Day 76 – Entrepreneurship in Charleston/Take 3

March 17, 2009

Above is a photo of the downtown waterfront Charleston area from a boat. Click the photo to view it large. Also, check out the link to the photo gallery at the bottom of the first part of this post.

Today, Tuesday, March 17, was the third full day of being in Charleston. Today we got up early and visited Fort Moultrie and then took a boat into the bay to Fort Sumpter and spent little over an hour there. Both forts have a history relating back to the revolutionary war and are filled with interesting stories. My photos do not do these spectacular structures justice; you really have to be there to experience it fully. Later in the day, we drove back into downtown, yet again, to explore more. We split up and went out separate ways. I was first with Richard and David, but we met up with Barbara, Antonina, and Anna for dinner, then met up with six other people right afterwards. Even though the downtown area is pretty large, it was really strange to me that we ran into the people we knew multiple times around the city.

Other highlights of the day: At Patriot’s Point, where we caught the boat to Sumpter, the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier is docked. It is a very neat ship. We are touring it on Friday. Also, on King St., there is a wonderful cupcake shop! I went in and bought a Black Forest cupcake that had cherries inside. It was delicious! Check out the photos in the photo gallery (linked below).

View the gallery of my photos from day three.


Here is a thought from Sunday: I am very inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of some of the town’s residents. They make different baskets, flowers, and other decorations from seagrass and palms. What I enjoyed so much was that the ambitious teenagers seemed to follow profit signals to a ‘T’. As you know from your introductory econ studies, profit acts as a signal to entrepreneurs to move resources into that market to move prices towards an equilibrium price. These teenagers were selling flowers made out of palm leaves. They were at different points along the street and pier selling these flowers. If any of them saw an area that was making more sales then theirs, they automatically moved there, even if someone else was standing there. No barriers to entry here. They even interrupted other sellers when they had customers by offering lower prices. They would only go down to a certain level, seemingly the opportunity cost of making the flowers. I witnessed a bidding war between 3 sellers and a buyer and the buyer got them down as low as they would go–$2 a flower. At this price, the customer was happy and the sellers also made money on their handiwork. This little example really shows the benefit of free markets and the importance of the free movement of resources and capital, as well as the importance of entrepreneurship. Markets work.

View the gallery of my photos from day three.