Daily Archives: February 18, 2017

Can John Oliver educate President Trump on the Basics of Supply and Demand?

Nordstrom cut Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, President Trump tweeted about it (and how unfair it was), and it caused a media firestorm. Retail became political fast, on a decision that was, in all likelihood, not politics based. Most retailers exist on (razor) thin margins and the last thing they can afford is to carry inventory that’s not selling, which ties up money and (eventually) results in losses if the merchandise acquired is end of life.

Moreover, it doesn’t matter how well the product line may be doing overall, it matters how well it is doing for the retailer that chooses to carry it. Sometimes a product line increasing in demand flounders at a retailer for various reasons. If most of the consumers who want the product do not live near the retailer, if the retailer does not carry the hot items at the right time, or if the retailer can’t effectively promote the line, it will flounder. And the retailer, due to lack of demand through its stores, needs to make the decision to drop it before they lose money.

It’s yet another example of a statement that illustrates an apparent lack of understanding about the intricacies of supply and demand. It’s even caused people to ask:

And I can understand why. While Mr. Trump clearly understands how to do business deals, and how to build/deliver what (he believes) someone wants (or he wants), that’s deal making, not demand planning, supply monitoring, or an intricate understanding of large-scale supply and demand. Plus, his statements on unemployment rate (which is result of demand, and supply, in the job market) and how it might be anywhere from 4.9%/5.0% to 42% and GDP (as it’s impossible to have a GDP less than zero, only a trade differential) mean that he needs more education and facts on the large-scale economics that govern supply and demand.

But, as the doctor tweeted in response, who would be up to that challenge?

After watching the last episode of Last Week Tonight, he thinks he has the answer.

John Oliver.

Just look at how simplistic his Last Week Tonight show team make a number of issues in the commercials that they specifically developed for Mr. Trump.

If John Oliver can tackle these issues, why not Supply and Demand?