Zoo Station

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Looking at it, another way…

Posted by Chance on August 22, 2006

Here’s a situation. What if a business was coming to town that would provide jobs for many middle class workers? Say about a thousand or two thousand? In addition, it would make products much cheaper for the middle class. Let’s say the cost of living for the middle class, including groceries, yardwork supplies, and even a movie for the family to watch, decreases?

But wait, there’s a catch. If this store comes in, many of the rich shopowners will lose their jobs. People will support the new store, providing jobs for the middle class, because it helps their middle class cost of living. But, 20 rich people will lose their jobs, and 1000-2000 jobs will be provided for the middle class.

Would you support the existence of this new business?

But let’s change it around a little bit. Let’s knock the classes down one notch. Instead of the store providing jobs for the middle class, it provides for the lower class. And many of the customers are members of the lower class, not the middle. And the people losing their jobs are not rich shopowners, but middle class ones.

Does this change anything, and why?


2 Responses to “Looking at it, another way…”

  1. Dan Trabue said

    See my latest response to “What real power does Walmart have?” below.

    As you are pointing out, economic systems are complex, multi-layered realities. Simple laissez-faire is not a good solution. And I’m not saying I have any one-size-fits-all solutions, either.

    I DO think that working to find ways to implement TRUE costs/removing hidden costs is one step in the process.

  2. Chance said

    Dan, I’ll be honest, your response to the previous post shows some of the ugly side of free trade. I haven’t done enough research on international economics to really counter. The main point of this particular post is concerning the loss of jobs in the local economy. As far as trade, it is something worth looking into.

    “As you are pointing out, economic systems are complex, multi-layered realities. Simple laissez-faire is not a good solution. ”

    I agree that it is a complex situation, but I don’t think the complexity points to the need for more government control. (note, I am primarily addressing the local economy right now ) In fact, because it is so complex, I trust more in the free market in this situation. 200 jobs for the middle class, or 2000 for the lower class? Higher wages for workers, or lower cost goods for customers? I don’t feel that I have the ability to make such decisions; do you? Since we have an objective system to make those decisions, I trust in that. And I don’t think it is doing a bad job. I’ll have to relook it up, but Wal-Mart causes a loss of 5 billion in wages (with respect to what I am not sure) but causes 50 billion in customer savings. It adds jobs for the lower classes while taking jobs away from the middle-to-upper class, but the latter is much more employable somewhere else.

    With that being said, the international/trade issues are something to ponder. I think on the national level though, there is no “moral” right or wrong. In my view.

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