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  • Writer's pictureKirk

The Value of Things


Whenever I travel, I'm always forced to the decision of what is the value of things. How much should I pay for something? Should it be a taxi ride, hotel room, or purchasing something from a local market. I know it seems strange, but the value of an identical item is different depending on where you are. Local markets determine prices.

So if you live in New York City and you are used to paying US$50 for a 30 minute taxi ride, you might be inclined to think you should pay the same other places of the world. You might be shocked to discover that that same $50 taxi ride is less than five dollars in other parts of the world.


It is often the local economy that determines the value of things. Especially things in the service sector. That's because labor prices largely determined the price in the service Arena.


But commodities are different. Then it depends what the commodity is. If you're buying food, that often is determined by the local economy as well, especially if the food is grown in that country. But if food is imported, you can often expect to pay Western prices, or may be a little less in some cases.


As I've mentioned in another post, I usually research the area I'm going to visit in terms of what I should pay before I enter the country. It's best to know before you begin negotiations what a fair price is.

But value is a funny thing. I mean how much is a good piece of art worth? Who really knows? Who determines that other than the market? I've never attended an art auction, but it seems that art is often sold to the highest bidder. But even before the auction starts, there's usually a suggested price that they should sell for. How is that determined?


Value is often associated with rarity. For example, what about the price of gold? Although the gold market is largely manipulated by the big players and countries, such as China, gold is always held a high value. But why? Mostly it is just used in jewelry for the purposes of the majority of the world. Why is a gold necklace more valuable than a silver necklace? Well, the answer to that is mostly in the rarity of the metal.


What makes gold valuable began many many billions of years ago. The story takes place deep within a star. Before the first stars were formed, the only elements in the universe were hydrogen, helium, and lithium, perhaps some traces of beryllium as well. But when stars were formed, the fusion process, exhausted all of the hydrogen, and heavier elements, such as iron and nickel, and oxygen were formed. But to get to the really heavy elements, such as gold, it took significant more energy to produce. All of the gold that we know was produced by the massive energy within an exploding star. As a percentage of all of the elements, it is a very very low percent. Thus the rarity of gold today.

Although gold also has some practical applications, it has always been valuable even before those practical applications existed. It's often been used as a form of currency throughout the centuries. Really its value is a subjective thing. If gold fell out of favor tomorrow because people didn't like the looks of it, the value of it would plummet, just as the price of tulips did in the Netherlands in 1637.


As I age more, and as I travel more, I have noticed that the value of things change. I'm not willing to pay high prices for things I used to years ago. For example, I will not pay $75 for a dinner out somewhere for two people. I know that's a reasonable price to pay for most people today, maybe even low in many places, but it just doesn't have that value to me anymore. Mostly because I don't even enjoy eating out so much anymore. I really hate the part of waiting around for a bill I don't want to pay, then figuring out a tip for a tipping system gotten out of hand (I remember when 10% was a suggested tip amount but it's doubled in my lifetime). I would rather eat at my house. So I don't value the experiences as I once did.

Same thing for going to the movies. I would refuse to pay the high prices today they charge for movies, plus the added on popcorn and drinks which is at extortion type prices. I just don't enjoy the experience that much. Others do, and that's perfectly fine for them. we all determine what has value in our lives.


But what I find more and more as I travel more and as I age more, as I've said before, the things with the highest value are the things that are often free. Just enjoying a beautiful sunrise, or a sunset, being on top of a mountain overlooking a lake, these tend to take on more value today. Or simply interacting with people of a different culture, things that don't cost a dime.

I hear many other people as they age say the same things. They don't seem to find much value in things as they get older. But instead realize the simplicity and beauty of life is sufficient.




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Roger Wells
Roger Wells
25 mar
Obtuvo 5 de 5 estrellas.

I couldn’t agree more. 👏👍🤔

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Kirk
Kirk
25 mar
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Thanks Roger!

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
24 mar
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I don't think you could put a value on things such as sunsets mountains oceans. Beauty is hard thing to put a price tag on. Everyone has a different value on these things but they al hold a significant value

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Kirk
Kirk
25 mar
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Agreed!

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