My Wilson Quarterly essay on invisible competition

by on January 21, 2008 at 1:01 pm in Economics | Permalink

1 David Bluth January 21, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Sears: China and India’s January Clearance Sale

When I went into Sears today (Martin Luther King Day), I was greeted by over fifty giant yellow clearance sales signs. All over the store, posted 50-90% off. Whatever you wanted, shoes, ties, sports jackets, etc… I just wanted three pairs of socks, and before I knew what was happening, I had Structure shoes on my feet for $25, made in India…

What most worried me, rather than crowds of people knocking me out of the way for these amazing deals, barely anyone was in the store. How absurd for a holiday, when most Americans have off, and love to shop on those special days away from their computers and cubbies. Of-course every product I saw was from India or China. The cheap labour was really in-force today with those wonderful boxers 10 for $10, or those Structure shoes 85% off for $25.

As I was leaving, I realized why no-one was shopping at Sears.. WalMart down the street must be having their super clearance sale or perhaps K-Mart was having their Martin Luther King Special Sale or even better yet, Sam’s Club was having a blow-out sale.. I wonder how cheap those products will be in two weeks when everyone gears up for the President’s day specials?

2 R. Richard Schweitzer January 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Probably not in the direction you intended, but here is my post to WQ:

This essay stops a bit short of saying, what probably needs to be recognized.

The function of competition in any socio-economic perimeter, is to determine who does what more effectively; and therefor how things may most optimally be done.

As the perimeters widen, or overlap, the function expands.

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