When I thought about “money illusion” I realized that many of our own big decisions regarding where to eat are driven by nominal dollar amounts. Those edible decisions as I like to call them, tend to spill over into where we want to live, what rent we would be willing to pay and how much we want to spend on transportation to get to that amazing restaurant we always wanted to try. Recently there was a case in the news about a guy that is suing McDonalds because the price of a combo meal actually was more expensive than buying the items individually. Now clearly this individual has a lot of time on his hands, but really when you think about it, the neighborhoods we go to and live in here in Seattle are mostly desirable according to their dining options, and if you feel like you’re being ripped off no matter what the actual dollar amount is, you will most definitely not eat, live or patronize that establishment or neighborhood. Perhaps the solution is a version of “food control” as comparable to rent control. Free markets would dictate I could technically charge $700 for a Fois Gras Pizza, but should there be a local council willing to immediately take some sort of legal action against this kind of deceptive price gouging, people won’t feel the need to pass by the neighborhood out of principle.
Why would I want to live on Capital Hill? Well because I could hit up Momiji for it’s amazing late night happy hour menu, or Katsu Burger for its overpriced yet delicious Japanese burgers. I may even sit for a fine aged Whiskey at Cannon for the ambiance, all depending on how I’m feeling about what I want to spend on dinner. The bottom line is I don’t feel like I’m getting a raw deal, and I’m getting more than what I paid for. Why would I want to live in Ballard? Not just because the most amazing Mexican restaurants on the West Coast (Gracia and Asaderio Sinaloa) are within a block of each other, but because if I’m feeling like I’m on a budget I’ll just grab a number 14 with extra tendon at Than Brothers right along the way. According to my Animal Spirit therefore I should be moving to Chinatown in the very near future.