Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Inefficiencies of the market - my barber shop

First, I'd like to thank MoLak-Jedi for single-handedly keeping Page 132 afloat for the past 10 days or so. I've been amazingly busy and I don't know if it will slow down until June. I really appreciate that I can lean on the guys of Page 132 to keep the blog moving forward. Now, to the topic at hand...

In many of my conversations with fiscal conservatives, they place an amazing amount of faith in 'the market' to be correct at all times. In the few instances when it does go wrong in the short term (i.e. a big drop in the stock market, property or PS3 bubbles), the market is quick to react and fix it.

And generally that is true. But is isn't always. On Sunday, I paid $30 for a bad haircut and a shave. And I'll do it again in 3 weeks and again next month and the following month and so on and so on.

You see, my barber can't cut my hair (or shave my face) with any skill. Each time I leave there, I complain that my hair just isn't right.

I could change barbers. There are plenty in the area. However, I won't. My barber is special. He's a young guy. He's cleaning up his life. He's got 2 kids from two different mothers. His son he sees frequently, but his daughter's mother keeps her away as a way to manipulate my barber.

My barber works two jobs. He cuts hair 6 days a week 8-12 hours a day and then does an 8-hour shift as a security guard at a local hospital. He gives himself one day a week with a free evening because any more than that and he'd "get back into the trouble [he's] leaving."

My barber is the reason I don't have complete faith in the market. The market should dictate that my barber would go out of business because he doesn't offer the best haircut at the lowest price. However, for him and his kids' sake, I hope he never does.