Welcome to the very first (and possibly last) “Don’t Understand, Don’t Even Want To F___ing Understand Modern Money” post, otherwise known as a DUDE WTF UMM… post. This is for those of us who have no desire to consider economics at even an elementary level but who are tired of others exploiting our indifference and blasé attitude for their own dubious ends. Just because we don’t know diddly-squat about economics and are proud of it, this should not disadvantage us in life. What we need are some easy ways to spot when we are being led astray, without too many boring details.
An Imaginary 2-Person Beach Economy
(Note to self: Economy? Careful. Already getting bored.)
We sit on the balcony of a beachside café. You propose a game. It’s a game of imagining a simple economy.
There are only two of us in this imaginary economy, and we live on the beach. You insist on being government. That makes me non-government.
In our imaginations, we meander down to the shore.
For a time all seems peaceful, until, while building a sand castle, I hear the words, “I’m sick of this crap.”
I turn to see … you … flipping through a stack of business cards. You say, “We’ve been lazing around this beach for days now, and our highest achievement is this sand castle.”
“What do you expect?” I ask. “We’re surrounded by sand.” I sit back and observe the sand castle, admiring its contours.And for the main course, Sept. 11:
“Something’s gotta give. It’s time we introduced a currency into the equation and got down to business.” You lift your pack of cards skyward. “From now on, you have to pay me ten of these business cards each week.”
Blank stare. “I don’t have any of those. You have them already.”
“Well, I want you to pay me in them.”
Blank stare turns into a glare. “It’s impossible,” I say. “I don’t have any of the damn things.”
“I won’t take no for an answer.”
Polynomials to the Rescue in the Strange Case of Busted Bets Plus One