Sunday, October 29, 2006

Micro Economic Study 1983-2006

Some things are hypothetical only. Like the effects of cheap (read exploited impoverished workers, some children)Chinese labour on the economies of the so-called First World. This was brought into my face in cold hard reality the other day. One of my basic philosophies is that I don't buy big box (Wally World, Home Despot, etc.) and that sometimes results in a so-called 'deprivation' for me (read frustrated consumer with deferred gratification psychosis).

So when a flyer arrives in my email announcing a sale of cappucino makers at Canadian Tire at $24.99 the other day, I just about raced up there. My cappucino maker, given to me by my children in 1983 had been smashed to bits, by accident, by a friend about 10 years ago and I had lived in the desire of a new one ever since. I had never seen one on sale in a non-Big Box store since then. So I secured and tested my new cappucino maker and felt smug and satisfied with my 'bargain'.

However, it set me to thinking of the old cappucino maker and how my kids had saved up for it to make it a really special gift and it had cost them around $250.00 over 20 years ago. Now in the terms of today's dollars that would be over $1,000.00. And here I obtain a very similar maker (actually more streamlined and smooth looking)for the pocket change of $25.00. Good on me.

But wait - at the cost of how many local jobs, how many Canadian/American workers? There is suddenly nothing to gloat over, some Chinese child putting the streamlined bits of my coffee maker together? I look at the unit and ponder on all of this. This micro-image of global market distortion and wonder when the Chinese people will claim their rightful and abundant place on this fragile planet.

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