More than just cars - I'm in the online industry stuff, do you see how much money is thrown around - even now in this "GFC" - without any investigation? It's kinda ridiculous. Tonight I was chatting to a chick I met and she's just signed up to get a website done for $20k - sure $20k isn't much money for a company/govt, but she's a solo operator, so I broke it down for her - ie the average wage in Oz is what - $60k? - so that's enough to hire an average intelligent "office professional" for 4 months.
I asked what she wanted out of it - 90% of it is something I could slap together over a few bottles of wine. Not that I want the work, the point is no matter the industry - there are still people outlaying 10-100 times what something is worth without doing even the slightest due diligence, just trusting the person who's selling it to them.
What you're saying is right but what you're leaving out is equally as important. Just as much as there are a number of your $20k website people paying way too much for their stuff, there are 20 x times that number of suppliers for the service the punter consumes. We have moved away from the manufacturing economy and into a service based economy and everyone has "consultants disease". There is a perception that you can make your fortune and everyone elses by providing a non tangible "advice" based product.
With no specific tangible goods being handed around, and a high level income expectation from our ever growing workforce who simply shuffle paper or move electronic signals around, the end user has to pay the 100% markup to support the towering infrastructure above them.
Anyway, I know a lot of you guys are techies who generate your income by selling intangibles, but there can only be so much intangible product change hands before you need some sort of tangible goods to provide "real time" value to the economy. At the moment, Australia sees itself as a service based economy outside of the mining industry and I wonder if we have the population, demand and geographic positioning to support that view? If we dont, then we have to demand higher and higher prices from ourselves to fund our living standards.