Opportunity Cost

7 02 2011

The Clash

Should he stay or should he go?  What are the costs associated with both decisions?

Shipbuilding, Elvis Costello

Is it worth it?
A new winter coat and shoes for the wife
And a bicycle on the boy’s birthday
It’s just a rumour that was spread around town
By the women and children
Soon we’ll be shipbuilding…….
Well I ask you
The boy said “Dad they’re going to take me to task, but I’ll be back by Christmas”
It’s just a rumour that was spread around town
Somebody said that someone got filled in
For saying that people get killed in
The result of this shipbuilding
With all the will in the world
Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls
It’s just a rumour that was spread around town
A telegram or a picture postcard
Within weeks they’ll be re-opening the shipyards
And notifying the next of kin
Once again
It’s all we’re skilled in
We will be shipbuilding……..
With all the will in the world
Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What is the song about?
  2. What is the choice that must be made?
  3. What are the opportunity costs of the choice?
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