I clicked on CNBC for five minutes today to check the financial markets and a couple of things jumped out in my mind. First, here at LJ, we often criticize the libertarians/anarchists of the world for their constant portrayal of "the State" as the root of all evil. Some reply that "the State" is a useful metaphor or abstraction for human action under coercion. Similarly, on these financial shows, commentator keeps refer to "the Economy" like its an ailing animal under the care of watchful physicians, coaxing it back to health with soothing tax cuts, gentle money supply increases and a huge dose of positive rhetoric. They scroll through an assortment of data--GDP, trade deficit, core inflation numbers, P/E ratios, and then attempt to forecast the future health of "the Economy." The question is, from the standpoint of each individual entrepreneur, investor or individual, why be concerned with aggregates? Isn't my only concern the price spread on the outlays of my factors of production and the expected prices of my final product?
Second, there is this amusing Office Depot commercial depicting an inter-company softball game (haha much like the D.C. think tank softball duals on the National Mall) in which the pitcher of one team cries foul as he discovers the "Office Depot guy" plays for the opposing team! Of course, this is justified by the contributions the "Office Depot guy" makes to the company. A great example of increased specialization? That is, instead of hiring those lazy, smelly IT guys internally (you know, the guys that monitor my Web activity), Office Depot (or another company) fills the role on a contractual basis.