Friday, March 13, 2009

False Profit (and Real Idols)

The other day our 3-year old Devorah asked her older sister, “Will you please give me some ice cream?”

Her 4-year-old brother Yoseph interjected: “It’s not ice cream! It’s sorbet!”

Older sister: “Same thing!”

“No, it’s not the same thing! Ice cream is like chocolate and vanilla! Sorbet is like strawberry and lemon!”

What’s your reaction - pedantic literalism, or refreshing truthfulness?

If Reuven bought a home in 1973 for $40,000 and sold it to Shimon in 2003 for $400,000, and then in 2009 the value of that home went down to $300,000, was Shimon the victim of a Ponzi scheme?

Well, no, there was no fraud, that’s just the way the proverbial cookie crumbles, right?

But Reuven, by getting in and out of the system early, played the system well, Shimon was just a victim of bad luck. Right?

That’s the myth.

The truth is that there we haven’t figured out a way to create a system that cannot be artificially inflated, manipulated by people with more money or better connections than you and me. Most people break the law every day by speeding....unless they fear getting a ticket.

Unless we can find a way to change human nature. I vote for make ethics a required subject in every grade of school K-college. What do you vote for?

Shabbat Shalom

PS – it’s about time we had an uplifting music video – this week, I’m reaching back 42 years to the first ever live global television broadcast, called “Our World.” The BBC commissioned this song for their contribution, and it has become one of the most famous songs of the past 100 years (but not the greatest, evidently):

PPS – if you figured out what the three parts of this Table Talk have to do with each other, congratulations.

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