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I'm Really Trying to be Understanding

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Y'all know I'm pro- Free Market.  I'm as libertarian as they come.  But I'm really having trouble following @zil's example of not calling someone a fool.

https://chatterleyluxuries.com/product/montblanc-georges-pompidou-limited-edition-77-skeleton-fountain-pen/

$13,000 for a pen.  A FREAKING PEN!!!

And they're sold out!  Ebay has one for $30,000.

Edited by Guest

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18 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Y'all know I'm pro- Free Market.  I'm as libertarian as they come.  But I'm really having trouble following @zil's example of not calling someone a fool.

https://chatterleyluxuries.com/product/montblanc-georges-pompidou-limited-edition-77-skeleton-fountain-pen/

$13,000 for a pen.  A FREAKING PEN!!!

And they're sold out!  Ebay has one for $30,000.

I'm as pro free market as they come too. If someone wants to buy it and can afford it, knock yourself out. None of my affair. 

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27 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Y'all know I'm pro- Free Market.  I'm as libertarian as they come.  But I'm really having trouble following @zil's example of not calling someone a fool.

https://chatterleyluxuries.com/product/montblanc-georges-pompidou-limited-edition-77-skeleton-fountain-pen/

$13,000 for a pen.  A FREAKING PEN!!!

And they're sold out!  Ebay has one for $30,000.

It's not a freaking pen, it's a <snooty accent="french">Montblanc</snooty>.  (I'm not sure why we have to use a French accent when the company is German, but apparently we do.)

That is a lot of white gold, and diamonds, and a sapphire, and some rhodium, and there are only 77 of them in the world...  And everyone knows, when you buy a Montblanc pen, you're paying for the name.

I recommend you stick with http://gouletpens.com - their highest priced pen is currently under $6,000, and they have lots of low-end pens... :)  Maybe you should try a Pilot Kakuno with a fine nib - they wink at you - for only $13.50.

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23 minutes ago, zil said:

It's not a freaking pen, it's a <snooty accent="french">Montblanc</snooty>.  (I'm not sure why we have to use a French accent when the company is German, but apparently we do.)

That is a lot of white gold, and diamonds, and a sapphire, and some rhodium, and there are only 77 of them in the world...  And everyone knows, when you buy a Montblanc pen, you're paying for the name.

I recommend you stick with http://gouletpens.com - their highest priced pen is currently under $6,000, and they have lots of low-end pens... :)  Maybe you should try a Pilot Kakuno with a fine nib - they wink at you - for only $13.50.

1) Regardless of gold, diamonds, sapphire, rhodium... at the end of the day it's still JUST A PEN.
2) Even if we were to include all the precious materials, their material cost and manufacturing cost would amount to about $100.
3)  IT'S A FREAKING PEN!!!

BTW, we don't use the french accent because of the company origin.  We do it because of the "snooty". ^_^

Edited by Guest

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7 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

1) Regardless of gold, diamonds, sapphire, rhodium... at the end of the day it's still JUST A PEN.
2) Even if we were to include all the precious materials, their material cost and manufacturing cost would amount to about $100.
3)  IT'S A FREAKING PEN!!!

BTW, we don't use the french accent because of the company origin.  We do it because of the "snooty". ^_^

Poor Carb.  Poor, poor Carb.  Are you having a bad day?  Do you need another pen?  Maybe a bottle of ink?  A Rhodia dot pad? ;)

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The biggest dang shame of my whole day - chatterlyluxuries.com do not allow user reviews.  

Although you'd have to work pretty hard to beat this epic amazon.com offering of a $3000 aluminum lawn chair:

https://www.amazon.com/Plodes-RECH-reDO-Lawn-Chair/dp/B001WPJTO0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1307119677&sr=8-3

 

Edited by NeuroTypical

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14 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

The biggest dang shame of my whole day - chatterlyluxuries.com do not allow user reviews.  

Although you'd have to work pretty hard to beat this epic amazon.com offering of a $3000 aluminum lawn chair:

https://www.amazon.com/Plodes-RECH-reDO-Lawn-Chair/dp/B001WPJTO0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1307119677&sr=8-3

 

Yes, that would be hard to beat.

