Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Free Enterprise Provides Stuff You Do Need, And Plenty Of It

“I wanta buy stuff.  Stuff I don't need.  Stuff settin' out there, you jus' feel like buyin' it whether you need it or not.  Uncle John.”

John Steinbeck (1902-1968) - from The Grapes of Wrath

Does that quote not just comment on the human condition?  Is that not a great free enterprise quote?

Uncle John is just like the rest of us.  How many of us have stuff in our homes that we bought but don't need?  Buying it was a whim. It was an impulse buy.  

Notice how some things in stores are put right where you walk in or on the way to the cash registers?  The stores are hoping for impulse buying!  And they're good at it.

We all have our definition of rich.  Be it income or what is put away "in the bank," we all seem to have our definition of rich.

Reading this you might have yours, and I bet it differs from mine.  And the other guy's.

As to this being a good free enterprise quote, why not?  What does free enterprise do?  It provides opportunity to offer "stuff" - goods and services - to a market hopefully full of buyers who will want that stuff.

And sometimes the stuff is really dumb, or offered at a prime moment in time during which it would be purchased.  We look back on some fad purchases now and really wonder why.

Remember the Pet Rock?  Mood rings?  Go Go Boots?  Flower stickers?  Did you ever buy Sea Monkeys?  I HAD to have an ID bracelet in junior high school.  I still have it!  I'm going to bet, but don't know, that the multi-colored, cover-the-entire-body-with-tattoos fad will upset a lot of people in a few years who have them now.  Or the huge-hole earrings.

Some fad purchases seem to hang on.  Who doesn't have the big nose with black mustache and glasses combo?  Go on, admit it.

That's what free enterprise is all about!  The freedom to offer a good or a service and a free market responds.  Socialist-depressed societies don't seem to come out with too much of those faddish things.  They have enough problems coming up with enough basic consumer goods and services, like toilet paper, or healthy meat, or medicine.  There is no socialist world-wide contribution of inventions and improvements because there is little basic. When you can't provide the basics, how can there be contribution to the world?

Free enterprise provides stuff you don't need, "stuff settin' out there, you jus' feel like buyin' it."  Not only that, but

Free enterprise provides stuff you do need, and plenty of it.

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