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more on pricing - oh no!

updated thu 21 may 98


Michael McDowell on wed 20 may 98

Yeah, It's me again. I'll not make more excuses. The offer still stands,
just write me off the list and say "shut up already" I'll take the hint.

In my last post on pricing I spilled the beans about my economics degree.
Yep, UCLA, It's got Ronnie Reagan's signature on it too, so I'm sure it'll
be worth something someday. Actually I got my MA as a sort of booby prize
for having the good sense to get out after aceing (sp?) my doctoral theory
exam. Started becoming a potter soon after that, but I do look back. In many
ways I still consider myself a student of economics.

So any way the garden looks good right now, and I thought some of you might
be interested in the Economic Theory slant on this whole discussion about
pricing, well, my slant on that slant. Many of us seem to be concerned that
we not ask too much for our work, thus taking advantage of those of our
community who support us. It may surprise some of you that Economics has
it's roots in ethics. Indeed Adam Smith, who published his treatise "On the
Wealth of Nations" in 1776, thereby earning himself the title "Father of
Modern Economics", was not himself an economist. Indeed there was no such
thing at the time. Smith held the chair of Professor of Moral Philosophy at
the University of Edinborough (sp?). Economists trace the roots of their
discipline back to Aristotle, who, as best I can remember, took up this very
issue of "Just Price" in his writings on ethics. As I recall, his
conclusions were that the "just price" for a tradesman or artisan's efforts
was that which would permit him (substitute gender neutral pronouns here if
you wish, but I will remain true to the original here) to maintain and
replicate himself and his household in a satisfactory manner. That meant his
home, his wife (no second income), and two kids (the replication thing) to
the standard of the day. How do your prices measure up to this?

Actually, to the best of my knowledge, which I freely admit is quite
circumscribed, potters are the only group of people who even concern
themselves with this issue here in the modern era. I wouldn't change that
about us for the world!

Michael McDowell
Whatcom County, WA USA