> For a practical example, take a market for transplant organs: I'm an
> average guy with failing liver - a new one would be of great value to
> me - and I can beg, borrow, and, steal perhaps $1,000,000 to
> literally save my life. You, on the other hand, are a fantastically
> wealthy industrialist, worth more billions than you can conceivably
> spend the interest on, and you happen to like eating human liver,
> cooked, whipped, and spread on crackers. Since $10,000,000 is worth
> nothing to you, you easily out bid me.
To resolve this paradox you have to look at how the billionaire got
his money. Assuming he acquired it legally, he (or his ancestors) did
something so incredibly valuable to the human race that people rewarded
him with billions and billions and billions of dollars. This was society's
way of saying thank you for the huge benefit he provided to mankind.
Now, when he eats liver, he is taking the reward from that debt of
thanks humanity owes him. It may seem unfortunate that he is able to
command resources that could mean so much more to someone else, but that
is the only way society was able to say thank you in a meaningful way.
In effect, humanity thanked him by giving him their livers, even though
others wanted them more.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:35:26 MDT