Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cottage Industry

It has finally snowed here, two times in a week's time, about six inches.Here in Galewood there is a little cottage industry, shoveling snow for money. Maybe people are too busy to shovel their own snow, that is certainly the case with grass during the summer. So, kids in the neighborhood capitalize on this fact, and have been shoveling in the dough, at five bucks a pop. Yesterday i saw a crew of cousins, shovel four homes in the time I shoveled mine.

This morning I saw the same kids coming home from work on other blocks. I also noticed a few middle age and older men roaming around ringing bells on this block and the one to the north. I called one man over, " Are you trying to get shoveling jobs?" I asked. "yeah, I haven't got a job yet." he said. I said , " those kids over there are charging $5 and getting all of the jobs." " I charge $10, I got a family." clearly annoyed that I had stopped to talk with him, " you got a job for me?" " Sorry, I just shoveled my place." i replied. He walked away.

To me, this is a small picture of the economics of the city. Low skill jobs are scarce, there are too many competing for those jobs, wages are depressed based on the fact there those that will work for a fraction of cost that labor demands to take care of basic needs.

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