Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Inanimate objects facilitate bad behavior. Guns, lotteries, McDonald's, the stock market, etc.

I cannot figure out what John Allen Paulos is up to. Like any author, he may simply be keen to sell books. By way of background, Paulos had been writing books that are great fun for those who enjoy math and statistical puzzles. Yet, his latest, A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market (summarized in his op-ed in Monday's WSJ and also in other venues), re-tells his tale of woe re his WorldCom holdings. Smart man falls in love with his stock picks and holds on much longer than he should; smart man looses lots of money; smart man writes (and writes) about all this and may become a poster-child for behavioral economics or anti-social security reform or whatever.

Given all of this, the nanny state has to keep and protect us -- via a Ponzi scheme that is trillions of dollars in the red. One which seemingly smart people point to as a source of security that must be "saved".

Ponzi-schemes backed by the power to tax can last forever. What is wrong with this picture?