18 September 2010

Product Differentiation and Drunken Livestock

Shelves in our stores are filled with examples of commodities that exchange above their value.

Without delving into a long exposition of value theory, it is sufficient for my purposes here to state that a price above value is often the goal of advertising a commodity, and clearly a desirable situation for the producer. Gaining an additional payment on top of the realization of value and surplus value when a commodity is sold, in a nut shell is something every producer wants. That is, more money, what capitalist wouldn't want that?

What is interesting, or at very least fascinating, is the creativity people show in an attempt to command a price in the market over and above the value of their product.

American capitalism has given us 200 brands of toothpaste and enough different breakfast cereals to eat a different one every morning for two months. This is all well and good, but some day we will look back on the dark ages before 2010 and ask: "How did we every survive without wine finished beef?"

I am only being slightly sarcastic in this post. The array of goods available in this society can be as wonderful as it is unnecessary. And wine drinking cows? So much for the argument that feedlots are inhumane.

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