Market Failure!

Sunday, July 24, 2005
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I have noted before that market failure just does not exist; the term is an excuse for propping up neoclassical models in support of regulation and public goods.

However, I have changed my mind. For months, now, I have been looking for one simple item: a necklace stand/hanger. A simple stand wherein I can hang my necklaces so they don’t get tangled up. I once had a nice oak stand, but stupidly threw it away when I was gifted a nice jewelry box. But you can’t put these necklaces in a box without producing one large necklace, as they seem to merge almost seamlessly overnight. Thus do I spend hours untangling these things. aa.bmp

I have not been able to find a necklace stand, that is, until I found some at Claire’s Boutique, a mall store that is a teenager-only type of accessory store. So I found ‘em, but yeah, there were Barbie Doll necklace stands, sparkly butterfly stands, and cutesy ballerina thingys – all of which will never see the inside of the bedroom of a person such as myself, who is slightly advanced beyong her girly teenagerhood years.

No department stores sell these things. Neither does Target, K-Mart, etc. Googling for them on the web left me coming up empty. Therefore I ended up with a Claire’s Boutique stand, with the little sparkly butterflies. Upon bringing it home, I took a pair of pliers to the butterflies, at least making the stand look a bit less girly.

Apparently, the market is not able to efficiently produce and allocate necklace stands as a preferable item. The public interest is not being served! However, if necklace stands were public goods, no positive externalities would accrue to others, as no one else would use my stand, nor would they be likely to socially or morally benefit from such. This would eliminate any free rider problem.

The call is out for government intervention into the marketplace to make necklace stands a public good, thus the production of such for my own personal benefit at the expense of y’all.

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