Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Made Enough Money?

Made Enough Money?

I can't take Obama seriously when he talks about people who have made enough money--since he apparently made $5.5 million last year--but I confess that there are times when you can understand why, in a nation where millions of people can't afford health insurance, some people see red (and start to think red) when you see ads like this:

2007 Ferrari F430 Spider - $199,900 (obo)

About This F430

Mileage: 2,950
Body Style: Convertible
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Beige
VIN: ZFFEW59AX70151484
Engine: 8 Cylinders
Transmission: Automanual
Get a CARFAX Record Check
Features: Remote Keyless Entry, Leather Interior, Power Seats, CD Changer, Premium Sound
Selling Points: Loaded with all the right and necessary options with a 253k sticker. I also am selling my 07 F430 Coupe with custom interior from the Ferrari factory.
How cute! Matching Ferraris!  A convertible for the nice days, and a coupe for the rainy days!

I suppose if Ferraris were reasonably cheap (you know, $30,000 for a slightly used one), I could consider owning one.  But when someone has $400,000 worth of transportation, reality really should arrive.


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  2. Here's the ad for the F430 coupe that Faisal Q. is selling:


  3. HMMM. I wonder if the guy made the money flipping houses and now has to pay some bills.

  4. As long as the person earned the money in a legal fashion, why would anyone care? If someone has a personal worth of 10 or so million, a car worth 200K is chump change. Envy will always be with us.

  5. The problem with envy is that has a nasty habit of turning into politics. I suppose if I were that rich, I might indulge myself a little--then live a little more sensibly, and put that kind of wealth to work making the world a better place.

  6. My take on expensive items like this is similar to RF's, with one extra thing I'd like to point out.

    These rich-guy toys weren't made by other rich people as a hobby. A lot of good, middle-class people made a living making these cars. Engineers, Line workers, machinists, and all the administrative folks who make it so those guys can do their work.

    Clayton, when you talk about using your wealth to make the world a better place, I certainly think supporting the employment of legions of people making a high-quality product should count. These people can support their families and send their kids to college because of all these rich folks buying these toys. Additionally, they get a real sense of accomplishment from producing something so fantastic, and I think that should count for something.

    It's the same thing for all luxury goods. Envy may rise up when multi-billionaries purchase 500 foot luxury yachts, but no one things of the hundreds or thousands of ordinary people who earned an honest living for a year or two making it. No one thinks of the dozens of people who now have good jobs running said 500 foot boat.

    You certainly have a point that envy can turn into nasty politics, but I think we'd get much better mileage out of pointing out the jobs generated by making the luxury goods, then by being ashamed of wealth and all that it can purchase.

    If one has enough money to drop $500k on a couple of cars, they're certainly capable of doing a whole lot of charity at the same time.

  7. I suppose if Corvettes were reasonably cheap, I could consider owning one. But when someone has $25,000 to $50,000 worth of transportation, reality really should arrive...
    But I echo what Michael said above, and add that people with the idea and means to make something the best it can be really do help to advance us. Soon enough someone, knowing that it can be done that way, will work out how to do it cheaper or more efficiently. Henry Ford would never have built the Model T without the example of the toys for rich-people to show-off in that preceded it.