Do we outsource without realizing it?

I think the answer is a resounding ‘yes.’

Take a look at the WSJ article from today below. It seems implied that if the family eats dinner at home and prepares it themselves, they have avoided the dreaded ‘outsourcing.’ But I’m sure they don’t drill for their own natural gas for the oven, mine the iron for their utensils, raise their own turkey, raise dairy cows for their own cheese, and so on. Even if they have dinner at home they have already outsourced all of these functions and many more.

Division of labor and specialization are the roots or wealth and prosperity. For example, I have no intention of making my own shoes. It would take me a few days of time to make a horribly inferior product. For much less I can buy a pair for say $50 that are far superior. And it will take me much less than two days of my time to earn $50. (pic: via Allen-Edmonds)

Fiscally Fit – Are we already outsourcing without knowing it? – WSJ.com: “The Cullens Weigh Whether to Cater This Year’s Family Christmas Dinner. My husband Gerry and I are hosting Christmas dinner for my extended family, and making sure the party goes smoothly will take some planning. Which raised a basic question: How much of the prep work should we handle ourselves, and how much should we outsource? Gerry’s biggest concern is the food: We’ll have roughly 50 people stopping by throughout the day, with half of them likely staying for dinner. Generally, when Gerry and I throw a big party we have the entire meal catered. (Our last big party was for our son Gerald’s birthday, and our catering bill came to $449.)

One relief is I won’t have to pay for additional cutlery: Over the years I’ve accumulated a number of sets, so we’re covered there. As for decorations, we won’t be doing anything different than we would during years when we’re not hosting parties, so the outlay there is relatively small — $150 for a fresh tree, pine-roping and front-door wreath. Now all that’s left to do to prepare for our holiday dinner is make up my shopping list and get to cooking. Did we make the right choices? I guess we’ll know after the party.”

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