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interesting article about DIY market9/13
WSJ article about painters
Click the link below to download the file included with this post.
Comparative advantage at work.
"the ability of an individual or group to carry out a particular economic activity (such as making a specific product) more efficiently than another activity"
Another hole in doom and gloom?
Why would you interpret this article as having anything to do with doom & gloom? If anything it shows how potential typical customers are becoming more prosperous.
When I read the article I sent it to several painting contractors I work with. I also sent it to some of my current retail customers to help manage their expectations about how their project will progress. WSJ runs a lot of articles about the shortage of tradespeople in general. I discuss this with my clients all the time.
In Seattle it is really hard to get subcontractors to show up reliably and predictably. Some of this has to do with the velocity in the economy but some of it also has to do with the cost of housing and gridlock in our transportation system.
A good friend of mine owns an in-city HVAC company that is 80 years old. He said that him and his partner would like to continue the company but simply cannot compete for manpower in the same marketplace as Amazon.
These articles are all just data points. You can connect the dots any way you like.
This article is an anamoly to your usual fare.
Whenever I post a WSJ article it is always just a data point. Like any data point it can be interpreted from multiple points of view.
One of the particularly dumbass responses I see to many of these posts is "Raise Wages & they will come". Field of Dreams makes a great movie plot but does not exactly work out after you have finished the popcorn.
There is a shortage of workers in this country and to some extent public policy helps to create that shortage. AirBNB recently leased enough local office space to accommodate 300 new engineers. These 300 tech workers put a small amount of pressure on the available housing stock but their company mission is to eliminate all of the rental housing stock.
This has quality of life issues. It is probably a good thing if our teachers and policemen can live in proximity to where they work. We could also just bump a beat cop's wages to $200k a year like the "Field of Dreamers" advocate but now you got just got a future pension to double down on. Better maybe to work the policy side with AirBNB restrictions.
I would like to add to this post.
I watch a lot of youtube videos about the mobilization of America during World War Two. (I have a second full size monitor adjacent to my primary screen. I can design kitchens in my sleep and I find my brain needs to have some kind of stimulation while I draw or I will fade quickly)
When the war first started nobody wanted black people to work on the ships. They didn't even want them in their town. Segregation was rampant, particularly in the south. (It took until 1964 before civil rights legislation was passed and based on recent events surrounding Charlottesville and the Confederate flag we are still fighting this battle.)
During World War Two, however, we came to realize we needed the help of every man, woman and child. In order to field 7000 ships at the Normandy beaches we needed to build 7000 ships at a rate faster than the U-boats could sink them. We also needed an equal number of airplanes to bomb the beaches to create craters our soldiers could hunker down in while they were be slaughtered by the Nazis. It was amazing the things we could get done when we got our head out of our ass.
Texas & Florida just went through a life changing event not unlike World War Two. Many of the people in that part of the country returned home to nothing. For many of them this is how it will be for the rest of their life.
We could have another hurricane next week.
If you were one of the United States citizens who no longer had a pot to piss in, how do you think you would feel if somebody told you to just raise wages and your problems will be solved?
How would you feel if Hispanics said they would love to come help but somebody who was already well fed said "nope, not on my watch!"
All the cabinet shops in America are really busy right now. All the people in the construction industry are. Just about anybody who wants a job can get one if they can pass a drug test.
Why are we protecting the drug addicts instead of the people in Texas or Florida?