“Kannattaa aina tiedostaa sekä henkinen että fyysinen matka Helsingistä Utsjoelle. Siinä on välissä aika monta kehää pohdittavaa: ainakin enemmän kuin kolme.”

At the base of all the considerations of economics are zoning rights to land. This is where the mathematical-logic of economics meets the cultures and law of the people: where objectivity fuses into subjective emotion at scale, and where the main bases for the arguments on behalf of democracy rest.

Zoning decisions guide the entire process of economic and societal growth had thereafter upon any said land in question. Here, the matching of demand to supply should be as optimized through democracy as possible: the effects on society are longest-term. In Finland, for example, we have two large Everyday Merchant -chains (Kesko and the S-Group) who have, on this side of the millennium, begun to have become challenged by the Germany-based Lidl. Their relative political power, as measured by zoning rights and those to project their formation, determines who has how much market share in whichever planned locations of commerce.

As the transparency of government and its operation has improved in Finland, distancing previous strangleholds on local market areas to make space for new competitors, so has Lidl’s position: this is a positive development, since the citizens acting as customers have been happy, since they’ve had more choice. The market for products has broadened: everyday life now contains more possibilities.

Here we can observe that what matters next, after zoning rights, is market share distribution amongst the created real estate: which type of market participants own (either directly or through lease-&-use) how much of what type of usable area, and how well are they doing overall, fiscally and otherwise? I believe that local economies are the most important place to start when considering the state of a nation objectively: what Economics is supposed to continue focusing upon. The sum of the parts builds the whole.

None of what I’m saying is, of course, at any level, new in any way: I’m just compressing it into as-fast-as-possible a reset-button by coupling the logic of the science with a practical market example. The calling of the remembrance of the obvious, so to say, in the steering of the global economy across future times, towards better directions. I truly think that, to get themselves back on their feet after the last decade of taking the heat, macroeconomists just need to start at the basics and keep doing so: “societal consultants” as they are.

Area studies, economic geography, is the beginning of the whole field: it should be compulsory 101. Understanding the land and what it is doing and why should be at the base of every student’s mind: it is what we live on and, given that economics has a huge impact on how we’re living, the study has to be a central part of the entirety. It just sort of ignites the process of figuring it out as inducing from primary principles.

Suomen kuluttajatalouden isoin haaste on S-ryhmän ylisuuri presenssi asiakasrajapinnassa. Haluan korostaa sitä, kuinka uskomattoman hyvin toimivat koneistot Keskolla ja S-ryhmällä ovat nostaneet Suomen elintasoa läpi viime vuosikymmenten, parantaen saatavilla olevaa valikoimaa etenkin tämän vuosituhannen puolella. Ongelmana on kuitenkin se, että paikallistalouksien mahdollisuudet yrittäjyyteen ovat liian kapeat sen myötä, että S-ryhmä on vallannut liian suuren osan asiakasrajapinnasta: Suomen pienkaupunkien pääkadut ovat usein miltei täysin S-ryhmän hallinnassa eivätkä yksityisyrittäjät kykene kilpailemaan tasavertaisista lähtökohdista. S-ryhmän pilkkominen siten, että sen tehokas logistinen koneisto ei vaarannu, on tärkeätä: yrittäjien mahdollisuuksia yrittää pitää parantaa merkittävästi tekemällä markkinoille tilaa.

© 2019 Jens J. Sørensen