COTD: Arbitrage Edition

The great thing about money — a concept up there with the wheel, indoor plumbing, and coffee in the development of human civilization — is that can be converted. It can be changed, exchanged, used for trade, banked for later use: it's endlessly flexible.

And you can also do some pretty sweet stuff with it, like use it to buy a 427 Cobra or spend it on a vacation or invest it in the hopes that your acquisition will become more valuable and you'll end up with even more than you started. (Ask Ray about his Apple stock.) Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

Doesn't always work that way, though.

Sometimes what you buy doesn't keep its value. Sometimes you get outright robbed. And sometimes you eventually figure out that you did something sort of dumb, and you really should have gone with the one your soul wanted and not the one that was $200 cheaper. Gotta listen to your intuition, gotta have a feel for the collective unconscious. It knows.

And so does For Sweden, who issues a statement of unimpeachable logic in regards to life, money, collective responsibility, and garage elevators:

You can buy a new Toyota Camry and a new car lift, or "car elevator," for the price of a Toyota Camry Hybrid.

With the Camry's hybrid power train, you're investing in open-pit mining, extremely energy-intensive processing, and fuel savings that will take years to justify the extra expenditure.

With the car lift, you save space in your garage, have a greater ability to save money by performing your own regular maintenance, save you back by not crawling around on the floor when making those repairs. But most importantly, unlike the hybrid power train, your lift is compatible with any car, including your neighbor's car. The car lift is a much more prudent purchase for your community than a hybrid power train.

So if you want to reduce mining, reduce your dependency on auto-repair corporations, and make life better for everyone in the community instead of just yourself, don't by a hybrid; buy a car elevator.

Photo Credit: Lars Plougmann