Thursday, September 15, 2016

We are All Millionaires Now

  1. Would you give up all car travel for $250,000? That is, you never get to get into a car ever again. Not to drive, not as a passenger, not to got to work, and no cross-country road trips. For the rest of your life. 
  2. Would you give up all air travel for $250,000? No cross-country visits to see grandma, no spring break in Florida, and no way to backpack across Europe.
  3. Would you give up all TV and movies for $250,000? No superhero movies, no sitcoms, and no soap operas ever again.
  4. Finally, would you give up the Internet for $250,000? Never again during your life would you send an email, check instagram, bid on ebay, view a cat video, or use whatever yet-undreamed-of applications are developed over the next decades. (link)
Some of us would but most would not. These are modern conveniences that did not exist a little over a century ago that most of us enjoy for a cost of a tiny fraction of million dollars. The gap between value and cost has grown enormously. This is largely due to thousands of entrepreneurs profiting from the introduction of thousands of improvements. Each improvement adds value to consumers and competition eventually drives the price of each improvement down to cost. This gap is also why it is so hard to measure changes in real income over time.


  1. Michael,
    Your questions certainly open the room for debate, particular since many of us have become in one way or another dependent in many of these commodities. Here is my view across the 4 outlined questions:

    Would you give up all car travel for $250,000? I certainly can give up on this one, as long as the city/state in which I live in have a good public transportation system, currently I live in a suburban area where traveling by car is a necessity rather than a commodity due to the lack of public transportation services, if that wasn't the case, I would certainly prefer to travel in a public transportation system and avoid the headache of daily traffic.

    Would you give up all air travel for $250,000? This one is certainly an interesting one, no only does this option limits my ability to discover distant places, instead, it might limit the medium by which I get there since now I would have to rely on trains, buses, cars. This would certainly make it more difficult to travel to distance places like Europe, Africa, etc, but is certainly an option that can be justifiable for some of us that dont really enjoy traveling by plane as frequently as other.All in all, for $250,000 is a good option to consider to remain at home (USA) for the remaining of our lifetime.

    Would you give up all TV and movies for $250,000? This one is certainly an easy one, I rarely watch TV or movies...primarily I spend most of my time reading books and I read the new mainly in traditional papers, magazines, or online. The TV or movies have not been a value adder factor in my life since my focus has been center in alternate methods of getting transparent information/entertainment for personal enrichment.

    Would you give up the internet for $250,000? This is a tough one, it certainly make makes of us nervous since the internet has become a dependency across many of our lives. For instance, reading the new, email information, paying bills, taking courses online, interacting with companies has become a primary factor for me to use the internet service. I am not saying it would be impossible to give this one up, but it will certainly impact my day-to-day tasks and surely will increase my level of stress since many of the task that rely upon the use of the internet would now have to be perform manually, a challenge that would impact many of us across the automation process on tasks.

  2. The title of this article "We are all millionares now" seems to express the concept of opportunity cost. For a person who gives up air/car travel, TV/movies, and Internet for a total of $1,000,000 cash; that person would do so at the expense of an incurred opportunity cost of a dollar value greater than $1,000,000.


  3. This is an interesting topic, while some people would quickly answer "yes, I would give all of that up for $xxx.xx" in reality I believe people would truly struggle. We have been spoiled by these oder day conveniences and when thought is really put into it the descision is tough. No more car travel, this seems easy on a small scale. I could ride my bike to work, but what about visiting family which are a couple hours away, I wouldn't be able to visit them. No air travel, you could drive everywhere, but what if there were a family emergency and you are a 24 hour drive but only a 2 hour flight. Is it worth it then? No TV or Internet, these should be the easiest, but then you are giving up group outings to the moves with friends, pictures of family shared on social media and have all the information in the world available in seconds at your fingertips. When you really think about all of these trade offs, the money no longer seems worth it.


  4. When someone is asked whether or not they would give up something or take the money, most would be quick to respond in saying that they would take the money. If you really stop to think about it though, many people in reality would not take the money. As a society, we are too dependent on technology to give it all up for any amount of money. A million dollars isn’t that much when considering the costs of giving up things that make our lives easier such as transportation and the internet. There is too much risk to give up items that we rely on day in and day out. You have to ask yourself, if a million dollars is worth not being able to ever access the internet or ride in a car again. If you were to ask someone 50 years ago if they would take the money, I think more people would be apt to accepting the money because back then there wasn’t as many conveniences as there is today. Today we have an abundant number of entrepreneurs and those that have the drive to make peoples’ lives easier. More and more conveniences are created each day. It can be as simple as a new app on our smart phones. These entrepreneurs are making money while we are choosing simple conveniences rather than money.

  5. As for me, this is a somewhat unreasonable decision to deprive yourself of essential amenities that greatly simplify life, especially for such little money. Such posts often appear on social networks, but as a rule, they demand money from all participants, and this is where it all ends. Children are susceptible to such interactions, as they are very trusting. That is why it is worth knowing how to intercept text messages from another phone without installing software free to protect your children from participating in such scams.