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19 minutes ago, zil said:

Poor Carb.  Poor, poor Carb.  Are you having a bad day?  Do you need another pen?  Maybe a bottle of ink?  A Rhodia dot pad? ;)

I'm just having difficulty making sense of the world.  That's all.  Actually, the world is ok.  It's the people I'm having trouble with.  You know, the 2nd commandment?  Yeah, that.  And the whole not judging thing?  Yeah, that.  And the advice I give to my kids to just say "whatever" when they see someone doing or saying something really stupid.  Yeah, that.  OK, I admit it.  I'm a hypocrite.  

Yes, you could say I'm having a bad day.  Or were you talking "poor" as in monetary issues.  Well, some of that too.  But even if I were a billionaire, I don't see myself spending $13,000 on a pen or $20,000 on a watch (Rolex).

Yes, Gator, they can do whatever they want.  But I was perfectly happy not knowing about it.  I've had an entire day filled with me forcing myself to say "whatever" quite a bit.  It's getting more difficult to just turn a blind eye.  Then I went searching for a pen again during my lunch break and BAM! I get hit with yet another "whatever" moment and I just can't roll my eyes or close my eyes again.  Maybe if I gouged my eyes out so I can have 360 degree awareness...

Edited by Guest

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I'm still reeling from spending nearly $20 on a stupid mug for my husband's Christmas present. I kept telling myself it was Christmas and something he really wanted, but I think I'm gonna make him use that dang mug for EVERYTHING, including gargling mouthwash. TWENTY BUCKS FOR A MUG!!!!

I can't wrap my head around a pen costing more than $20.....

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8 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I've had an entire day filled with me forcing myself to say "whatever" quite a bit.  It's getting more difficult to just turn a blind eye.  Then I went searching for a pen again during my lunch break and BAM! I get hit with yet another "whatever" moment and I just can't roll my eyes or close my eyes again.  Maybe if I gouged my eyes out so I can have 360 degree awareness...

Hmm.  Sorry you're having a bad day.  In my experience, when things like this bother me, something else is going on and I need to figure that out.

Meanwhile, though I don't think about it from one moment to the next, if I did, I could come up with whopping tons of really expensive ways for rich people to spend their money - cars, boats, houses, summer houses, winter houses, chalets in the alps, private jets, vacations, etc. etc.  It's always been that way.  What's one more luxury item?  For me, I just look at it and think, meh, that's not my style.  And then I see the winking nib and can't resist (it's over to my right... I recently cleaned some R&K Solferino out of it).

But if you're gonna go looking for a pen, I recommend Goulet Pens.  Not just to avoid being exposed to extravagance (they do have $5000 pens), but because I believe the owners of this company are really good people - the kind of people I want to help be successful, the kind of people who live Christ-like virtues I admire, and encourage that in their employees...

FWIW, in the realm of fountain pens (which really are all a luxury of some kind, since we don't need any of them), I have encountered inspiring generosity.  One guy, complete stranger, sent me and some other people ink samples which amounted to him spending about $30 per person, just to give gifts to strangers.  Dozens of other people have been sending pens and ink to a school teacher who uses them to reward the top performers in his class.  This kind of gifting is going on all the time, and not just among hobbyists, but the vendors do it too.  In a world that often seems selfish and greedy, this little community is full of amazing generosity.

I recommend looking for some good things, and maybe for what the other thing is that's bugging you...

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

But even if I were a billionaire, I don't see myself spending $13,000 on a pen or $20,000 on a watch (Rolex).

If it helps, I've seen my family doctor at the grocery store, rummaging through the day old bread.

And my wife knows a pretty dang rich couple in Sandy (they own a chain of veterinary hospitals), who have given their children nothing beyond an entry-level job in their company, and maybe some coaching as they worked their own way up.  Not all of their grown kids are wealthy. 

You can find frugal millionaires and billionaires.  

Edited by NeuroTypical

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14 minutes ago, zil said:

But if you're gonna go looking for a pen, I recommend Goulet Pens.  Not just to avoid being exposed to extravagance (they do have $5000 pens), but because I believe the owners of this company are really good people - the kind of people I want to help be successful, the kind of people who live Christ-like virtues I admire, and encourage that in their employees...

