Friday, December 11, 2009

A reminder of why I Capitalism

I'm a capitalist. Big time. Even though I never met him, I can hear Milton Friedman's voice inside my head saying: "Capitalism is the best economic system ever invented. Do you know of a better one? Albert Einstein didn't invent his theory of relativety under command from a bureaucrat..." on and on.

This morning my wonderful, thoughtful girlfriend, Jenny, pointed out something that reminded me why I am such a staunch free market libertarian. The story starts on Tuesday when Jenny received a call from the animal shelter identifying they had found our dog, Izzy, whom we lost at the end of August. Izzy was always the affectionate one; able and willing to cuddle at the drop of a dime. This often left our other dog, Sophie, on the outside looking in on getting petted. During what we've come to call Izzy's Great Absence, Sophie was able to get as much affection as she wanted with minimal effort (effort measured in units of cute) because she was a monopoly producer. Sophie allowed us to "consume" as much dog time as we wanted, which lowered our overall household utility.

Since Izzy's return, however, we have noticed a remarkable phenomenon: Sophie is acting more tender and trying harder to win attention. The competition of fighting over the human's affection has led both of them to produce more cute which, in turn, has increased my girlfriend's and my own utility. So a welcome, yet unintended consequence of finding one dog is that it makes our other un-lost dog act better. Thank you competition.