Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Financial Economy

According to the Late Great Douglas Adams, we have been doing this for millions of years. In this excerpt from "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe," he recounts humanity's first Financial Bubble, and the highly effective strategy that was devised to recover from it.

To set the scene -- the Golgafrincham B-Ark has crash-landed on the Earth, 2 million years before the present. The B-Ark was a clever ruse by which the Gogafrinchans rid themselves of a useless third of their population -- all the middlemen, financial planners, telephone sanitzers, etc. They concocted tales of planetary doom, and divided their population into three portions. Each would travel to a new world in a great Ark. The A-Ark would take all the great leaders and thinkers; the C-Ark would take all the people who made things and did things with real skills, and the B-Ark would take everyone else. In a grand show of kindness, the B-Ark was sent off first. The other two-thirds of the population then remained happily at home on Golgafrincham. In this scene, the Golgafrinchans (who will become the progenitors of all earthly humanity) are holding a council meeting as they attempt to build a new civilization on this pristine world. The matter of "money" has just come up; a Management Consultant is speaking, and responding to the assertion that money "does not grow on trees":
"'...since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensly rich.' ... 'But we have also,' continued the Managment Consultant, 'run into a small inflation problem on account of the high level of leaf availability, which means that, I gather, the current going rate has something like three decidous forests buying one ship's peanut. ... So in order to obviate this problem and effectively revalue the leaf, we are about to embark on a massive defoliation campaign, and ... er, burn down all the forests. I think you'll all agree that's a sensible move under the circumstances."

Things have not changed much in the intervening 2000 millennia...


At 6:28 AM, Blogger fangsheath said...

"But they made sure they sent you lot off first, did they?"

"Oh yes, well, everyone said, and very nicely I thought, that it was important for morale that they would be arriving on a planet where you would be assured of a good haircut...and where the phones were clean."

At 12:47 PM, Blogger prairiewolf said...

So long...Oh, by the way...Thanks for all the fish!

At 3:57 PM, Blogger prairiewolf said...

By the way...



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