Higher is not better

I was reading the other day that there are people in low-income areas purposely seeking loans with higher interest rates. They believe that the higher the number is, the better it must be.


These victims of predatory lending are not the only ones.

It was just announced that Obamacare premiums will have a 25% increase next year. You can find people excited about it here.

What’s going on?

It’s marketing. Brilliant marketing at that. People want a story, an internal narrative, that matches their world view. They are buying with emotion, not logic.

We don’t say your Obamacare payments will be increasing or your Obamacare costs are rising. We don’t use words like taxes or charges. No one wants to buy that.

Instead, we call it premiums. Because premiums sounds like a good thing. Your getting an increase in premiums. Your getting more premiums. More must mean better.

(It’s called Affordable Care Act.)

Bad choices are the easiest mistakes to avoid. It seems painfully obvious what people should do. The culture has to do a better job if we are going to build something that we can all be proud of.