When we treat our home as an investment instead of a place to raise our family, how does it change the way we view our neighbor when they park an old RV in the driveway?
What happens when we view the Dow Jones as the health of the economy?
What happens when we measure ourselves by our bank accounts? How does that change our decision-making?
There are many ways to measure. Money is just one of the easiest.
In a classic example, before Ford shipped the Pinto it discovered that at low speed collisions, it could potentially cause gasoline to spill and start a fire.
The three devices Ford tested cost $1, $5 and $11. After Ford ran a cost-benefit analysis measuring “the cost of safety parts versus the cost of lives lost,” it was decide not to include any of them.
As a result, 500 people burned to death because of this shortcut.
If we view everything we do from a financial standpoint, well, then we are in a race to the bottom.
In a race to the bottom, we treat people as statistics, we assign value by profit and we try to quantify happiness.
The problem with a race to the bottom is that you might win. But you probably won’t, which makes it even worse.