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review 2013-08-03 23:23
The modern economic system for children
The Big Honey Hunt - Stan Berenstain,Jan Berenstain

I do really like the Berenstain bears, and this was one of those stories from my childhood that I read over and over again. Basically the bears run out of honey and are asked to go and get some more from the store, but Papa bear decides that he will save some money and go on a honey hunt by following a bee. However, as can be expected, his knowledge is far from perfect. Basically he thinks he knows how to hunt for honey, but he makes assumptions that quickly turn out to be wrong (including the assumption that the bees will simply let him take the honey without a fight). As such, he ends up doing the thing that he should have done at the start, and that is buy the honey from the honey shop.

What an explanation the modern economic system. Basically the reason that we have shops is because we are too stupid to actually go out and get it ourselves. Sure, people do hunt for sport, and people have their own vege gardens (or even bee hives) but in general when we want something we go to a shop so that we don't have to fumble around looking for these goodies for ourselves. However, there is also the case that a lot of our produce has been manufactured, which means that we can have the goodies without having to go and make it ourselves (though once again, people have hobbies).

It is interesting to see how professionalism works. Basically it is like Adam Smith's explanation of the nail factory, where people would be charged with different parts of making the nail so that they would become incredibly skilled with making their aspect of the nail, and that the nail could be made a lot faster than when one person had to make the nail themselves. In a way that is how professionalism has developed, namely so that we all have access to the products and that people have been trained and are skilled in that particular process.

Mind you, these days everything is becoming automated, which means the people who were skilled in one aspect must now go and reskill so that they can get themselves into another job. While I do not have anything against automation per se, the problem is that more people are losing their jobs to automation than they are able to find new jobs. Then there is also the aspect of offshoring, which is because people can perform unskilled work cheaper overseas than they can perform here. Mind you, the problem with offshoring is that people want to speak to people in their own country who can clearly understand their own language, however that is something that is not necessarily all that possible in a multicultural society like Australia.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/685549234
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