The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I Just Don't Get It, I Suppose

As I mentioned a few days ago, I bought a new car. Since then, a number of people have congratulated me on my purchase. Granted, most of these were working for the dealership but they weren't the only ones. A number of friends and acquaintances have also offered congratulations.

Why is that? After all, all I did was drop by a car dealership, take a couple of test drives (to compare vehicles), and haggle a bit over price and trade-in value. It wasn't like I spent hours or days chasing down an antelope armed with a spear or bow and arrow. I faced no physical danger or privation in the process to bring back to the cave meat for the tribe. Instead, I accepted a deal offered while sipping some coffee inside an air conditioned office. And bought a product that was immediately worth thousands less than I paid.

But I did get that new car smell... along with a small enough cargo space that I had to fold down part of the back seat to make room for my golf clubs.


Anonymous said...

Well, you posted the purchase as a mistake. When I traded in my SUV for a Focus, I too thought I was making a mistake. especially since I lost about $5K on the trade in. But the loss was quickly obliterated once I started saving money on gas vs what I would have paid with the SUV. So, my concern was moot.
I eventually realized that buying a Focus was the best financial decision I had made in a long time. I've recommended this purchase to others and it worked out great for them also.
Buying a car today (I am certain you paid cash, as also I have) is no easy feat. You are to be congratulated. It's a sign of successful financial planing. You also chose a make and model that is, in my opinion, genius. Ford was the only car mfg that didn't take a govt handout and managed to become the most successful car company in the world. It's a 100% American success story. And you helped keep them that way.
There are many, many reasons why you should be congratulated on your car purchase. I know many, many people today who are not financially able to purchase a new vehicle, let alone even keep up with repairs and maintenance on what they already own.

Douglas said...

And you missed the point of this post. I traded in a working vehicle that, apart from getting lousy mileage in town (28-30MPG on the road but only 14 around town), was a joy to own and drive. In its place, I got a smaller trunk area, a smaller gas tank, harder ride, and better mileage. I am getting (allegedly) about 25 MPG around town in the Focus. That's 11 MPG better than the old car. At that rate, it shouldn't take me more than 4 years to justify the price. On the other hand, I am ready for the E85 gas when that becomes mandatory.
No, I do not think congratulations are in order. I think it is a purchase that required very little effort or risk on my part. I congratulate people when they have accomplished something, not when they buy something. Think about it, when was the last time you congratulated someone for buying a refrigerator?

Joanne Noragon said...

C'mon. Just say Thank You and enjoy the ride. Figuratively, as well as literally. Nice car. Congratulations.

Douglas said...

But, Joanne, how could I be the happy curmudgeon I am if I was so polite as to do that? And what, pray tell, would I have left to muse about? Finally, read the title of the post.

Anonymous said...

um, Douglas, have you seen the prices of refrigerators lately? if my 20 cu ft dies, I have to cough up boucoup bucks.
you can set the odometer to give you a constant read of what your mpg is. mine is 36 around town and 41 on the highway. I have a '08 Focus.

you're right. you accomplished nothing. all you did was buy something. a feat becoming more and more difficult for most people.

Douglas said...

Yes, M, I have seen the prices (having to replace one the day before a 4 day vacation). Oddly, no one congratulated me on my purchase... thereby making my point quite nicely. Read the title to the piece... and the title of this blog... I am merely musing on the incongruity of congratulations for a purchase. And my puzzlement about its acceptance in our culture.