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Breakfastnomics

February 25, 2017 Leave a comment

I’m eating a late breakfast of French toast and thinking about the giant loaf of bread on the cutting board and Giffen goods.  These are items whose demand rises when its cost increases in contradiction to what you’d typically expect with products we consume.

Bread has been used as an example of a Giffen good but the water mellon-sized loaf of bread I bought cost about 1/10th of a minimum wage worker’s hourly pay so I think bread prices in this area would really need to skyrocket before it would behave like one.

One notable thing is that it’s such an inexpensive item that it can become a substitute good for a lot of foods that aren’t remotely bread-like.  It has been the cause of weight gain at a couple points in my life.  It definitely wasn’t gluttony…I’m somewhat sure it wasn’t gluttony…How about this?  I’m of the opinion that it wasn’t gluttony.

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Why you’re doing something.

February 1, 2017 Leave a comment

I was recently talking to a business owner about problems they had with an employee who recently quit.  They said that there were a few occasions where dismissing the employee would have been justified but they felt sorry for the the person and kept them on in spite of the issues.

I flat out asked if they were running a company or a soup kitchen.   I don’t mean to sound cold blooded but I have never believed that jobs fix broken people.  I believe in helping people and that people who are trying to fix themselves need the income, routine, and accountability of a job but if they’re not working on themselves too then it is just a waste of time; prolonging the time until they hit rock bottom.

It made me think of my time working for The (Jim)Pattison Group.  There was a story going around about how each month the lowest performing car salesman was dismissed.  I remember asking a mid-level manager about that rumour.  He said that whether the story was true or not, an employee who was doing poorly was wasting their own time as well as the company’s and the sooner they moved on, the better off everybody would be.

At the time it felt like I was having the facts of life explained to me by a shark but it made sense to a point.  There was no denying the logic of the argument the manager made but only to a point:  It would be a shame for an otherwise good worker to be let go for having a bad month.

 

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