Sunday, December 02, 2012

Like Thanksgiving, Christmas Anticipated Visible Signals Promote Supply to Meet Demand - Not "Miraculous Invisible Hands"

After writing my Blog post on the appearance of turkeys at Thanksgiving, attributed to the “miraculous” invisible hand in many US posts last week, a flyer was popped through the letter box today from “COPAS”, ‘very very special turkeys’ (established 1957) proclaiming that “Christmas is what we do best” (
I thought of the multitude of posts on US economics blogs making false fuss about Thanksgiving being evidence of the “miraculous” powers of the “invisible hand”.  I commented on one such post from “White Sepulchre” last Friday (see below).   The 8-page flyer from our local butcher, celebrates the “Griffith’s family business spanning over 50 years”.  And justly so.
It unintentionally (I am sure) while celebrating its excellent business record it simultaneously demolishes the “miracle” of the Invisible Hand”. The cause of its success lies in its entrepreneurial flair for responding to the anticipated demand for turkeys every Christmas and the anticipated visible price times quantity of turkeys likely to be sold in the days before 25 December.
That is how visible prices lead producers to anticipate market demand.  That is the only “miracle” required with not a hint of an “invisible hand” leading the Griffith’s family to do what that anticipation of the Christmas-related demand for turkeys signals they should do.
Copas produces up to “24 varieties of slow growing traditional breeds” in their flocks.  They are “reared in open barns, cherry orchards and grass meadows” and not in “crowded interiors” with only a few weeks of open air freedom towards Christmas.  The Copas diet is a “natural blended cereal, rich in oats, and natural vegetation” and not “animal protein with growth promoting additives”.   Fully mature birds take “6 to 7 months” to mature" (by May) and not “tasteless birds only 2 months old (in October).  All birds are prepared on the farm premises and not “transported long distances for preparation, instantly frozen, chilled and gas treated, with water added to increase weight”.”  Every Copas bird is “quality guaranteed” whereas standard turkey producers offer no guarantees.
These amount to formidable product discrimination for Copas turkeys, plus Copas branded side sauces, chutney, fruit, and stuffing “accompaniments“.  This is no “miracle”; its good dedicated competitive business sense, led by anticipated visible signals, not “invisible hands”.
[Disclosure: I have absolutely no connection, beneficial or otherwise, with Copas, and anyway Lost Legacy would not accept such commercial gifts from anyone. The flyer was on our table at lunchtime and I picked it up to read while my wife was doing the Times Crossword.  Our noisy grandchildren has just left to go home for lunch.]


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