Not so bad for business

Economics aren’t laws of nature. It’s tragic how people cling to them. Those of us who think about these things are forever astonished at the suffering the world endures, while solutions are so apparently at hand. But you’ll get an idea of why, if you just speak for a moment with your neighbor about politics.

The guy working at the discount electronics store, or the teller at your local bank (or the bank’s website developer if you don’t go to your bank anymore), all pretty much believe there are one or two really important ideas governing the fate of the whole country. The ideas occasionally differ, but their number is invariably few. ‘If we put a stop to immigration,’ or ‘if we only had a single-payer health care system,’ – then everything would be the way it ought.

There is no more powerful group of (conveniently) ignorant people than those of us with some money in the bank. We are absolutely, positively, certain the laws of economics dictate debts must be paid back – ‘or everything will collapse.’ Of course this is true: some of the ‘money’ we have in the bank is just IOUs we’re hoping to see come due. If they don’t, we might have to mow our own lawn next week (or even ‘go xeric’ and stop paying to water the damn lawn in the first place).

But all that really happens when debts aren’t paid is: the folks with the money have less. The folks with no money keep right on being without. The folks who owed money – well, hold on, the folks who owed money have more. Some of them might even go shopping for grass seed.

Comments are closed.