A site of endless curiosity

What I learned from a Sun Parrot at the Pet Store

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A few days ago I went to the neighborhood pet store to pick up some food for my miniature giraffe.  On my way to the back of the store where this item is kept I passed the bird section.

On the end cap I saw a cage with parakeets.  It was a good size cage with about 30 birds in it.  The parakeets looked almost identical – hard to tell one from another.  The price of the parakeets was $25 each.

After I grabbed a bag of food from the back of the store and was making my way back to the front retracing my path I again passed the large cage of parakeets.

But on this pass, I took a look down the aisle where there were other birds on display.

Glancing down the aisle I noticed a large magnificent cage.

In the cage were ladders, bells, a mirror, plastic chains and all sort of bird-toys.  There was a large bowl of food and another bowl of water.

Inside the cage was a Sun Conure

The 30 or so parakeets in the end cap cage had a single communal food bowl and water bowl.  The birds had to take turns eating from the bowl and there was some pushing, shoving, and beak pecks among the birds to secure a position  at the bowl.  The same with the water bowl.  There was certainly enough room for all 30 birds but they all shared the same cage and had take turns with the toys and perching positions.  In the best of all possible worlds, there was enough food and water for all of them.

I looked to see the price of the Sun Conure.  The price was $500.

So it made me think that there was a basic law at work here in the Pet Store

You are treated commensurate with your value

Interesting. The Parakeets in the end cage, which were nearly all identical and common, where $25.  The Sun Conure was $500.

Why?  Was is scarcity? Certainly the attributes of the Sun Conure were more appealing than the common parakeet.

Perhaps there is an interesting analogy here with people.

If you have common skills, if there are many of you, and if there is nothing to differentiate you from the next guy in line then “society” will treat you “commensurate” with your value.

How do you increase your value?  Differentiators and scarcity along in the direction of desirability as judged by the market.  Perhaps the parakeets in the end cap cage need a union.


Written by frrl

January 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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