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  • Writer's pictureDoug Howarth

Nailing the X-ray and Gutting “The Law of Supply and Demand”

You can observe a lot by watching. Yogi Berra

Dante Autullo went to a hospital complaining of nausea and a headache. A passing diagnosis might have been that he had the flu. But when his doctors asked him about what he had been doing, X-rays showed that as he was using a nail gun, a nail he thought whizzed past his head went into it instead (A). They operated; he’s okay. 

Easy answers have a lure. After all, who wants to dive deeply into a flu case?

But details matter. Easy answers aren’t always right. Just ask Dante.

The draw to misguided and overly simplistic phenomena applies to “The Law of Supply and Demand.” As we see in (B), given their postulates (i.e., flawed assumptions), they propose a single market equilibrium point. Every time they show such an example, it never has real-world data. It is always all made up.

I’m not going to stand for it. Neither should you.

Readers of this column know actual market behavior, based on verifiable data, looks more like (C), where buyers pay for aircraft cabin volume and speed (in the left-hand Value Space) as limited by their available funds (on the right-hand Demand Plane). 

Upcoming posts will give you more reasons to listen to reason.


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