There always seems to be something of an inverted scale when it comes to "market price" versus "intrinsic value." The less something is really worth the more we seem to be willing to pay for it; the more actual usefulness it has the more we object to the price.
Take so-called art "masterpieces" which commonly sell for millions of dollars -- only to hang in museums or someone's mansion. No one has actually asked my opinion on the subject, but I suspect "Art" may be the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting populace.
Then there is jewelry, especially diamonds. These are advertised for thousands of dollars as if they were worth something. If they are so "valuable" how come we see stories of rich folks pawning them for ten-cents on the dollar in order to stay in their homes and buy stuff like food? And, when was the last time a jeweler pointed out that the cartel controlling the diamond mines dare not sell too many at once for fear the price will collapse?
And, don't even ask me about money spent for entertainment, sports, etc., etc., etc.
The commodity we really need, which we cannot actually live without, is the very thing we want to place the lowest "value" on. Objections are immediately raised at any talk of raising the price for something seen as unlimited and which always been cheap. That commodity, of course, is water.
Water is the single most important "value" on earth; life itself cannot continue without it. No city, country, or civilization has ever outgrown its water supply. Brazil Indiana is where it is because there was water here.
It is no secret, though, the city faces water problems: The pipes which bring it to us are leaking; reports say many of the meters don't work right; and in case you were away for the past month, those leaking pipes have a tendency to break! I've sometimes wondered what will happen first with our notorious water tower -- spring a leak or rust away?
All these evils have to be related somehow to not enough money going into the city water company to do anything about the problems. According to a report in the Brazil Times rates have not been increased since 1993.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time to pay the price for something that actually has worth -- our water supply. When the Common Council of the City of Brazil meets to consider what to do about our water problems, we are going to have to support whatever they decide. We may not like it in the short run, but making the hard and unpopular choices is what we hired them to do. If you don't like what they do, run for office yourself next time around (so we can all complain about you). In the meantime we need decisions and we need actual action. The future of our community, the future of our own quality of life, depends on what we are willing to pay for water.
Masterwork No. 5 1948 by an artist named Jackson Pollock -- $140 million
The Hope Diamond (too large for the gaudiest decoration) -- $16 million (more or less)
Water for 20 family members home for Christmas -- Priceless
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.