Only ordered from them once, but the (relatively cheap - a Plumix and something similar IIRC) pens showed up either pre-tuned or the very best that ever rolled off the low end assembly lines, the ink bottles were well packed and there was a clearly hand written "thank you for your order" note inside.

13 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

If it helps, I've seen my family doctor at the grocery store, rummaging through the day old bread.

I've known a few very well-off people who drove beater cars, did all their own yard work, etc.  Sometimes, it's continuing the habits that got them there, other times they just can't stand to pay extra for something they don't gain that much from, even when they can easily afford to.

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This is what I have discovered about high priced things. 

1. There is a level or rich that makes anything affordable.

2. Rich people buy expensive things as an investment, as they rarely decrease in value, and so they aren't actually purchasing anything, just renting something with a very large deposit.

3. Items are expensive, not because they are intrinsically valuable, but because the cost makes them precious.  An example is the Mona Lisa.  It's only worth the canvas and the paints, and can be fairly easily reproduced for a minimal amount of money.  So, the cost to make or have something that is essentially the same thing, can be achieved.  But, because it is unique, and precious, it is to be preserved.  Someone could buy it, and burn it. If it cost only $100 to purchase, someone might. Or they might hang it in their bathroom, or accidentally leave it outside.  It would be destroyed, except that the price causes the owner to take special care to keep it.  And if they sell it, they want it in the hands of someone who will also have the means and desire to preserve it.  So they price it so high, that only those who will take special care that it not be destroyed are the caretakers of it.

4. There is a certain level of tribal posturing in owning expensive things. You don't buy a Tesla because it is a particularly better ride, or because it's so good on gas mileage, that you are saving money.  No, you buy it to look cool.
 

Edited by bytebear

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Okay, color me stupid, but I'm not getting the outrage. If I'm even a millionaire, and I see a $13,000 piece of art (this pen is not simply for writing...it's a display piece), crafted in limited edition, I might well consider the purchase. Then, when the 77 are sold, and the thing shoots up to $30,000 I might part with it.  Or, if I really like it, I'll display it as the piece of art it is.  No harm, no foul.  If I purchase this pen when I only make a middle class income THEN spiritual counsel might be legitimately thrown my way.  :cool:

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20 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Okay, color me stupid, but I'm not getting the outrage.

I think the idea is: What is "acceptable excess"? At one extreme are those who say that anything beyond the bare necessities of life is an evil indulgence, and that as long as there is even one hungry child on the planet, such things as Ferraris or perhaps running water are simply not acceptable. At the other extreme are those who say, hey, as long as they have gotten their money legally and are spending it legally, there is no moral failing whatsoever in anything at all that they buy or do.

Few of us actually buy into one of these extremes; most of us live somewhere in the middle, recognizing people's right to do as they please with their own money, but also recognizing that at some point, the excess is, well, excessive, and decent people simply should not pay outrageous sums of money for trinkets. That's what I understood from the OP. (And I agree with him.)

Edited by Vort

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13 hours ago, zil said:

Hmm.  Sorry you're having a bad day.  In my experience, when things like this bother me, something else is going on and I need to figure that out.

I recommend looking for some good things, and maybe for what the other thing is that's bugging you...

It's really not anything big.  It's really just a LOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG train of "little" events all building up.  The "moths on the radiator".  Or the straw that broke the camel's back.  Whichever.

13 hours ago, zil said:

In a world that often seems selfish and greedy, this little community is full of amazing generosity.

Thanks, Zil.  It's good to hear stories like that.

13 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

If it helps, I've seen my family doctor at the grocery store, rummaging through the day old bread.

And my wife knows a pretty dang rich couple in Sandy (they own a chain of veterinary hospitals), who have given their children nothing beyond an entry-level job in their company, and maybe some coaching as they worked their own way up.  Not all of their grown kids are wealthy. 

You can find frugal millionaires and billionaires.  

That's what I'm talking about.  During my college years I subsisted on rice, mac n cheese, and ramen.  Many professionals I know today abjectly refuse to eat ramen because it somehow brings back memories of being poor.  But the fact is that I like ramen.  So, whaddup?

