Division of labor: Gotta love it!


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This is a short essay I posted on other forums, including CapitalismForum.com and the off-topic section of RCGroups.com.

I just recently bought myself a belgian waffle iron, and I'm enjoying the pleasure of having fresh waffles for breakfast every morning with very little work. I just take the off-the-shelf waffle mix, blend in milk, eggs, and oil, pour the batter into the waffle iron, and wait a couple of minute. These things are DELICIOUS.

It has just occurred to me that this would be impossible without the division of labor. Or at least it would take a lot longer. Other people have already done almost all the work for me! I doubt my own ability to make my own waffle iron, even if I get to buy things like heating elements, refined metals, and wires. Someone else made the waffle iron, a group of someone elses collectively named Black & Decker. Someone else grew the wheat for the mix, milled it into flour, and combined it with other ingredients like baking soda to make the pancake/waffle mix. Someone else raised and tended the chickens and cows the eggs and milk came from. Someone else picked the olives that the oil came from, and pressed or cooked them, or whatever it is they do to get olive oil. I don't know, and I don't really care much. All I had to do was go to the store, buy these things (with the money I earned with less than an hour of my own labor) combine them in the right proportions, and pour them into the waffle iron.

All of these someone elses didn't do all of this work with the intention of providing me with waffles. They couldn't care less if I smeared the eggs in my hair and used the milk to water my houseplants. All they were really interested in was selling the goods for a profit. Their self-interest is all that motivated them to provide me with my waffles, and you know, I think I love them for it!

I love technology!

I love the division of labor!

And I love the capitalist system that makes it all possible!

Now if only I could get someone else to clean up my kitchen after me.

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