The Pool

2004-06-30

Over at Cafe Hayek, proprietor Don Boudreaux likens the modern economy to a big pool in which prosperity is accumulated drop by drop by many small contributions:

How is this pool filled? Mostly, small drop by small drop. Countless people line the edge of the pool, each dripping in a drop or two of additional "water" -- additional prosperity -- from time to time. Very few single drops have any noticeable effect on the prosperity level....

A very few drops are large -- say, the polio vaccine, and Henry Ford's innovation for producing automobiles. But almost all drops are tiny. These tiny drops, though, together result in an enormously high level of material prosperity.

So folks like my friend Dizzy need not worry that their contributions are not producing great innovations of lasting value, which will give their lives overall purpose and direction. Sometimes it's the small stuff that counts most.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal