I’m too upset by the prospect of a government shutdown to write anything coherent. It happens. So I dug through the last time we had this problem potentially looming in 2011 and found this piece. It’s not only still relevant, but it ties into our recent piece on the Triple Threat of forces on our economic health that no one is really dealing with. I hope you enjoy this repeat from 31 August 2011.
You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. It’s a silly old saying with a huge dollop of folk wisdom hidden in the middle of it. But money spent is sometimes more than just money gone – in an integrated world it’s a choice to make one connection when another one might have been a better choice.
Rather than just measure how much money is going in and out, it might be better to understand what we could buy with the same money. The technical term for this is “Opportunity Cost”, or what we give up by making the choices we do.