- Think of the last two major things you bought.
Why did you buy them? What were your opportunity costs in making the purchase? What would have been the opportunity cost, if you had NOT made the purchase? (Not all opportunity costs are measured in money.)
- Did those selling them to you provide the goods because they cared about your needs? What was their REAL motivation?
- When you go to work, why do you “sell” your labor to that organization? Do you really care what the owner of the organization really wants?
- How do questions b. and c. relate to Adam Smith’s statement from The Wealth of Nations: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that you expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest? We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”
The last two major things I purchased were laptop and Wii U. I purchased the laptop to have a smaller, less weight option for doing my school work on the go. I have down time at work that I like to get a jump start on school things and my current laptop is 10 lbs. at best. I didn’t want to keep carrying that around. The Wii U was a family fun purchase to bring my kids and other family members who come over together and enjoy each other’s company. The opportunity costs in making the purchase were to better my stress level both education wise and home/family status. If I didn’t purchase these items, the Wii U wouldn’t have been a huge upset. My kids do have their own individual game systems, but it doesn’t bring us together as one unit. The money would also have been saved or went to something else down the road. As for the laptop purchase, I feel that was the biggest need at this time because with my busy schedule I would probably just not do school stuff at all during my day and cram it all in at night, causing stress and poor grades.
The people selling me the goods definitely were not interested in my satisfaction. They barely asked me any questions or made sure I was completely set with my purchase. It was all a transaction and too simple for them. Their real motivation was to pursue another customer and get through their shift with some sanity.
When I come to work I do several different job functions in a day’s time. I care about making the people and customers happy I interact with but at the end of the day it is something that pays my bills and shows off my true motivation of business careers. I don’t work with a horrible bunch of people, but I would say some days are stressful with the younger crowd of gentleman that I need to impress throughout the day.
I believe the statement by Adam Smith was meaning that we never care about the people behind the kitchen but we expect perfection and what we ask for when ordering. If there is something wrong with it or loved by it, you never show the proper gratification to the correct source. Everyone makes choices to better themselves or their career and understanding everyone’s role is something taken lightly.
The last two major items I bought were plane tickets for my daughter and myself to go to Arizona for six days and her medical therapy which is not covered by insurance. I bought them so we can hopefully get our daughter the help she need to stay out of a wheelchair. She is two and a half. The opportunity cost of these items is we do not take other vacations and we carefully watch our budget each month so we can continue to take her each month as long as she needs the therapy. We rarely go out to eat, we pick activities that we enjoy that are free or inexpensive, and I cannot remember the last time we went to a move or out to get ice cream.
The hotel that we stay in have workers who really care about my daughter. One lady who works behind the front desk of a hotel that we frequently stay at gave her a bracelet with two angels. We have gotten extra late check-out times on our last day so my daughter can get in her full afternoon nap. The manager gives us the best rates she can. The hotel owners and CEO do not provide the hotel because they care about how we sleep when we are in AZ. The hotel is a business for them and they are there to run the business rather than care about individual customers.