Monday, January 13, 2014

What do you bring to the Table?

Home Ec

A fellow blogger recently posted an essay on Home Economics.

"Home Economics" is redundantly named.  Economics is derived from the Greek word Oikos, which means "Home".   Language wise, most of us are English-centric and are likely to morph that information into Home-Home.

Flip it around and morph it into Economics-Economics.  Historically, homes have been hubs of productive enterprise.  Through most of human existence, home businesses were the only kind of business.  Homes, as centers of productivity, are uniquely insulated from the noise of currency debasement, cost of labor and prying government busy-bodies.

  • Animals were raised or trapped or hunted or fished
  • Animals were slaughtered and butchered
  • Hides were tanned
  • Food was prepared and preserved
  • Beers and wines were brewed
  • Herbs were harvested for flavor, tea, comfort and healing 
  • Fibers were sheared, cut, retted, combed, spun, woven, cut, and stitched into clothing
  • Gardens were grown and seeds were saved
  • Wild foods were harvested, sometimes with the aid of free-range animals
  • Wood was cut for construction and firewood
  • Tools and weapons (just another, specialized tool) were fabricated 
  • Tools were sharpened
  • Broken items were repaired
  • Wells were dug
  • Babies were delivered
  • The sick and lame were cared for
  • Hair was cut
  • Cleaning was constant
  • Children were educated
  • God was thanked. God was Praised.  God was petitioned.
  • Songs were sung.  Stories were told. Games were played.
  • Dead were buried

Doug Casey famously said:

“Anybody can become wealthy [today]…simply by providing goods and services that other people in the marketplace want…there’s no mystery to it and you certainly don’t need complex mathematical formulas and so forth that econometricians come up with…[but rather] always keep in mind—’What good or service can I provide to other people that they’re going to pay me for?’”

Notice that he said it twice, "what goods and services can I provide".

The second part of the statement: "marketplace" and "willing to pay me" has a great deal of wiggle room. 

I recently shoveled the walk of a fellow Eaton Rapids fruit grower.  He is currently experiencing some health issues.  His wife fell while getting the mail and struggled to get up.  He gave me a call and asked for help...a tough thing for a proud man to do.

I went over an shoveled his walk.  It was the right thing to do.

While shoveling, he asked if I was still interested in filbert bushes.  I am.  He told me that he had stumbled across several seedlings in an out-of-the-way corner of his property.

Simply by virtue of my doing what any decent human being would do, this man is likely to gift me with $75 worth of bushes.

You might want to think about "What do I bring to the table?"  It is better than money.

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