The economies (?) of scope that are Scotland

A bookstore in the village of Wigtown, Scotland, allows people to run the shop while renting an apartment upstairs. (NYT)

It is difficult to excerpt from that article, but it contributes ever so slightly to our understanding of “the cost disease.”

Comments

'It is difficult to excerpt from that article'

Being from the NYT, it is extremely easily to not only not to excerpt from it, but to ignore it completely.

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Here's a review of the best selling nonfiction book in Australia, a money guide devoted mostly to avoiding high service costs (like banking fees) rather than picking the best investments: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/books/australians-cant-get-enough-of-the-barefoot-investor. Think about how the cost disease is making us focus on the wrong side of the ledger: instead of focusing on ways to maximize income, we are focusing on ways to minimize costs. I'm not so sure that's the best way to achieve maximum economic growth. In any case, the incentives to minimize service costs is the flip side of relying on speculation in non-productive investments like real estate and cryptocurrencies and online advertising. Some argue that the cost disease and speculation are the product of affluence. I would argue that they are the product of concentrated affluence.

Bon appetit -
P.S. A solitary rowan tree stands defiant on the windswept Rannoch Moor, just visible from the busy A82 between Glen Coe and Bridge of Orchy. Its roots cling to a lichen-encrusted giant boulder and its weathered crown testify to its resilience against harsh conditions. Experts believe the survival of this specimen is due to its elevated position - beyond the reach of hungry sheep and deer.

the barefoot investor is simply an adherent of value investing, mixed with a retrogressive aversion to materialism that smacks of depression era financial morality. He actually does propose maximising profits but in conjunction with simple budgets that err towards the frugal. Not sure your point applies really he’s not at all focused on maximising economic growth.

For those of you who have always wanted to own and run a bookstore, Amazon is market testing a virtual bookstore which you can run without ever leaving your home.

You get it for the cost of a Prime membership and get a commission on sales to your friends and relatives, who will begin not responding to your email entreaties to look at your store.

For $20 extra, Amazon will send a 2 lb. box of coffee for you to make and sell coffee at your virtual bookstore.

If you use the promo code "Bill" Amazon will, in addition to setting up your virtual bookstore, give you a free virtual cup of coffee. Delivery is free.

lol. That was pretty good.

The temptation to snark is strong but...why not? Puttering around in a book store -- meeting a few new people, talking to customers about books, reading when there's nobody around, hanging up the 'back soon' sign whenever you feel like it, and not having to worry about paying employees or making a profit? It does sound like a pleasant way to spend a week.

I am wondering whether the Scotland bookstore is a tax dodge. I will declare a tax loss for the library, while living upstairs at a cheap rent.

I think the article says the Bookshop is run by a non-profit group.

Even though the bookstore is a non-profit, I wonder if I rent the store with the bookstore and run it, should I be able to deduct "my business expenses" associated with the rental of the bookstore, and if it were a requirement of the landlord that I remain on the premises, perhaps even deduct the rent for the apartment above the store. I wonder if there are any accountants reading this who would like to chime in. I am not a tax lawyer. Do not take any of this comment as legal advice and consult your attorney.

I actually know a lot of folks who would love to do this. I view this as a form of consumption; there are certainly ways to spend a whole lot more on a vacation.

"I view this as a form of consumption"

Sure -- there are lots of 'jobs' that people will pay good money to do as hobbies (taking professional quality photos in exotic locations, for example). Running a book shop in Scotland is a lot cheaper than, say, spending a week shooting photos of polar bears in Svalbard.

I used to visit Wigtown bookshops regularly when my parents lived in the area. It was started up in an attempt to mimic the roaring success of Hay on Wye (which I also visited at that time - much bigger and more successful). Even before Amazon it a visit to "Wigtown book town" was as much an excuse for a drive through pleasant countryside as a serious book-buying expedition. I expect that tourism and the experience of a pleasant small town is much of the deal as either buying or selling books.

“andouille sausage” ... very popular in Scotland.

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