Rope For Sale
Otavalo, Ecuador, 1975
This photo looks cheap and unprofessional because I took it with my little Instamatic camera when I was a missionary in South America in the 1970s.
The photo is what you think it is.
The couple of people sitting in the center of the photo is selling wares at market.
They are selling rope. Of course, they made the rope. They have been making and selling rope for years. Rope is their business.
Instead of paying for a booth in the town marketplace, at the weekly market, they have set up shop in a gutter on a busy, popular road leading into town.
They have different styles of rope, with different thicknesses and strengths, made from an abundant, and free, local product - hemp. The ropes are strong and long lasting. I noticed this couple every week. They are at market. This is their marketplace, and their office. They are practitioners of free enterprise. Their lunch is in the small basket and they will be open for business all day. What they don't sell will be packed up at the end of the day and returned to inventory.
If any company wants to go to market with any product - good or service - and someone looked up in any basic marketing book how to do it, they would see something like the following:
- What product - good or service - will I sell?
- What is my target market?
- What price should I charge?
- What should I do to advertise my product - good or service?
- Where should I sell my product - good or service?
The couple sitting in the gutter above has ASKED AND ANSWERED those questions. They can make rope. They are set up where they will get good foot traffic. They are advertising their product two ways - it is laid out in the street and they have a reputation (they have been doing this for years). What is their price? You can see they are discussing that with their prospects. The price will vary depending on many things.
What price will be settled on? The LOWEST price the buyer can obtain and the HIGHEST price the seller can get. That is the essence of free market economics. That is the essence of business.
Free enterprise antagonists would call it greed.
Free enterprise protagonists would call it self interest.
That is the way it is. Whatever you call it, that is how economics works.
Do you see any implied force in this photo? Any gubment intervention? Anyone breaking the law?
The sellers are trying to provide themselves a living and the buyers are trying to satisfy a need with discretionary money. Each is left to decide if they want to proceed with the transaction. Whatever you call it, greed or self interest, this is what makes economics go round.
This very process works in a micro-economic fashion for small and large businesses and it works in a macro-economic fashion for countries. Each of the questions ASKED and ANSWERED above must be considered. If not, economics does not go round!
How well a company or country does in the marketplace depends on how well they answer the questions!
Free Enterprise Always Goes To Market