Manufacturing doesn\’t matter

You know how all sorts of people (not just idiot lefties , there\’s a surprising number of rightist economic nationalists who make the same gross error) say that it\’s only manufacturing that counts in some manner. That it\’s only the production of material goods that producecs real wealth?

Poppycock, of course, as this finding shows.

Psychologists have found that people who spend their money on simple experiences such as going to the theatre, dining out or taking adventure holidays tend to be happier with their purchases than those who buy material possessions, regardless of how much they spend.

"We don\’t tend to get bored of happy memories like we do with a material object," said Professor Ryan Howell, a psychologist at San Francisco State University who conducted the study.

"In life experiences, the only thing left afterwards is a memory of the event, but this tended to give people a greater sense of vitality and of being alive, which is satisfying the higher psychological needs that humans have. Material items did not do that to nearly the same extent.

"It is an extension of basic need theory, where purchases that satisfy psychological needs produce the greatest wellbeing. It shows that if you use money in the right way it can make you happy."

The aim of the economy is of course to satisfy the maximum number possible of human desires with the resources available. As the above shows, the production of services does this better than the production of goods, once we\’re past a certain basic point of material goods availability.

Thus we should have been doing exactly what we have been doing: producing more and more services while holding manufacturing production roughly constant. After all, that\’s what satisfies the higher psychological needs that human beings have which is indeed rather the point of it all, isn\’t it?

8 thoughts on “Manufacturing doesn\’t matter”

  1. The unhampered market has only one way of conveying to participants just what mix of tangible/intangible goods is most proper: it causes those who “get it right” to reap profit and those who don’t to incur losses. Those who succceed in a large way, particularly in repetitive fashion, are called entrepreneurs, tycoons, magnates, etc., and those who don’t—aren’t.

    The entire structure of state control of banking and central banking in particular is an exercise in trying to control the activity of entrepreneurs and to favor certain of them over others (who, presumably, would be more favored by the consumers in the absence of gov’t. interference in the process).

    The simple way this “control” is exercised is by counterfeiting, by producing more of the currency and credit than the public has come to understand is in existence and, by so doing, to create a temporary (because the consumers always “catch on” to the decreased scarcity of the monetary unit) lowering of the height of the rate of interest on loans and, thus, an artificial “brightening” of prospects for entrepreneurs to whom the former interest rate was an insuperable obstacle to certain of their projects or plans.

    Despite their constant protestations to the contrary, government everywhere is firmly opposed to “the will of the people” (expressed continuously on the market) and endeavors to defeat that will by promising some of those people that they, indeed, can get “something for nothing” through support of a political party or program, the goal at all times being simply to get control of the “levers of power” connected with exercising the monetary authority (and being thus enabled to favor their particular set of supporters).

    It’s complicated, to be sure, but not all that difficult to understand. The downside? You’re looking at it. And it can (and probably will) get worse.

  2. The service industry manufactures happiness!

    Some material items represent a conduit for memories, some don’t. Buying a camera didn’t make me happy, taking pictures of stuff does. Both the retailer and the manufacturer had a hand in that. Buying a present for someone doesn’t make me happy, giving them one does. So to speak. I don’t have that same level of attachment to my telly.

    But to the people who designed, made, shipped and sold that telly it represents a job well done. I have made them happy.

    If, one way or another, wealth is a proxy for happiness or a means to store and trade happiness, what is credit? Literally as well as financially have we been deluding ourselves?

  3. Tonie Makaloon (17 1/2)

    Tim, What you and everybody else now must understand, is that our imminent and permanent immolation within Dante’s inferno, which I have been predicting since before Ricardo was born, and which no modern economist predicted, has been caused primarily by the use of coolie labour from China, leading to imported inflation.

    The Thatcherites who have been responsible for hollowing out a once great manufacturing economy by following a policy of frivolous and wasteful expansion in services must have a fair trial in open court, and then suffer death by drowning.

    We must have a new political agreement. I propose that it should be called “Communist Conservatism”.

    We must restore the strength of the pound. We must manufacture everything inside the United Kingdom. The time has come, through strength and glory, to restore the might of our nation.

  4. Actually Gene, I think somebody is doing a naughty takeoff of Tony Makara, a Good friend in these parts. Search ConHome for his name and read some of the comment threads. Hours of my life wasted!

  5. Tim, you are being to harsh on them. Manufacturing represents the idea mass production and so of massive overproduction of an individual’s needs, which is the basis of the creation of wealth.

    Steel mills, tains, electricity, “quicker, better and a penny a score cheaper”, etc are self evidently the basis of modern wealth.

    Service economy based happiness sits on the bedrock of manufactured wealth.

    We may discuss at length the role of imported manufactures, the low wages prevailing in many manufacturing sectors globally, the abundance of none manufacturing opportunities available to an industrious and enterprising people like us etc etc etc but it all sits on steelmills and turbines etc.

    Its easy to see why people hark after manufacturing industry, but not so easy to see how the Brits could return to the factories and remain among the highest paid workers in the world.

    You are correct that only twats want to send us back to the factories, but our happiness does sit on somebody toiling in the factories somewhere on Earth.

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