Let Them Eat Rhino Horns

People don’t respond well to being told to consume less (weak sauce, moralizing, doesn’t work). But we accept pricing. Perhaps we should reframe our concerns with consumption as a problem of pricing.

Consider a few examples. Front row Laker tickets might cost $12,000. Are middle-class families in the upper deck protesting? No, they’re cheering loudly (and for the Lakers no less…). Can’t afford a big engagement ring? Boo hoo, get a small one. Can’t afford a Ferrari? Buy a Toyota. Can’t afford a Toyota? Take the bus.

Now extend the same exercise of pricing private property to pricing property that we own collectively (i.e., a consumer tax for scarcity). You want shark fin soup? Great, that’ll be $10,000 per bowl. Enjoy its alleged magical healing powers. A hotdog made of snow leopard? Go for it! It costs $500 million and includes a fountain soda. A typical cow burger might cost $200. Golfing on lush greens in the Arizona desert costs $5,000 per hole. Consume away!  If you can’t afford it, get more money. Shit ain’t free, folks. Work harder. We will adjust prices based on scarcity, just like markets for private goods. Failure to pay is theft.

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Is Mother Nature trying to tell us something?  

The Hadron collider – the world’s largest atom smasher, located in Switzerland – shut down this past week when a goddamn weasel chewed his way into its electrical panel. A few years ago the collider shorted unexpectedly when a bird flying by dropped a loaf of bread into it (technically a baguette). I’m not religious, but if a third renegade animal stops the collider perhaps we should hold a symposium, kick the tires a bit, make sure our fellow planetary inhabitants are not desperately trying to tell us something?