Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vampires Need Economists and Governments

Reader Stacy Brock sent me this link about Vampires.  The essence is that Vampires (like virulent viruses) have in them the seeds of their own destruction.  To wit: they tend to kill the thing they need to live.

Apparently some physicists with too much time on their hands have 'proven' this to be true.  Whew - one less thing to have to worry about (but don't worry, there are many more, see Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything if you find yourself a wee bit too optimistic about the human race these days).  

An Economist chimes in to say that models of vampire self-destruction fail to take into account the fact that humans will likely resist annihilation by doing things such as picking up wooden stakes and doing nasty things with them.

The mathematicians interject the fact that vampires would not be stupid enough to deplete their entire food supply.  But would they?  I think Jared Diamond has a story to tell them about Easter Island.  Without a central form of government it is unlikely that individual vampires would self-regulate and pretty soon, no humans.

But I think they have all missed the point.  Clearly the vampires face a commons problem: the population of non-vampires is a common property resource and the individual incentive of a single vampire is to 'over-graze,' shall we say.  But don't despair vampires! Economists have long understood the commons problems and have designed regulatory structures to deal with them.  Just like the regulation of fisheries, vampires, through centralized control and authority, can limit the depletion of this renewable resource - heck they can even start to 'farm-raise' humans to keep the population up.

So what vampires really need are a bunch of economists and a good government.  The economist part is easy, just bite a few of us, the government part is a bit trickier - especially since it all has to be done in the dark.  But vampires are intelligent, handsome and cultured (hey, I have seen "Interview With the Vampire," I know of what I speak).  So, thanks to us economists the future of the vampire is secure.  You are welcome vampires.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Zombies who show no proclivity for cooperation and for whom the prospect of a well-functioning bureaucracy is decidedly dim.  [Perhaps I underestimate them, because apparently they have their own banking system]  So worry not for the vampires, they are in good shape, but shed a tear for the poor zombie, who like the Easter Islander, are doomed to extinction.


Garage Wine said...

I thought this post would be about the UAW's imminent ownership of GM ...

Jeff Alworth said...

Where do I submit my application to be the Undersecretary of Human Harvest?