In negotiations, if your asking price is too high and you want to get rid of your stuff, you lower your asking price. This works for cars. This works for kidnap victims:
Gallatin police are investigating a kidnapping in which the adult victim was dropped off near a Nashville police precinct after ransom demands were not met, Gallatin Police Chief John Tisdale said.
"They asked for several thousand dollars, then reduced their demands as the night wore on," he said.
I'd be scared... and maybe insulted.
"Somebody was calling and making ransom demands," Tisdale said.
The demands were made through the night, with the ransom amount lowered each time, Tisdale said.
..."After he got off the phone, he said, 'Man, I just promised your little sister I wasn't going to kill you.' "
Leave it to an economist to ruin the humor: either the victim provided 0 marginal benefits to his loved ones or the continued ransom lowering gave the victims family and authorities the kidnappers' private information that they really weren't going to kill him.
Here's the Fark tag. Here's the Fark headline:
Two masked kidnappers snatch man, demand $20,000. As the night wore on, the demands kept dropping and finally after getting bitched at by the victim's sister they dropped him off with $23 to show for 24 hours of kidnapping.
Most of the comments are quite good. Here is a good econ one:
You could outsource your kidnapping to some third world nation for that price.