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The paradox of choice, Episode 1

So the child preparation began in earnest this week. And I never thought I had the tendency to maximize, but if I ever had a doubt, it is now erased.

I have managed to eliminate the compulsion to maximize even the most mundane decisions—brunch, for example, no longer becomes the hourlong agony it once was. (I choose between eggs and pancakes and then get the other “on the side” knowing I won’t eat it all.)

But deciding on a shiny new kid hauler has reignited the insanity. We had a temporary reprieve from the mind-eraser, but that poor thing is now someone else’s diamond in the rough.

So we return to the fundamental questions: budget and body style. You might call it a maximizer’s dilemma. Not that anyone actually reads randomlybolded but I am leaning toward a $20,000 sport wagon.

  • SUVs are overpriced (even in this economy) and really not that much bigger
  • Driving dynamics are practically identical to sedan
  • A liftgate might be a bit easier to load, even if the bed doesn’t hold all that much more

Yet even in this “niche” market, we have no fewer than five options: Volvo, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Subaru, and arguably Cadillac and a few others as well.

Capitalism is a maximizer’s self-scourge.