Monday, April 12, 2010

David Barash And Economics As Ponzi

I really had this idea when I heard about Bernie Madoff. Honest.

The human economy, as currently practiced, is a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme, for which Madoff is suffering the soul-deadening regimentation of a life-long prison sentence, works like this: The operator persuades investors that he has an attractive investment; the initial investors are enriched -- without knowing the real source of their good fortune -- with revenue from subsequent investors. Ultimately there are no new investors, and the con collapses.

Check out this article, We Are All Madoffs, by David P. Barash, on the Chronicle of Higher Education website.

Not to give any more away than I already have, but to give the analogy some specifics, "Nearly all economic models of 'development' rely upon an unsustainable assumption: that the discovery of new resources (or, alternatively, new inputs of capital, technological saviors of one sort or another, and so forth) will always come to our rescue, enabling us to postpone, indefinitely, any final audit."

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