Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

“How Many Servants Do You Have?”

That is the question posted by Joy Pullman in her post of that title at Values & Capitalism.

She explains:

In “The Wealth of Nations,” Smith points out that the number of people under your command is a measure of power and wealth. Nowadays, the number of people you and I can “command” for $500 or $75 surpasses the number many—probably most—ancient kings commanded into war and peace. In other terms, it takes me from two hours to half a week of work to have the power of ancient kings. … Smith’s point is that even the lowliest workers in a free market are given power far beyond those at the top in a restricted market.

Ms. Pullman starts her discussion by pointing out a couple of things. My description is that for about $500 she can hire thousands of people to design, construct, fully staff an airplane, and schedule the fueled & maintained aircraft to quickly transport her anywhere in the country. For $75 she can hire thousands of people to find underground petroleum, construct wells, refine oil, and deliver a tank of gasoline to within a few blocks of her house, available at her convenience.

This question falls into the same category as what I’ve discussed previously:

With that perspective, I can hire far more people, in other words have them under my momentary command, than did George Washington or even the captains of industry.

How many millions of people did I hire just to write and post the article you are now reading?

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