Devaluation through the Desperation of Others

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It stands to reason, if you’re short of money, you’ll often turn to selling your possessions. In these moments are we aware of their true value?

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I can clearly remember my time working for a company, that in order to finance some of the changes and redevelopments it required, needed to release some of its assets. What struck me as significant at the time, was the calm, common sense, displayed by the CEO. During the discussions, relating to the redevelopments, and our ability to finance them, he stated: “We must be cautious to not flood the market or we’re likely to devalue our own assets.”

Acting on his advice, each branch of the company was told to only make certain assets available for sale, and only at certain times. This ensured that availability didn’t become common knowledge and the market wasn’t flooded as a result.

It follows, that even though there may be a level of desperation through necessity, it can never be wise to undervalue your assets, in the belief this will make things easier. You may think it easier to sell your goods, for example, if you reduce them to knock down prices. In the long term though, all this is likely to do, is devalue the goods and services of others.

“It’s a certain fact, the overall effect, in the current financial climate – and subsequent climb of the discount supermarkets – that there is a general reduction in overall standards within the whole retail sector.” 

The CEO mentioned earlier believed in the value of his company’s assets. He understood, over supplying the market, would have the knock on effect of devaluing the company’s assets. This immediately brings to mind the policy of BMW in relation to the Mini. This car is produced in such huge volumes now, that the recent, and general opinion of many, has been expressed in these kind of terms: “Oh, the Mini, it’s not what it used to be, there’s too many about.”

When it comes to numbers, there’s a danger, we’re not seeing here. Consider how many human beings there currently are in the world. Some estimates now place this global population at over seven billion. When we think of this, are we also devaluing ourselves, as a result of our numbers?

How prised is the Northern White Rhino? I would say, at this moment in time, it’s very prised indeed; prised because there are only a few left in the world. Would we value this animal as much if its numbers increased?

Consider China’s conservation program of pandas. So successful has it been, that the status of this animal, has changed from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List.

Apparently this is all down to restoring habitats. I wonder: how long it will take for us to realise that cramming millions of people into confined spaces (our cities) will never be a healthy or natural environment for the human animal?

Further to this, how much longer are we going to maintain such a blasé attitude to overpopulation? Do we need to devalue ourselves any further, so the living become even more expendable than they’re currently seen, by many world leaders?

The sanctity of life is devalued when we fail to understand the numbers. Consider how much food we currently waste here in the UK (it’s not so much the food, it’s the energy we expend in earning money to pay for the food, that’s the real issue). If food were less plentiful, quite obviously, we would waste less. Does this mean we’d then need less money?

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Does it follow, we would value our lives more, if we considered it a privilege to have children rather than a right? Would we value each other more if there were less of us? Is Less More? Would we live better lives if we grew up valued?

Above all, remember: no matter how desperate, don’t sell your services – or prized possessions for that matter – at knock down prices, you just might be doing someone else, a disservice.