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Capitalism And Backscratchers

by | Sep 26, 2017

I’d like to relate a blog-appropriate anecdote concerning an epiphany I just experienced.  The other day I saw a backscratcher for sale at the store.  It was a metal hand, with a telescoping rod, connected to a plastic handle.  The display rack containing these scratchers held a variety of color options.  The whole thing made me think: “This wasteful culture we live in and its stupid junk.  Can someone please explain why I would ever buy such a thing?”

Just tonight, I was walking around my apartment, and suddenly my back really started itching.  Without thinking, I tried to scratch it.  After a minute, I realized, this itch wasn’t getting scratched.  For the life of me, I couldn’t reach it.  Then I thought of the red, yellow, blue, green, pink, white and black backscratchers on that rack.  I wanted one!  I knew where it would go in my apartment, when I didn’t need it.

Do you think the Soviets would have ever made these things?

The point being that demand for such a thing exists, but it exists few and far between, where you don’t think about or anticipate your need until you realize you don’t have what you really need.  Somehow, the market allows for discovery of this demand, and marketing towards it such that this is a product that ends up getting made.  It’s as if the market can read our minds.

What’s better, that, or a commissar who makes a list on a piece of paper of what he figures we need?

Zack Sorenson

Zack Sorenson

Zachary Sorenson was a captain in the United States Air Force before quitting because of a principled opposition to war. He received a MBA from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan as class valedictorian. He also has a BA in Economics and a BS in Computer Science.

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