D. Randall Faro
2.88 Million and No Sense
“1952 Mickey Mantle Rookie Card Sells for $2.88M” . . . a headline on one of today’s newsfeeds. That’s $2,880,000 and no sense.
In one week I leave for Nepal as part of a 16-person team building two homes for families whose dwellings were demolished by the 2015 earthquakes. As reported by the Nepalese organization coordinating the build, the average monthly income for the two families is $32. Monthly.
The Nepalese average annual per capita income for 2017 is reported as US $862. That’s just under $72/month. Thinking expansively, an income of $300/month ($3600/year) would make the average Nepalese deliriously happy. Using those figures, $2.88M could provide 800 Nepalese families with a very livable income for one year . . . which could also be turned into increased income in future years if managed properly.
In 2016 just short of 90,000 people around the globe died from measles. Stages 1 and 2 measles vaccinations in India total about $15 per person. $2.88M would pay for the inoculation of 192,000 Indian children.
What, in anyone’s mind, makes a baseball card more valuable – WAY more valuable – than helping to make the world a better place? The simple fact that one has acquired millions of dollars in disposable income does not carry with it the moral right to lavish it all upon oneself. Even in our own country there are disadvantaged people who could get a new start in life (education, job training, relocation, health care assistance, etc.) with a helping-hand from those who purchase multi-million-dollar toys.
Granted, almost all of us could do with less and do more for others, and we would do well to regularly reassess our decision-making along these lines. But some actions are so far over the line as to be, in my humble judgment, unconscionable. Using almost three million for a baseball card is one of them.