After a brief email to me.
As I’ve been saying since around, oh, 1982:
A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his or her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate,” Crabtree wrote in the paper.
This is precisely why, as much as it pains me to say it, Thomas Sowell (and co’s) elegant, waterproof economic explanations aren’t as seaworthy as they used to be.
If you still really believe in the old textbook model of, say, investment — little investors put up what a cumulatively big pile of money, and the company uses that money to create awesome, safe, affordable-by-the-intended-consumer products, then they all make a well-deserved profit — is still operating in the West, then I’ve got a used copy of The Producers I’d like to sell you. For, I dunno, $500. Shipping not included.
I make fun of The Producers, because its own plot hinges on an illogical, absurd (and not even in a poetic/Ionesco way) conceit that should have been obvious to its creators and its millions of fans and sent Mel Brooks back to the drawing board.
However, nobody noticed or cared and he, well, got rich off it.
Someone should really write a Broadway musical about how The Producers shouldn’t “work.” They could call it the Aerodynamic Bumble Bee.
I’d be the only one who’d find this musical appealing. And it would by definition sound a lot like 4’33”, right?
Which still gets “performed.” But the Beatle$ catalogue it ain’t.
The key to success, if The Producers is the model, is that you should be very, very clever.
But be one-degree less clever than I am, so you don’t think yourself out of a payday.
So as much as I love Milton Freidman and Thomas Sowell, in too many ways their stuff is like listening to a really entertaining audiobook but from the Fiction section. Fifty Shades of Free Markets.
They were both right.
But the rest of the world went horribly wrong.
Many of us are still trying to play our closed universe Capitalism Dungeons & Dragons game while the rest of the kids have figured out its so much easier and cooler and more lucrative to just stick up the liquor store.