Show-Me Institute Free-Market Field Trip No. 1: Shoe Shines
Two Show-Me Institute policy analysts, a research assistant, and two interns all head out for a free-market field trip. Shoe shines are a perfect example of how a simple exchange of money and services leaves both parties better off. The man giving the shoe shines trades some of his surplus time and effort in exchange for cash that he can use to buy many other types of goods and services that he may wish to consume. The staff trades some of their cash for a service that adds value to their shoes’ appearance, making the footwear more durable and enhancing their professional appearance.
It’s a small example, but it’s indicative of how markets work in general. The more that people engage in voluntary market transactions, the more that personal and societal wealth increases. Filmed in December 2008.