People spend too much on babies and learning. We perceive an urgency or risk, and so we let our guard down and accept what the salesman tells us.
“Don’t skimp on a new car, your child’s life is at risk.”
On the one hand, we need to buy quality goods. There is such a thing as an unsafe car. But Mercedes isn’t the only company that makes safe ones. Brand new cars (with brand new car payments) aren’t the only ones that are safe either.
“Buy the $200 text book (and pay extra for online access to the homework problems) or you won’t be able to get a good grade in class. “
Has any topic of undergraduate thermodynamics really changed in the last decade? Why do we keep making new, more expensive books? Do they actually instruct more effectively than their predecessors?
Why would we create an online system that can give a learner instant feedback, and then charge an additional access fee? Imagine if the faculty of your school started charging extra if you wanted your homework and exams graded.
“I know this is expensive, but it’s for my education.”
We allow the importance of a thing to silence our wisdom. If something is important enough, we can be convinced to spend any amount on it, regardless of the actual return on investment.