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It's A Wonderful Loaf Discussions

It's A Wonderful Loaf
“How could he know how much to make of each kind every day?” Couldn’t the minister of bread do a survey of what people want? What would be the challenge of doing a survey and using it to determine how much to make of each kind of bread? How would the process change when people’s preferences change or there is a drought in the midwest that reduces the supply of wheat?
In textbook microeconomics, perfect competition is often described as requiring a homogeneous product, perfect information on the part of consumers and lots of sellers. Does bread fit this model? Does it matter?
Thinking about the availability of bread (and coffee and garlic and fresh-cut flowers and shirts and sushi and haircuts and inexpensive clothing) might make you grateful. Based on the poem, who should you thank?
In what sense are the participants who create a market for bread anything like a school of fish swimming through the ocean or a flock of geese heading home in the spring? In what sense are they different? Why do I bring those examples?
"The system's organic alive." What does this mean? In what system is the process that bring bread to a bakery organic and alive?
Walter Williams likes to say that he doesn't tell his grocery store when he's coming, he doesn't tell the store what he plans to buy or how much. But if they don't have it when he gets there, he fires them. What part of the poem captures Williams's point?
What does the poem mean when it says: "But somehow their plans fit together with the highest degree of precision." Why is this so impressive? Can't a baker just tell her suppliers what she needs?
I argue that "over time, fewer people go hungry." Is this true? If it is, is there any relationship between this truth and the forces underlying the production of bread?
I say the supply of bread is big enough "to match up with demand." Is this true? Is there almost always too much supply with bakers throwing away bread or discounting the price because of too much production? Does this mean the process is inefficient?
Over the course of a year, a particular amount of wheat is grown, a particular amount of flour is produced from that wheat, and that flour gets divided up between all the different products that use flour. Who decides the amount of wheat and flour produced in the Unites States in a year? Who decided how the flour gets shared?
Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day for pizza sales in the United States yet the price of pizza isn't higher that day. The price of other things that use flour are also priced normally. Does this refute the law of supply and demand?
Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day for pizza sales in the United States, yet pizza makers don't get all the flour. How is that all the other products that use flour--bread, pasta, cookies and so on--are still available that day?
If it takes dozens if not thousands of people to create a loaf of bread, why isn't it really expensive? Don't each of those people need a share of the final price paid by the customer?
Is it really such a big deal that your bakery almost always has plenty of bread?
Why is "the freedom to shop where you want" an important key to the process that makes bread plentiful and relatively inexpensive?
People in Athens, Jerusalem, Saigon, Warsaw, as well as New York, London, and Paris live in countries where the government’s role in the economy is very different. The level of taxes and government regulation is different. So is the amount of economic freedom. Yet I’m pretty sure that in all those cities you can find bread every day at a decent price and some pretty good choices of different kinds of bread. Yet that isn’t true right now (in 2017) in Caracas, Venezuela.
Is bread cheap or expensive? The ingredients for a loaf of bread are only a fraction of the price. Therefore you are better off baking your own bread--you'd save so much money over the course of a year. What is missing from this argument?
When I say “of course the results never perfect, but the system’s organic alive,” what do I have in mind? How does this line relate to the Econ 101 concepts of supply and demand, and equilibrium?

The beginning of the poem asks the question--who takes care of me and you? What is my answer? Does this answer comfort you or disturb you? Why?