Markets of this sort reduce products to the lowest common denominator, creating products that exist largely for the purposes of those selling them, and do little for (or a fair bit against) those buying them. Food devoid of nutrition and filled with questionable chemicals, appliances which break down minutes after the warranty runs up and clothes which are neither warm, durable or practical.

Face it, if consumers were really as rational as market theory makes them seem, advertising just wouldn't work.

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