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Who knew that garage door repairs were so expensive? We just had a spring break on the door – I was thinking it would cost $100 or so to get it fixed. Turns out that the cost to replace the spring system is $618. After writing the check, the irritating little voice in my head tried to justify feeling good about it because, “it would help keep this garage door repair shop in business,” which is obviously good for my local community. It’s hard to believe that even after obsessing about broken windows for so long, I still fall prey to its allure.

Would I have preferred to spend that $618 on garage door springs? Clearly not, since I did not buy new ones before they broke. In fact, I was contemplating purchasing a new bicycle or perhaps taking our family for a short excursion to Maine to see some of the coastline for a few days, watch the whales and eat some lobster. Now, none of that is happening. This brings to mind another common nag of people – that if goods were produced with longer lives, then there would be no need to buy things over time – so it is better for an economy if products do not last very long. A little common sense is again in order. It just does not past the smell test to suggest that products that wear out quickly are in any sense “better” than products that last a long time. I suppose a game theorist could conjure up an example where short-lived products encourage more innovation, but call me unconvinced – largely because our wants are limitless. If I never had to replace a single thing in my house, perhaps the market for home repair men would be thinner, but I would be none the less happy for it. We’d probably buy ourselves a nice boat, eat out a few more times per month, and attend more hockey games. Would employment and profits in those areas not be higher?

To recap:

  • As of last week, our family had $618 in the bank and we had a working garage door.
  • Today, our family has $0 in the bank and we have a working garage door.

Sounds a little like what is going to happen to us after the health care “reform” is rammed down our throats.

One Response to “Broken Garage Door Fallacy”

  1. Jennifer R says:

    Sorry, I just had to chuckle… you sort of put yourself in that pickle, being out the $618.00. With all the DIY help on internet, you may have done the job yourself for $100.00 and then maybe just taken a shorter trip to Maine! I have replaced the springs of my old style garage door with a little help from my son who was 11 at the time, but if it was the newer style, then again, it’s not so hard, you need a drill and the ability to count the turns. Perchance did you watch the work being done and saw how simple it was and that is what is the underlying cause of disgust about the cost? just wondering.

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