Best Ever

I’m not sure I need to ask why people over-value things familiar to them. Is there such a thing and a Pangloss Syndrome: We all live in the best of all possible worlds? For most people, it seems, their nation is the best nation, the best county, province, or state, the best city, town, or village. Perhaps I’m over reaching, but we do tend to value these things as remarkably better than average, and isn’t it nice that we weren’t born somewhere else?

I’m not sure if this affinity runs stronger in different political mindsets, Liberals versus Conservatives or such. Anecdotally, I could see Conservatives hanging on the memory of the good old days, if only it weren’t for X, Y, or Z, this would truly be a great [insert geolocational reference]. Liberals, instead, hang on to the prospect of tweaking a nice foundation and progressively shaping it.

Our village is better than the adjacent ones—except for the ones out of financial reach, but those are populated with those wealthier people, and who could tolerate them; our team is the best team—better luck next year; our schools are the best schools—they try harder.

Behavioural economics demonstrates that people value things they own— endowment effect: even if they didn’t choose the item; even if they had valued it less just moments before they took possession of it. This might likely be explained as an product of evolution, but it feels to have gotten out of hand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s