If you’ve ever taken a college level macroeconomics class you’ve surely heard the concept of guns vs. butter. In a nutshell, this analogy simplifies the choice between defense spending and civilian spending when explaining economic theory. Obviously spending on guns would be for the military while allocating dollars for butter would indicate the polar opposite choice of civilian spending.
Well, this blog is certainly not going to get any deeper into economic theory of this kind. Heaven forbid. In fact, the model I intend to explain to you is something more akin to how it works in my family. A perfect example of which happened on Thursday while out shopping with my wife. I dare say the economic model in our household would be aptly named “Guns vs. Shoes.” Let me explain.
After having a nice lunch with my sweetie we both decided to do some shopping. Of course, I opted for the nearby Cabela’s as my destination of choice…my wife, well, she chose to go to the nearby Kohls store to complete her shopping experience. It was a blissful arrangement as we both went our separate ways shopping at the store that makes us feel most fulfilled.
Okay, here’s where the economics comes into play. When she dropped me off at the Cabela’s entrance she told me she would be back to pick me up at 3pm. Great! That gave me about 75 minutes of uninterrupted shopping. After having perused the entire store, I ended up at the gun counter and was dickering on a particular gun with the salesman. I contemplated the purchase, but as I looked down at my watch I seen the time was 2:55pm. Dang! My wife will be here in five minutes to pick me up. There’s no time to complete all the paperwork for the gun transaction. I guess buying a gun on this day just wasn’t meant to be.
Lo and behold the phone rings. Guess who…yup, it’s my sweetie begging me for a little more time at her chosen shopping destination. I politely told her I was ready to check out, but if she needed 1/2 hour longer to try on some more shoes she should go for it. She thanked me for my patience.
As I slipped the cell phone back into my pocket I looked up at the store clerk and said, “let’s get that paperwork started. Looks like I now have the time.” I found myself completing the purchase of a new Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun, a nice unit I had been eying up for some time.
You see, in my household the wife and I have this economic understanding. Whenever I get the urge to buy a gun…she counteracts that by scratching her itch to buy some shoes. Seems like a perfectly logical tradeoff to me. She claims I have more guns than I need, and when I look into our closet I see more pairs of shoes than one person can possibly wear in a lifetime.
Indeed, on Thursday we both came home with smiles on our faces. It seems the Guns vs. Shoes economic model played itself out perfectly once again. Of course, I had to explain to her that I wasn’t planning on purchasing a gun…but with all that extra shopping time on my hands I had to spend it wisely. What else was a guy to do?
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