Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Stone Soup"

My daughter has a book based on the little tale of "stone soup". It's a cute enough book, but it illustrates that most people don't understand the market.

In the book two travelers (who happen to be pigs) come to a village ("peopled" by various, occasionally cannibalistic, animals) where the residents don't want to share their food and lodging. Nowhere does the story mention that trading value for value works better than expecting a handout. The shop owners hide their wares and the banker hides all the money. No one even seems to expect that the travelers will offer to pay. I mention this glaring oversight to my daughter every time I read her this book.

In the end, the pigs do find a way to trade something for food- I suppose you could say they trade party planning skills and a bit of entertainment for food and lodging. As long as everyone is happy, it all works out.