Economic Problems

I thought I’d write, after posting these pictures of some delightfully colorful shops in the Pearl District of Portland, about a perplexing problem on my microeconomics homework.

Read this and tell me whether or not you find it a little absurd: “It is apparent that most of the time, goods are not wasted, or thrown away because no one wants to buy them. How is it that approximately the “correct” amount of goods get produced in each market, and what mechanisms are there for correcting erroneous decisions about production levels?” [the bold text was my doing]

Sorry, no waste? The correct amount of goods are produced? I have to admit I laughed out loud when I read this in the textbook because I had literally just read this article about H&M slashing unsold (unworn, still price-tagged) merchandise and sending it in giant plastic bags to the landfill. I’m still only in chapter one, but maybe my textbook will explain that harsh exposes by major newspapers are some of the “mechanisms for correcting erroneous decisions about production levels,” since H&M is now promising to stop destroying unworn clothing.

*click images for full view

**taken with fujicolor pro 400h film on my canon eos rebel k2

11 responses to “Economic Problems

  1. Ha, well said. There was a story on the news tonight about a large non-profit in NYC that has been working with clothing manufacturers to use excess production for those less fortunate for years.

    • You’d think they could easily just hold on to the merchandise for a year or two and then try to sell it again – so much of what we see at those big stores looks like the same old stuff anyway..

  2. Quite a number of textbooks are nothing but that author’s opinion. An expensive opinion at that. And many, many times, they’re wrong. Makes me wonder if it was done on purpose so they can revise the book and make students buy that new revised book.

    • Oh I’m positive about the new edition bit at least. The Economics profs at my school seem to be notorious for making you buy the latest edition. Everyone I know who has taken the class over recent years has had to buy new editions (and I did too!)

  3. I read that article recently as well and it made me feel awful for buying that one dress at H&M in at least a couple of years. It sort of hit me that I had gone consumer-crazy again, which I feel I had stepped away from for a long time. The past six months have been really heavy, so I guess, in relation to your question earlier about new years resolutions, I’m starting this year with a clear goal of becoming conscious of my spending habits again. It’s going really well, too!

    Also, I wanted to tell you I got your package and it made me SO happy! Definitely a fantastic blast from the past and I can’t wait to dig in :)
    Thank you so much, Allison!

    • I have one of the same goals, I think. I’m not sure how many places do stuff like this, but I suppose its easier to create your own unique style if you shop at vintage and used clothing shops anyway!

      Enjoy the sweets! : )

  4. That H&M thing was kinda humorous to me because I was trying to imagine what kind of sense they were using when they decided to cut the clothes up. I’m seeing either a bunch of vicious NY fashionistas with razor blades, laughing maniacally or blank idiots who scratched their heads trying to come up with what they thought was the best idea ever. The world makes less sense to me.

  5. that’s really sad. overproduction is one sin, but to simply throw it away rather than giving it to charity is another.

    thanks for sharing these links — very enlightening.

    • I imagine a great deal more than just clothing gets thrown away unnecessarily in our society too. Such a bummer to think about..

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