7 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Okay, color me stupid, but I'm not getting the outrage. If I'm even a millionaire, and I see a $13,000 piece of art (this pen is not simply for writing...it's a display piece), crafted in limited edition, I might well consider the purchase. Then, when the 77 are sold, and the thing shoots up to $30,000 I might part with it.  Or, if I really like it, I'll display it as the piece of art it is.  No harm, no foul.  If I purchase this pen when I only make a middle class income THEN spiritual counsel might be legitimately thrown my way.  :cool:

Yes, I see your point. And as I thought about it last night, I even thought of the investment idea too.  But as I wrote above, it was mainly a straw that broke the camel's back thing to me.  It's not that I'm going to call for legislation or tell them to repent or whatever.  I just felt like that was such a foolish thing to do that I had to wonder what on earth are they thinking?

 And @Vort summed up my position perfectly.

Edited by Guest

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9 hours ago, Vort said:

I think the idea is: What is "acceptable excess"? At one extreme are those who say that anything beyond the bare necessities of life is an evil indulgence, and that as long as there is even one hungry child on the planet, such things as Ferraris or perhaps running water are simply not acceptable. At the other extreme are those who say, hey, as long as they have gotten their money legally and are spending it legally, there is no moral failing whatsoever in anything at all that they buy or do.

Few of us actually buy into one of these extremes; most of us live somewhere in the middle, recognizing people's right to do as they please with their own money, but also recognizing that at some point, the excess is, well, excessive, and decent people simply should not pay outrageous sums of money for trinkets. That's what I understood from the OP. (And I agree with him.)

 I don't agree. If I worked really hard in life (or yes, just got really lucky) and I want to buy a Ferrari and a house in the Caymans, it's none of your affair. You have no right whatsoever to force me to do something with my money. 

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10 hours ago, Vort said:

I think the idea is: What is "acceptable excess"? At one extreme are those who say that anything beyond the bare necessities of life is an evil indulgence, and that as long as there is even one hungry child on the planet, such things as Ferraris or perhaps running water are simply not acceptable. At the other extreme are those who say, hey, as long as they have gotten their money legally and are spending it legally, there is no moral failing whatsoever in anything at all that they buy or do.

Few of us actually buy into one of these extremes; most of us live somewhere in the middle, recognizing people's right to do as they please with their own money, but also recognizing that at some point, the excess is, well, excessive, and decent people simply should not pay outrageous sums of money for trinkets. That's what I understood from the OP. (And I agree with him.)

This is not a dead-end market.  So, it's better if you don't look at the pen ending up in someone's desk.  Rather, you look at the $13,000 that moved from one guy to the other.  $13,000 can do a whole world of good.  So, the rich guy ended up with "just a pen" whereas... who knows how many people ended up with food in their previously empty bellies because they, all of a sudden, found themselves getting a slice of that $13,000 that previously sat inert in some rich guy's wallet.

I would feel ZERO guilt even if I find myself spending $5B for a gold-plated toothpick... of course, with nothing illegal having occurred in the purchase and assuming I've already taken care of people I care about and I still have $5B to buy a toothpick.  I'm simply handing over the responsibility to the guy who got my $5B to do good with that money... so yes, I'd be interested in the character of the guy who is selling me the toothpick.   At the same time, I feel ZERO guilt if I find myself having sold a gold-plated toothpick that cost me only $500 to make for $5B.  I can feed and clothe an entire country for a year with my almost $5B profit and even make 5 more gold-plated toothpicks for 5 other rich guys to hand over the responsibility of good-doings with their $5B...

It's not the stuff.  It's the people touched by the transaction.  The stuff is just stuff.  It sits at someone's house representing a whole bunch of people that got fed with your act of buying the stuff.  So, my goal in life is to be as rich as I can be so that I have all kinds of resources to touch a whole bunch of people for good in all kinds of ways even if it's only as simple as buying a $5B gold-plated toothpick.

Edited by anatess2

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17 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

So, in summary... I feel ZERO guilt even if I find myself spending $5B for a gold-plated toothpick... of course, with nothing illegal having occurred in the purchase... it's the responsibility of the guy who got my $5B to do good with that money.

Hmmm. The Lord had unencouraging things to say about those who adorn themselves with finery, especially while their fellow beings are not well-provided for. I tend to think a five-billion-dolar gold toothpick, or even a thirteen-thousand-dollar pen, qualify.

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