"Happy Mother's Day! Here's 25 cents on the dollar."
Seeing this limited edition "Premium" Starbucks gift card almost makes me incredibly angry. The idea that Starbucks thinks we're so stupid that we would buy $50 worth of Frappuccino at an insane 400% mark-up makes me want to throw my desk out the window... until I remember that we actually are that stupid. The very fact that they're selling this makes me think that they ran the numbers and figured out just how many imbeciles they can trick into handing a metal and ceramic (metal and ceramic?!) gift card to their mothers next month.
In a perverse way, Starbucks kind of has to sell a $50 gift certificate for $200. If they know that they can fleece an easy $147 (let's assume the card itself is worth $3 in materials—that's a generous assumption) from their dumber patrons, aren't they kind of obligated to do so? If people want to give you money for no good reason, it would be anti-capitalist to rebuke them.
The thing is, we're not used to seeing consumerism in such a pure form. We always buy products for waaaaay more than their actual value. (Go to any nerd convention and watch otherwise intelligent people trading hundreds of dollars for mass-produced pieces of plastic garbage.) Usually, it's just a little covert than this.
Anyway, if you want to buy your own beloved mother a Limited-Edition Mother's Day Premium Starbucks Card, act now while supplies last!