(L30) How Many Men Does It Take To Make A Candle?

Write 250 words on the division of labor required to create another simple household tool besides a pencil.

One thing that I use on just about a daily basis are aromatherapy candles. They smell great, and they’re so relaxing; but it wasn’t until I began collecting supplies to make my own that I realized just how much effort and man power it takes to make one simple candle!

The first item I bought was beeswax. Beeswax comes from a farm where a beekeeper collects/raises colonies on his land; in order to harvest the wax, he must take the honeycomb itself. The honey is scraped off, the comb is soaked and cleaned, then boiled until it melts into a water wax mixture. The mixture is then cleared of debris and refined by being poured into a fine mesh bag and squeezed. The remaining mixture is then cooled, hardened and separated; the refining process is to be repeated up to 6 times. When all of this is done, the wax must cool and cure for at least 12 hours. Then, and only then, do you have clean and refined beeswax.

Essential oils must also be purchased in order to make true aromatherapy candles. There are over 700 plants that contain useful essential oils, and they can be found all across the world. People who own stills must go through quite detailed processes to get high quality high concentration essential oils. It takes time, money, and resources. Not to mention the fact that most people do not have access to plants outside of their home region, and are limited to native plants.

Then, of course, you need a wick! There are all different types of wicks, and they can be bought online, in craft stores, and in specialty stores. Some people prefer to manufacture wooden wicks, while others find high monetary return with paper, thread and cotton wicks. People making candles have many reasons for choosing each particular type.

Finally, you will need a pouring kit, a hot glue gun, and of course, containers/jars! If you plan on coloring your candles, you will also need special dye chips for the wax. Candles that are being sold should be individually labeled, so as to support your brand. This would mean purchasing the stickers and making them on your home printer, or ordering them online.

It is clear that no one person could make a candle from scratch start to finish. From harvesting and refining beeswax to blowing glass for jars, the division of labor has got you covered!


(L35) The United States: Healthcare and Antitrust

1.) What are some of the factors that have contributed to rising health-care costs in the United States?

The birth of the rise in health care costs can be pinpointed in WWII. It was during this time that businesses were desperate to attract labor, but they couldn’t raise wages because the government had frozen the price. So, to compensate for this, businesses began to offer employer-supplied medical insurance; it was not considered a wage increase and thus, could not be taxed. After the war, labor unions demanded employer financed medical insurance be a continuous part of their contracts. This forced the hand of nonunion businesses to also provide health insurance in hopes of avoiding unionization. The result of all of this was that medical care was barely paid for out of pocket by Americans, which in turn caused people to care much less about price comparing. Since the client was not the one paying, (their employer was), health care suppliers then developed an incentive to offer high cost treatments. Ultimately, this created an ongoing price increase in the healthcare business.

2.) How is the actual history of antitrust different from what the average person probably thinks it is?

Antitrust is generally presented to the public as program that would help people pay ‘fair’ prices, and favor consumers. In reality however, the antitrust acts (Sherman Antitrust Act, 1980 and Federal Trade Commission Act, 1914) did the opposite of favoring consumers, and created a history of attacking successful and efficient businesses. One example of this would be the US vs. American Tobacco, in which this ness had merged with other smaller companies, (but not created a monopoly); American Tobacco was able to raise product output all the while lowering prices. There was still easy entry into the tobacco industry for competitors, and no consumers were being harmed whatsoever. However the US government decided to step in to punish and limit them by law, for favoring consumers.