Welcome to the Flea Market Economy

Some economists argue that there is no such thing as unemployment, merely an unwillingness to do the work that is available at a market rate. 

As shocking as that might sound, I’m inclined to believe that there is a certain sense to that line of thought.  I know that I’d find work for anyone knocking on my door offering useful labor for $5 an hour.  Just hasn’t happened yet and, to be sure, I’m not holding my breath.

Well, in any regard, necessity is still the mother of invention.  What do you do when the unemployment benefits run out?  Despite the government’s “best efforts” to continue to extend these benefits, we know that many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, are facing this dilemma.  We know this, in part, because, these are the unemployed that they stop counting. 

So what do you do when they stop counting you?  Chances are good that you won’t be digging post holes for me at $5 an hour, so what will you do?  Maybe, more to the point, what would I do?  The way things are heading, we might all want to give this problem a bit more thought.

It may be a bit early to know how significant this trend is becoming, but I’ve started to notice “impromptu” flea markets popping up along the state highways.  On one stretch near our little town, I had noticed a fellow setting up a small stand selling the sort of items you might find at any garage sale.  A week later, his inventory had doubled, then tripled.  Within three weeks he’d been joined by three other sellers. 

I can’t help but applaud this evident, if somewhat sad, demonstration of nascent entrepreneurialism.  Yes, I find it a bit sad that it seems we might have more second-hand crap than talent (or honest sweat) to sell.  Still, those are four people who aren’t, so far as I know, asking for handouts.

Perhaps, these are just the sort of “baby steps” we might begin to think about.  Let’s see if we can’t come up with something just a bit more productive.


 “A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil.” – Grover Cleveland


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