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The smaller the number, the bigger the Ego

Would you like for your car number more than an average Swiss annual salary? Not determined. That would be a nice economic nonsense. And yet, the road traffic o

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The smaller the number, the bigger the Ego

Would you like for your car number more than an average Swiss annual salary? Not determined. That would be a nice economic nonsense. And yet, the road traffic office of the Canton of Zurich last year, to bid for the number ZH 987 the incredible total of 152'000 Swiss francs. All of which are considered to be empty, now hold on to the air: Currently, ZH 505 is for sale!

What moves men to such auctions to bid? (Yes, only men – women do not care for that sort of thing.) It is obvious that this is just a waste of money. The headlines end with question marks, the readers are outraged. The answer is simple: It is conspicuous consumption. Consumer, affluent for the Welfare of your socio-economic Status of the signal. So it's about Splurge.

three things are important. Firstly, the consumed Good has to be visible to all. The road traffic office know. It could also offer a driver's license out of pure Gold. But the would not sell, because driving licences are invisible in the wallet stuck. Secondly, it must be an "honest Signal" – so it must be difficult to forge. With a Rolex you can't specify today, because there are probably more fake than real. Of course you can fake car numbers, but with one foot in jail – there it is set then. Thirdly, the Well rarity should have value. If suddenly all would drive around with three-digit Nümmerli, so the Signal would be no Signal. But banal.

Unimportant two characteristics, which we as consumers, otherwise very much value in conspicuous consumption. The Well must have no functional advantage of a material value. The car number might as well be made of ivory or made of Meissen porcelain – the difference to the normal plate would not be visible, the signal would be equal to zero.

Female peacocks do not mate with males that fly at the threat. But for those that have a great status symbols.

A conspicuous Signal, in a clearly visible, but not functional. An animal that comes to mind for you? Exactly, the peacock. The peacock's tail is the key, if we want to understand why men depth numbers on your car want to screw up. Actually, the peacock should be extinct a long time ago. But he is not, because, apparently, it is for its reproductive success is more important to signal strength, as to be able to fly away. Many a peacock has paid for this prioritization with life. But the female peacocks do not mate just like with males, the flying threat. But with those that have large, beautiful status symbols. Peacock and humans are more similar than you think.

Now, one might think that the financial excesses in car numbers auctions were absurd, but rare and therefore insignificant. But, in truth, an entire industry of conspicuous consumption, the luxury goods industry is alive. These blooms, because a large part of the consumption decisions is associated with the unconscious desire to signal wealth and Status. In the year of 2018, this was the wish of the consumers a whopping 260 billion euros worth in the world. At least, because this figure does not yet include luxury variants are normal goods, such as Carbon-fibre bicycles, Stradivarius violins, Ferraris or exclusive car number plates. Should we make fun of the buyers of ZH 505, wants to buy with money? No, because to apply anything, is a deeply male, uh, human need.

validity means the acceptance of a social group, and without acceptance of any comes. However, we should ask ourselves whether it really makes sense to auction the car numbers. It is a particular unproductive kind of conspicuous consumption. If the state is unproductive application promotes consumption and demonstrative waste of money, it increases the perception of social inequality, and drives a wedge in the cohesion of our society. How do you see that?

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 03.02.2019, at 22:41

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