Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Economic Injustice

The response to the Eurfyl- Paxman interview has been amazing and currently has over 14000 hits on you tube.
So I an going to return to economics today.

However I must admit that its a subject in which I have very little grasp off.

I really can’t understand how banking works. How they can invent money and then lose. When billions have been lost by the banks it didn’t go anywhere it just disappeared, and yet none of the politicians seem to have the courage to say we must stop this because when these crashes happen and the “phantom money is no longer there it is not the bankers who suffer but the rest of us and when the axe falls it will be on our necks not the city fat cats.

Indeed it is ordinary people who see their real money disappearing. It is said that we are facing the most stringent cuts since 1945, in which the cost of the second world war broke Britain and limited the sort of welfare state that the Labour government tried to create, and I give Labour credit for what was achieved i pity they have lost their way.

But often as I have tried to understand economics I have been left bewildered. Until one day whilst reading Terry Pratchet’s Discworld novel “Men at Arms” I read this.

"A really good pair of leather boots, the sort that would last years and years, cost fifty dollars. This was beyond his pocket and the most he, Vimes, could hope for was an affordable pair of boots costing ten dollars, which might with luck last a year or so before he, Vimes, would need to resort to makeshift cardboard insoles so as to prolong the moment of shelling out another ten dollars.

Therefore over a period of ten years, he, Vimes, might have paid out a hundred dollars on boots, twice as much as the man who could afford fifty dollars up front ten years before. And he would still have wet feet."

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Economic Injustice Men at Arms (Terry Pratchett)

When we realise that for example that the poor pay more for utilities through prepay meters ( therefore penalised for being poor)and  can’t by food in bulk (saving that way) the Sam Vimes theory only rings so true).

1 comment:

  1. This is brilliant! And wonderful that Sam Vimes was used :)