Since you "get" his point, perhaps you can explain it.
Your argument is an enthymeme. It's missing a/some premiss(es).
Are you being difficult, or do you honestly not understand?
I'm not sure. Make it explicit.
You wrote a paragraph indicating a lower likelihood of a certain profile to be a good provider than a straight-laced counterpart, stated that such stereotyping can be helpful in avoiding trouble, then asked for the cost of a tattoo to be weighed against two other options seemingly in connection with the prior points.
Buying an expensive luxury car is, like a tattoo, a frivolous expenditure weighed against the other two options, yet the difference in cost between that luxury car and a more sensible model of equal utility is much greater than $600. If the level of money involved goes up, doesn't whatever risk of trouble we are evaluating go up as well?
It was a question, not an argument,
It depends upon if the purchase of the car IS a frivolous expenditure and what else he's doing with his time. If he's a generous donor to public broadcasting and various good causes, I wouldn't begrudge him buying a nice car.
I don't know how it is where you are, but in American business, in some some job fields being successful is hard without looking successful. You probably won't be able to sell that $170 million condo block if you show up to give a prospective client a tour in a 10 year old Chevrolet.
So, if the car is a business deduction, I'd say it's okay. If he's harming his family with a frivolous expenditure, that's not right.
Now, let's take the case of a woman who is low in income, has children and wants more. It would appear that $600 spent on a skill which is likely to raise her income and provide a better life for her children would seem a better investment than a butt decoration. In fact, it's hard to think of a tattoo as an investment unless she wants to become a Suicide Girl.
The point of 'expensive luxury' was to reference cars costing in excess of norm, which is to say vehicles which surpass professional requirements (even for appearance) in all but the most exceptional cases. That is to say you are not driving the $55k Audi, but the $130k Audi.
Even if we acknowledge a place where one really needs to flash that sort of professional image, we have analogs with tattoos. Some audio engineers for high profile recording artists also seem to reflect the culture of the music they record (punk, rock, hip hop etc.). Just like your example of the businessman, the presentation of a certain image may not be strictly necessary, but that doesn't mean it isn't of value.
However, that sort of brings me to the broader point. If, when selecting our relationships, we picked people out if lineups, perhaps your point on prejudice would be quite valid. People with tattoos may statistically average out to be less reliable or more risky.
But even in a simple scenario regarding the car, you couldn't answer without adding back stories. Your first words were, "It depends upon...". Well, I will say the same thing applies with tattoos.
I happen to know lost of people with tattoos, most of which at various points in their life dressed punky, or thuggish. Most have post secondary degrees already, secure employment with benefits, donate to charity. Probably more than half make more that $50k/ year (some much more). One who doesn't make that much has gone back to school so that he can work as a police officer, and volunteers with at risk youth in his free time. He's a good husband and a home-owner. Another had taken on the role of father to his girlfriend's two children when he was perhaps eighteen or nineteen, and by all accounts has been very faithful and committed in that role.
Most of the people I know who could fit the rougher, tatted image happened to be very good investments in terms of relationship potential.
Anecdotal? Exceptions to the rule? That's the point. It comes down much more to my circles of association than it does having prominent tattoos, which is a fairly arbitrary measure weighed against most other characteristics. All other things being equal, maybe tats are a useful indicator of some unsavoury personality type, but all other things are rarely equal.
This sounds similar to questions about 'marginal utility'.
Would greater 'utility/value' be created by giving $600 to a poor woman on welfare, or a rich yuppie? I expect a finer question might involve a similar choices between:
'a tattoo above my ass..'
'a college course..'
'a charitable donation..'
Sadly among these I would just about always include a very large list of 'other choices', which would demand some deeper thought...;p)
Picture yourself in your most ridiculous, outlandish 80s hair style. Now picture you cannot change it - EVER!
I've been told (by a girl with a tattoo) that tattoos can be removed. Someone else told me that IT REALLY HURTS!
Current methods use lasers (usually) to break down the inks much faster than would naturally happen. I don't know how much this specific process hurts, but I hear it's not much fun regardless, and the successfulness of the technique varies.
A number of other techniques I have heard of involved dermabrasion, the use of acid, and surgical removal. They all sound like they leave new scars, so you'd have to really want that tattoo gone.