Every so often I feel compelled to re-post this video of comedian Louis CK’s brilliant appearance on the Conan O’Brien Show. I think it’s brilliant because he recognizes some of the mundane things that we take for granted, but they make our lives amazing.
We get to sit in chairs in the sky! Over the past several weeks I’ve made business presentations in four cities over 1,500 miles from my home. Yet, in two cases I was able to wake up in my bed in the morning, sit in a chair in the sky, make my presentation, sit in a chair in the sky some more and fall asleep in my bed that night. AMAZING! In the other two cases, I was able to return the next day. I was able to obtain transportation in the presentation cities with little effort, as well as food and board when I needed to stay the night.
Every time I fly, I think of this video and I am amazed that I get to sit in a chair in the sky.
I re-posted this video now because I came across another video that nicely explains why we get to sit in chairs in the sky. Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, does a very nice job explaining it in this video (thanks to Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek for the link).
The answer is exchange. I’ll give Louis CK credit for mentioning capitalism early his video, which is the correct answer. But, more specifically, exchange is the reason.
Exchange is a wonderful innovation that we all benefit from. Voluntary exchange especially.
Where people live poorly, it’s because they have little voluntary exchange. Where people live better than kings of the past, we have plenty of voluntary exchange. Want to help the starving children in third world countries? Support solutions that bring them plenty of voluntary exchange and remove barriers to that exchange.