Friday, March 3, 2006

Interdependence and Trade

I've been traveling a bit recently. This usually means I spend the first part of my morning back in the office getting caught up on phone calls, e-mails, etc. Once that's done, I find some time to check out the handful of blog sites I try to read regularly.

Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek had an interesting post on Jane Jacobs. The post and subsequent comments are interesting in their own right and definitely worth your time. But the post made me think about a different selection. In the same book cited by Boudreaux, Jacobs pulls a quote from Henry Grady, wherein Grady is describing funeral. I was struck by the great example of trade and interdependence this made and how it could be used to highlight those concepts in the classroom. See if you agree.

"The grave was dug through solid marble, but the marble headstone came from Vermont. It was in a pine wilderness but the pine coffin came from Cincinnati. An iron mountain over-shadowed it but the coffin nail and the screws and the shovel came from Pittsburgh. With hard wood and metal abounding, the corpse was hauled on a wagon from South Bend, Indiana. A hickory grove grew near by, but the pick and shovel handles came from New York. The cotton shirt on the dead man came from Cincinnati, the coat and breeches from Chicago, the shoes from Boston; the folded hands were encased in white gloves from New York, and round the poor neck, which had worn all its living days the bondage of lost opportunity, was twisted a cheap cravat from Philadelphia. That country, so rich in undeveloped resources, furnished nothing for the funeral except the corpse and the hole in the ground and would probably have imported both of those if it could have done so. And as the poor fellow was lowered to his rest, on coffin bands from Lowell, he carried nothing into the next world as a reminder of his home in this, save the halted blood in his veins, the chilled marrow in his bones, and the echo of the dull clods that fell on his coffin lid." (From The New South: Writings and Speeches of Henry Grady, Beehive Press, 1971)

Your response is encouraged.

Posted by TSchilling at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

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