Monday, February 05, 2007

The Virtue of 88-cent Panties

Via Marginal Revolution, I found this wonderful post about a travel disaster, which is altogether sensible.

The key point is here, and apparently unfortunately difficult for people to appreciate:
Folks, I can buy a pair of panties at Wal-Mart for 88 cents. Please stop and reflect on how much of a miracle that is. I stood there under all those fluorescent lights having an “I, Pencil” moment and I almost wept when i saw that. Not because I can’t afford $5 for panties, but because I could get everything I needed for a stranded night for about $20. A little more and I could get a fresh outfit for the next day.

Beyond my own personal gain, the miracle is that those pale green panties with a little lace trim started out as a twinkle in some Cambodian manufacturer’s eye, and dozens of people were involved in getting them from there to my possession, the last person being the checkout saleswoman at Wal-Mart.

All those people took part in making sure that what I needed was there right when I needed it and for an unbelievable price. And everyone’s lives are better because they get to be a part of that process. A more humane system could never be invented, let alone implemented, by one person, or a committee, and by god, not by a government.


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