The granite counter fallacy argues that the monetary value of an object is directly proportional to the amount of money that is spent on it. The fallacy lies in the essence that previous monies spent are subject to highly subjective rationale which may not add any practical value to the object. The fallacy is typically deployed with an appeal to novelty (newer is better) fallacy in order to manipulate the audience using current “trends” or “fads” in popular culture where the subject is likely to accept the argument based upon what they believe is “popular” and implies a “higher demand (value)”.
The Granite Counter Fallacy is as follows:
Person A purchases a house and spends x amount of dollars replacing the tile kitchen countertops with granite countertops.
Person A states that the value of the house has now increased because x dollars were spent replacing the tile counters with granite counters.
Person B states that they do not really mind tile countertops and to them, a countertop is a countertop - whether it is made of granite or tile does not change its practical use and therefore adds no real value.
Person A purchases a small house with large backyard for x dollars.
Person A demolishes the house and builds a much larger house with no backyard for y dollars.
Person A claims that the value of the new house is x + y because x dollars were spent on the previous house and y dollars were spent on the new house.
Person B says they prefer a house with a backyard and the lower electrical bills for cooling and heating, thus, the larger house’s added rooms add no real value from their point of view.
The fallacy is in Person A’s assumption that people will assume that a house is worth more than another house because it is larger while failing to understand the practical value that people may see in a smaller home. Such an argument can only work in an environment where the majority of people participate in a trend that unquestionably accepts the notion that a bigger house is better than a smaller house.
Person A purchases a white table for x dollars and a can of black paint for y dollars.
Person A uses all of the black paint to paint the entire table black.
Person A claims that the value of the table has increased to A + B.
The fallacy is in Person A’s failure to acknowledge that the table’s practical value remains unchanged. The reason for any increase in value is based upon the belief that black tables are more popular than white tables which is subject to change as fads come and go.