Home Depot: The Market Helps Again

I’m no handyman.  I’m lousy with my hands, actually.  Nor do I really enjoy working with my hands.  Since first grade and kindergarten, when I couldn’t cut out construction paper straight, to today, when I can’t do much of anything with simple instruments like a nail and a hammer, my life has been one big clumsy-fest.

But from time to time, there are certain home improvement projects that demand my attention.  Consider my yard: even a blind man can see weeds covering the gravel driveway and scattered throughout the patchy lawn.

The solution: a trip to Home Depot.  I’m an idiot when it comes to home improvement (I’m more familiar with the TV show), but hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot are here to bail me out.  So into Home Depot I go.  I look around for three items.  The first is a weed killer (kills weeds for several months) and the second is a weed killer that doesn’t hurt grass.  Third, I wanted something to patch up the lawn.  I was thinking grass seed.

Little did I know that for novices like myself, there are inexpensive kits used to patch up lawns, complete with grasseed, mulch, and fertilizer.  And it was cheap.  There were a couple of options.  I picked one.

I could not help but think how all of this was completely independent of government action.  Yes, I’m sure there were licensing fees and regulatory fees and arbitrary environmental standards to be followed.  There were taxes and tarriffs.  But for me (and the company producing the item), government need not be involved in the transaction.  I had a need: the market voluntarily met that need.  And I willingly paid the market price.  It was a beautiful thing.

Suppose I am disappointed in one of the products I bought: I can always purchase a competitor’s goods next time to compare.  Or maybe I should have asked around before I bought.  In any case, government need not get involved.  From my perspective, there is no benefit.

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3 Comments

Filed under Libertarian, Personal, role of government

3 responses to “Home Depot: The Market Helps Again

  1. Jodi

    I enjoyed that post! Ha, so true

  2. Paleohawk

    What I always find tremendously difficult to grasp is how everything is transferable in money. We can buy everything with one unit, the dollar. It just doesn’t make sense to me, this enormously diverse array of products, promises, performances, labor, etc.; all purchasable with Dollars. And even without government enforced fiat money it would still be tradeable, but then in a different unit, perhaps grams of gold. We Choose what we want in the marketplace, and thus send signals about what we want. Out of this constant choosing, long-term systems spring up in response that provide us with these items, and in which we ourselves participate and from which we all reap exponential benefits.

    Somehow it just doesn’t make sense.

  3. plato04

    Paleohawk,

    Thanks for chiming in.

    It is quite remarkable how the market coordinates pricing (essentially resource allocation) so effectively for all parties involved, and voluntarily, at that. It is more effective and more humane than central planning. How money came to be is truly an interesting question of economic history.

    Barter is surely possible, but most historical traditions find a currency of some sort to be more effective than pure barter.

    I recommend Mises on Money, a primer by Gary North to partially understand the role of money in our economy. The link is:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/mom2.html

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