Monday, November 06, 2006
Count Dracula And The Art Of Business
I am posting this after having watched a program on the National Geographic Channel about vampires. It occurs to me that, of all the many anthropomorphic demons who beset us on Halloween, vampires are the ones whose behavior most readily embodies The New Economy. Their principle is this. Suck the financial lifeblood out of your customers and your employees. Both will suffer horribly from the initial infection of debt, and then will go forth to suck the lifeblood out of everyone who must buy anything from them. You charge me outrageous fees for what I do, I pass on the jacked-up prices to my customers as well, and so on ad infinitum. All of us are trapped in a macabre circle dance of reciprocal exploitation. The problem is that, because the vast majority of us carry around the black onus of debt no matter how active we might be in extracting money from others, we are never truly solvent, much less wealthy. We are not quite poor either. It is more that we are "unpoor", in the sense that the undead are "undead" - we need constantly to feed our vampirical addiction to more cash to keep ourselves from plummeting into the abyss of bankruptcy.
The big houses in your neighborhood that your kids visit on Halloween are themselves the fangs that drain the blood out of the "unpoor" and spectral middle class that inhabit them. As soon as real estate values fall, shafts of light shall strike down across us as we lie in our coffins and the "unpoor" will finally be impoverished.