Wednesday, March 15, 2006
A major economic miscomprehension
In a conversation in the New Yorker between comic writers, David Owen says about the aftermath of 9/11:
It wasn’t the first thought I had that day but it was pretty near the top: Oh God, I wonder what World Trade Center stuff is going for on eBay? I went and looked. People were getting bids of hundreds of dollars on World Trade Center trinkets and posters that showed the World Trade Center still standing. It was a major economic miscomprehension, which is: it wasn’t World Trade Center souvenirs that had become scarce; it was the World Trade Center itself that had been made scarce. We can always get more little things to sell on the street. EBay shut it down, but I thought that was sort of affirming for America—that, first, we’re morons, and, second, everybody’s out to make a buck. Immediately, it was as if we were back to normal.Having said that, there's nothing wrong with either being a moron or being out to make a buck. I'm good at the first and lousy at the second, but maybe one day I can turn that around.