#postscarcity or bust!

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monkey money

Posted by straw prophet on May 29, 2012 at 9:15 AM

“Once upon a time in a village, a man announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for 10 rupees apiece.

The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them.

The man bought thousands at 10 rupees apiece, and as supply started to diminish and it became more difficult to catch a monkey, the villagers stopped their effort, for they no longer considered it worthwhile of 10 rupees apiece.

But, the man further announced that he would now buy at 20 rupees apiece!

This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.

Soon the supply diminished even further, and people started going back to their farms to work, for they had little time to work their crops before harvest.

The offer rate increased to 25 rupees apiece!  The people left their farms again in search of the more-prized-than-ever monkeys.  The supply became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at 50 rupees apiece!

However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on behalf of him.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers, ‘Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at 35 rupees apiece and when the man returns from the city, you can sell to him for 50 rupees apiece.’

The villagers looked at their children, hungry from lack of harvest.  ‘It’s alright, children.  We’ve discovered a way to buy enough food to last through the year because of our clever monkey-catching skills – you’ll thank us for this later, when you understand.’  The villagers squeezed up all their savings, and bought all the monkeys.

Then, they never saw the man nor his assistant, only monkeys everywhere!”

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