Economics Week 26 Division of Labor

Prompt: Give an example of the division of labor required to create another simple household tool besides a pencil.

The division of labor is a immense web of unrelated laborers unknowingly working towards the same goal. Lets use the example of a sketchbook. First there’s the paper. The timber needs to be gathered by lumberjacks, then it needs to be transported by truck drivers, and finally taken to the sawmill and cut thin by mill workers. Now this may just seem like three professionals working together, but when you take into account the axes the lumberjacks use, the truck driven, the saw used at the mill; each of these have individual chains of labor connected to them. So far a few pieces of paper are all that have been finished.

Next is the metal spiral to hold the paper together. Lets say the raw metal was mined in Asia by a group of miners. Next it was transported by ship, a crew of sailors navigating it to its destination. Once it arrives its unloaded by laborers onto trucks driven by truckers. They use their trucks, and gasoline to travel cross country and bring the raw metal to a modern blacksmith organization, where it is melted down and shaped into a spiral. From there the paper and metal need to make their way together, once again many different truckers unknowingly work together to transport them to the final location where finally factory workers stick them together. Out of this process a basic sketchbook is created.

Whats so amazing about this process is none of the different parties involved know each other, they are all simply individuals working to feed themselves and their family. The miner in Asia has no knowledge of the lumberjacks on the other side of the globe. The truckers don’t personally know the blacksmiths, and the managers of the truckers have no connection to the sailors who transported the raw metal. Yet they all work together, simultaneously working towards the same goal. Out of this system every man made item we use on a daily basis is able to be created.

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