Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Cash for Gift Cards" machines illustrate why sometimes giving gifts is stupid.

The other day I was in Stop & Shop returning a movie to Redbox.  All of a sudden, this other similar looking machine magically appeared out of nowhere.  OK not really, but it wasn't there when I rented the movie the day before.

Moving on, I'd be totally fine if we lived in a society with much less emphasis on gift giving.  The concept of it is illogical to me in some situations (for the people near and dear to me, notice how I said "some," not "all").

I spend money on you to get you something you probably don't really want, you do the same for me, but in reality we'd both be happier just keeping our own money and buying what we actually do want for ourselves.

The existence of this "cash for gift cards" machine supports my theory.

You can't think of a gift so you basically just give me money, but reduce its value by limiting it to a specific location.  I can't even be bothered to spend the money at said location, so I reduce its value even more by converting it back to less cash that you originally spent.

Then the same thing happens in reverse, and we're both just left with less money than we started with.

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