Should You Be Allowed to Buy Plastic Fish Brake Lights?
I am a firm believer in consumer choice — an individual’s utility and society’s economic welfare are maximized if people are free to buy whatever they want (so long as others are not forced to sell it to them).
Nonetheless, an amazing number of egregiously nonsensical devices are marketed because people (for some reason) have preferences for them and are willing to pay the going price.
Yesterday I saw a good candidate for the most nonsensical good on the market.
The car in front of me braked; in addition to the brake lights two lights appeared in the eyes of a plastic fish that had been wired to the brake-light mechanism, and the fish’s tail waggled back and forth too.
In addition to a price of $24.99 and shipping cost, it took the owner’s valuable time to install the device. I imagine everyone has his/her own example of something as silly, but my prize goes to this one.
Nonetheless, while I question the owner’s taste and good sense, I don’t question their right to throw away their money on this device — and nobody should question my right to spend my money on a BluRay player, which will surely give me lots of consumer surplus even at today’s high price.