Friday, May 12, 2006

Oooooh. I love this.

The Club for Growth Blog: Summer Reading List

Greg Mankiw offers a summer reading list full of economics books. One of them, which I think is perfect for anyone, is Eat the Rich by PJ O‘Rourke. Here’s a beautiful passage from the book:

“…take the real-world example of two kids who graduate from college with honors. One is an admirable idealist. The other is on the make. The idealist joins Friends of the Earth and chains himself to a sequoia. The sharpie goes to work for an investment bank selling fishy derivatives and makes $500,000 a year. Even assuming that the selfish young banker cheats the IRS - and he will - he’ll end up paying $100,000 a year in taxes: income taxes, property taxes, sales tax, etc. While the admirable idealist has saved one tree (if the logging company doesn’t own bolt cutters), the pirate in a necktie has contributed to society $100,000 worth of schools, roads, and U.S. Marines, not to mention Interior Department funding sufficient to save any number of trees and the young idealist chained thereto.

And if the soulless yuppie cheats the IRS so well that he ends up keeping the whole half million? That cash isn’t going to sit in his cuff link box. Whether spent or saved, the money winds up invested somewhere, and maybe that investment leads to the creation of the twenty-first century’s equivalent of the moldboard plow, the microchip, or the mocha latte. Society wins. Wealth brings great benefits to the world. Rich people are heroes. They don’t usually mean to be, but that’s their problem, not ours.”
What do you think when you see another of those "CEO gets the Golden Parachute" stories?

I think: "How can I get that?"

2 comments:

Al said...

Amen, Lance.

And God Bless You!

(I've defined what I mean by "God Bless You!" before as "may God give you what you really need to be truly happy." I find no problem in offering that prayer even for Osama bin Laden.)

ADDeconomist said...

Finally some one out there gets it that all the damn yuppies aren't really doing society a favor.