MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Shrug

Posted by mbamommy on August 9, 2011

Recently, I’ve been listening to CPR (Colorado Public Radio) when driving. The repetition of songs on the radio were making my teeth clench, I’m bored of my CD’s and don’t have a new enough car to hook up my iPhone. It kind of happened by accident and now I’m completely addicted. I love listening to the stories, interviews and news reports and find myself being frustrated when I’ve reached my destination and have to turn the car off. Frankly, I’m typically terrible about following the news and this is a built in way given how often I’m in the car…multi-tasking, right?

Anyhoo….yesterday, I was listening to an interview about Colorado Correctional Industries. This is a work/training program that’s done across the country, putting inmates to work and giving them skills. OK, so, that’s all great and good, make sure these people don’t just sit in their cells and twiddle their thumbs…or worse. Except those are my tax dollars, right? Wrong. CCI actually lowers the cost of prisons. They also produce some pretty amazing things: cattle, produce, dairy, office furniture, canoes…the list goes on. It’s cheap labor. It helps inmates learn skills that will allow them to be employed later on. It gives them self esteem that hopefully helps them not land back in jail in the future.

That’s all well and good. Seriously, I’m all about helping folks fix their lives. But, let’s look at the things that mean the most to me. It brings down the cost of the food they grow (and I subsequently eat). And it decreases the cost of correctional facilities (my tax dollars).

Wow….that’s a win-win-win in my book!

And then I hear an opposing view at the end of the interview (and, I guess you always have to have an opposing view). One of the things CCI grows is tilapia. They can grow it cheaper and better than traditional tilapia farms. And this tilapia farmer, who’s been working his whole life growing the market for tilapia is mad at CCI. He’s complaining because CCI can grow better (bigger) tilapia than he can at a lower cost. And it’s eating into his market share.  And, he doesn’t think he should have to compete with them because…uhhh….I’m not exactly sure WHY..something about them being able to lower their costs and manufacture a better product?

Hmmm…..ever heard of competition? And competitive advantage? And new innovations to improve your business? Quit grumbling and get back to work. You’ve got such knowledge of your product that you MADE the market? Well, go win it back.

John Galt is rolling over in his grave.

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One Response to “Shrug”

  1. Josh said

    I cannot imagine how prisoners produce a product at lower costs…..They don’t get paid, their employer doesn’t have to cover social security, unemployment, or worker’s comp costs. The employer has workers who live in “free” housing, don’t need a cost of living adjustment, and have tax free land upon which to work. Amazing how that happens. Guess the farmer just has to work harder.

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