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We Could Do More If We Had More Resources! Who Couldn’t? – Art Carden: Economics Everywhere, for Everyone

We Could Do More If We Had More Resources! Who Couldn’t?

Consider how frequently you hear someone in a firm or a bureau complain that they are under-funded and that they need more resources to complete a mission. Should they get a larger budget?

I would venture to say “probably not,” though there are certainly exceptions, because everyone could say “I can do more of the things I think important if I had more resources at my command.” Police departments could lock up more criminals. Researchers could do more research. Administrative assistants could make more copies. A welfare office could serve more people. The salsa division could make more salsa. And so on.

Saying “I could do more of this thing I find valuable if I had more resources” is vacuous. It’s much harder and much more important to determine whether we should do these things or those things. “Should we produce more salsa, or more oven mitts?” is the essence of the managerial question. If your supervisor decides to devote more resources to the oven mitt division than the salsa division, think it possible that they might have a good reason for it.

Award yourself five bonus points if you recognize the “salsa/oven mitts” allusion. Then enjoy some chips and salsa.

About the Author: artcarden

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