Sunday, February 15, 2009


As you'd guess from the title, I'm talking about the 2-mindedness of purchasing decisions. This has become worse for me lately with the spend-happy democrats in control of our national finances, making all the same stupid mistakes made by FDR and the U.S.S.R., and bringing Katrina-like dark skies into our economic forecast. As if the specter of ever-leapfrogging cheaper technology weren't reluctance-inducing enough, now I have another reason to wait and see on so many things I'd like to buy.

I need a new car, but next year's model might improve upon this year's price vs. fuel economy vs. power features, and I could lose my job and need to keep that money for mortgage payments, food, and medical care. My wife wants a new dishwasher, but they're still figuring out how to make them quieter, and that competition may push the cost lower. Although, inflation could drive prices WAY up so maybe we need to go ahead and buy now. I get another marketing letter from the phone company every week saying I can switch to a different wireless plan and get all sorts of features I'm pretty sure I don't need, but all those features sound cool and I might use them if I had them, but then there's the "better technology tomorrow" and I might lose my job things again. ARRRRRGGGGGGGH!!!!!

At least there's one bright spot in this picture. Almost all TV content SUCKS. The cable company is raising the rates we're paying for the same old stream of amoral, liberal slanted garbage. Broadcasters have just about completed the switch to digital and we happen to live in an area where the signal strength quality is actually pretty good with a respectable antenna. So, we can get the garbage anyway without paying monthly for it. This decision to "un-purchase" our cable service is actually getting easier. I guess, technically, that doesn't count as a purchase decision since, once again, we would move back to the "should we buy" status, but I guess I should be thankful that the basis is clearer for the choice we need to make today.

Aside from when something is clearly not worth buying, like TV and most anything "As Seen on TV," even if the economic outlook and technology / price trends are ignored for a moment, I consistently find that no one manufacturer has chosen a product design that has _the_ feature set I'd choose. I feel like I am forced to select one subset or another of what I want in a product, no matter what the product is. I'm always thinking to myself, "Well, product A has 3 things I want, and product B has 3 other things I want, and they both have at least a dozen things I care nothing about. If only product A or B had its rival's 3 features I want, I'd be ready to lay down the money and take it home." I know that patents and copyrights prevent some of that from ever being possible or practical, and that ultimately it benefits consumers to provide a company a chance to recover the investment in R & D. That doesn't stop me from wishing I could have my cake and eat it too though. Now there's an idea someone should develop and patent, cake that can be eaten, and kept for another day too.

1 comment:

weavermom said...

When they make it, can I have some of the cake? :)