Global Warming – Tomatoes – Cockroaches For A Quarter

Financial wake-up call Fighting Global Warming Is Affordable: We always hear so much bad news about global warming and the cost it will take to correct it, that it is always good when some positive news on the subject comes about. While the cost of fighting global warming will affect individual areas such as gasoline prices, a new report says that the total effect on the global economy will not be near as severe as estimates have been in the past.

Why It’s Cheaper To Buy Tomatoes In A Supermarket Than Grow Your Own: This is an interesting look at the economics of doing things yourself versus buying them:

Isn’t it puzzling that so many middle-aged Americans are spending so much of their time and money performing menial labors when they don’t have to? Just as the radio and phonograph proved to be powerful substitutes for the piano, the forces of technology and capitalism have greatly eased the burden of feeding and clothing ourselves. So what’s with all the knitting, gardening and “cooking for fun?” Why do some forms of menial labor survive as hobbies while others have been killed off? (For instance, we can’t think of a single person who, since the invention of the washing machine, practices “laundry for fun.”)

Economists have been trying for decades to measure how much leisure time people have and how they spend it, but there has been precious little consensus. This is in part because it’s hard to say what constitutes leisure and in part because measurements of leisure over the years have not been very consistent.

Economists typically separate our daily activities into three categories: market work (which produces income), home production (unpaid chores) and pure leisure. How, then, are we to categorize knitting, gardening and cooking? While preparing meals at home can certainly be much cheaper than dining out and therefore viewed as home production, what about the “cooking for fun” factor?

Buying Cockroaches For $0.25 A Piece: On a less serious note, the Houston Museum of Natural Science has put out a call for cockroaches and they are willing to pay $0.25 apiece for up to a thousand of them. Sounds like a great way for some kids to make some extra money…

And for those who need some more reading to start off the week, the following carnivals are up:

  • Family Life
  • Personal Finance
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