Add new comment

Submitted by Gabriel Mueller (not verified) on

Kudos to the author for seeing the "unseen," as Bastiat would phrase it, in regard to the hidden socio-economic impact of "Buy one, Give one" business models. That said, shame on the author for her (negative) assessment of the matter---and her bad logic, too. The author argues that donated shoes to needy persons/villages harms the local shoe maker. So it does. But what's wrong with that? Nothing. Now the villagers have perfectly made shoes---maybe even better ones than they could have purchased from their local cobbler---and the money they were going to spend on shoes will now go to something (or someone) else. In addition, the local cobbler moves his resources from unproductive uses (shoes) to something more productive (whatever the villagers are consuming). That's the entire "unseen" picture. But even if the author fails to see this, at least the author can acknowledge the error of her economic logic. The author's implicit argument is that "jobs" are what make an economy---local or global--- go 'round. The problem is that's not true. Production comes before consumption, yes, but production and jobs are not the same thing. For example, everybody in the world could have a job right now if we simply stopped using heavy machinery and started doing everything by manual labor. But our "production" levels would drop tremendously. We would all starve, too. The same goes for any village that receives free shoes. Once the villagers get their new tools---shoes---they can now be more productive in whatever they specialize in and this "boost" in production will benefit everyone. That's the logic our author is missing. It's simple.

Curated news and insights about innovative, market-driven solutions to poverty explored through news, commentary and discussion.

Learn more ยป

Global Envision newsletter