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Compassionate Capitalism and a Story of Coffee


Classic syllogistic logic: all things of luxury have quality. Therefore, all things of quality are a luxury. This may be a valid argument, but it is built on a false premise.

Many things of quality are not a luxury, and what we often think of as a luxury has little or only transitory quality. This confusion arises from the systemic market failure of externalities and linear economics.

Does the luxury of shelling out the cash for an iPhone X, for instance, necessarily translate into quality? (or a Galaxy, I play no favorites here). Not so much, I argue. Even at a cool grand, the price of an iPhone X doesn’t reflect the full or real cost of getting one in my hand — economically, socially, or environmentally. The quality inevitably, even intentionally, degrades; whatever value there was is lost, no longer in the value stream.

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