Suppose you run a business of your own. Maybe you make beautiful Adirondack Guide Boats.
Now these boats are gorgeous and extremely well crafted. A simple model will run you about $5,000. You can get them rigged up with a mast and sail and some other goodies and probably have it run up to about $10,000. At the end of a particularly successful year it is revealed that you made $2 million in profits. Doesn’t this mean that if you decided instead to organize your business as a non-profit, or if the authorities did away with the disgusting idea of profits, that these dandy boats would cost consumers $2 million less?
Such is the thinking of many an economic laymen. Look around you at the store. Watch the envy of your neighbors when they discuss the success of certain local businesses. Watch the contempt that profits are discussed by the political class and in the media. And then ask the following question, “how many millions more would these gorgeous boats cost without the prospect of our craftsmen earning profits in the first place?” Would we even have such beautiful boats?
For an insight into the answer, check this out.
I remember when Revell came out with a plastic model of the space shuttle, the Russians copied it in an unsuccessful effort to skip the design of the shuttle’s shape.
Beauty. One hopes Wintercow has already hired a guide to fish for dinner. Better yet, someone has hired Wintercow as a guide in his boat.
Even better would be if the customer were a Keynsean from Princeton. I can visualize Wintercow hooking a frog on the hook and pulling out Economic Sophisms, saying, “If you are a fast reader, you might get through two paragraphs. Just remember to wait a few beats before you set the hook.”
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat fish today, but trade a fish for some venison and you’ll eat, too.
Teach a man to fish and he’ll buy fishing equipment, travel 900 miles to East Grand Lake, rent an Adirondack boat at Rideout’s Fishing Camp, and hire a guide, for a net 3.2 jobs saved or created. Is spending on fishing instruction stimulative or what?
Teach a government employee about fishing, and he will want a job with the Fish and Boat Commission.
Go fishing with Barack Obama, and you’ll ride to Jackson Hole on Air Force One, stay at Harrison Ford’s house in Kelly, and eat lobster and Kobe beef at the Wort Hotel. Then Obama will lie about the fishing at his next news conference. “The fishing was not as good as we expected. We caught just one rainbow trout, a variety of trout that exhibits a variety of sexual preferences, as opposed to the Cutthroat Capitalist trout that live in the Yellowstone. George Bush and Dick Cheney fished the same Snake and Gros Ventre Rivers for eight years, and there are no fish left. Not only that, but they drove the boat into a ditch, and we had to pull it out. That took a lot of time. But my administration will cut off all irrigation water in Jackson Hole so the endangered Rainbow fish will return, at a cost of $500,000 per fish. We’re making progress here. Really.”
Give a Republican a fish and he’ll trade it for spending cuts at Cabelas in ten or twelve years.
Teach a Randist how to fish, and he’ll shrug, stop working and go fishing.