Friday, September 5, 2008

perception=reality?

there's a whole big thing over at the munchkin wrangler's about believing/thinking/feeling becoming real world fact...i'm afraid i innocently kicked it off thinking in pretty pedestrian (but still critically important) experiential terms...and before you know it all the smart kids in class were tossing around quantum physics and the subatomic makeup of the universe...shit.

i was speaking in more day-to-day terms; that discussion got way over my comparatively ignorant head pretty quick, although i'm not sure perception/reality in the real world is much different than theory/science in theirs.

here's some illustration of what i was really talking about;

when it comes to perceptions and reality i've always been one to swim against the current...i was selling my real estate investment properties when everybody was buying...a little too soon, really, but at least i didn't wait until nobody was buying...listen to all the blahblahblah you want about what caused the bubble and the bust but there's really only one reason prices went up so much and have come down so much...perception. if people believe it, it very quickly becomes true. actually right now i'm starting to look at buying again...because few people are.

same thing with silver...when other dealers and pawnshops were turning down sterling silver, silver coins, and even silver bars because the price was too low (about $4per troy oz.), i bought everything in sight and piled it up in the safe...until '06 when all but some of the most interesting antique or handmade stuff went to the refinery...with spot price then at $14...gold was similar; chains, bracelets, etc. that i was retailing from my showcase for $10 per gram brought $18 in melt...largely because the false perception of a shortage became the reality of market price.

now what everybody's buying is small gas sipping vehicles...and that makes sense to a degree with gas at four bucks...but in the rush to save a buck (and of course to be seen as urbane and pc) sheeple are virtually giving away the big v-8 stuff that they lusted for just a few years ago. and in the process, they have nearly bankrupted the manufacturers who still had a ton of the big stuff in the pipeline.

and that means those manufacturers are desperate to raise cash and liquidate inventory...so in the spirit of helping them out, or else kicking them when they're down...i bought a new truck last week. i wanted four wheel drive so i can go places i have no business going when we're up at the north georgia place, and i needed decent pulling power and a receiver hitch to pull trailers full of shit that i have no business buying...so when dodge ran 40% off on all ram 1500 trucks, i checked it out at the local dealer to be sure it wasn't the typical bullshit; it wasn't...they had a lot full of trucks at true 40% off the sticker. my son was drawn to a red quadcab with a hemi engine and 20" wheels, (that's a stock photo, mountainous backgrounds are a little scarce here in central fla, but my truck is identical), and since it had what i needed (and quite a bit more) i bought it...factory sticker of right at 40k became buy price of 24k...minus 10 for my four year old 6-cyl. truck which i bought new for 16.5...

the little truck got 20 real mpg on the highway and the hemi 4x4 gets 16...at that rate it'll burn an extra 150 gal. per year; even at $4 gal. it will take 16 years to burn up the extra 10k off that i figure is the "market adjustment"...and that doesn't take into account that i now have more of what i need in a truck and that i was about to have to spend 1k (tires, brakes, and other regular maintenance) on the little truck...there's no economic sense to it so it must be paranoia with a little pc bs mixed in...more flawed perception nevertheless morphing into self-fulfilling reality.

the reverse is true of market adjustment, too...last year i preordered one of the tiny new "smart" cars designed by mercedes to use as a dinghy for the motorhome, but by the time it arrived at the end of this may, gas prices had gone nuts and the same pc sheeple who are dumping their suv's were paying several grand over sticker to get one rather than getting on the year+ waiting list...and since we had decided to not take an extended motorhome trip this summer (i'm contrarian, not dumb...that v10 ford drinks a gallon every 7 miles), i stuck the smart on ebay the day after i bought it at 15.5 out the door and an atlanta lawyer drove his hybrid lexus up to buy it for 18.5 the next day...i wish i'd have ordered a dozen of 'em, i'm a sucker for making a buck, especially off of yuppie tree huggers with too much money.

yep, perception equals reality...if you let it.

let's hope the perception among the stadium's masses that the man from hopeychangey is the savior of us all doesn't become reality...it'll be hard to flip him in the market and make a buck.

jtc

1 comment:

farmist said...

Nice truck, I'm looking at a similar trade on a new Sierra HD.