Thursday, October 13, 2011
Here's some Belgian beer for sale at my local supermarket, priced at $7.99 for both Hoegaarden and Leffe. Let's think about that for a second. The process of making the beer began with some farmer planting, growing and harvesting either barley or wheat and then sending it to the brewery where it was combined with yeast, water, hops and perhaps another ingredient or two. It is then bottled, placed on a truck, taken to a seaport, placed on a ship, sent thousands of miles, put on another truck and finally taken to a store for consumers to buy.
Beyond ingredients for the actual beer, each six pack also requires glass, aluminum, paper and cardboard. The number of people required to create the product and get it to market meanwhile, even if we just count those directly involved, is astonishing. And yet it can be had for just $1.33 per bottle.
Capitalism never ceases to amaze.