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The Economy: “The Costs of Dragon Maintenance”

Friday, February 17, 2017 9:43
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“The Costs of Dragon Maintenance”
by Gary Christenson
“The next time you:
• Pay your mortgage, which is mostly interest;
• Pay your outrageously large auto or student loan;
• Pay an exorbitant amount for health insurance;
• Pay an even larger co-pay for a minor hospital procedure;
• Buy groceries for $100 and compare that purchase to what $100 bought in 1971;
• Realize that a four person family’s share of the U.S. national debt is nearly one-quarter million dollars, consider the costs of fiat paper currencies, deficit spending, central banking and… dragon maintenance.
A long time ago and far, far away outlaws raided a village and stole food, gold and women. The angry villagers could do little to protect their village except pray to their gods. A large and fearsome dragon descended into the village square answering their prayers. The dragon agreed to protect the village in return for food. Everyone was afraid of the dragon’s sharp claws and its fiery breath which incinerated those who threatened the dragon or the village. Raiders avoided the village. The people rejoiced in their new safety but worried the dragon ate too much food.
Problems developed after several years.
• The village council went deeply into debt paying for dragon food. They also raised taxes and printed an excessive amount of paper money which increased all consumer prices. This angered the residents.
• Farmers increased food prices even higher because of the greater demand for dragon food. Residents grumbled about higher food costs.
• The village council hired public relations specialists to convince the people that dragon maintenance was necessary. The extra employment was helpful, but the village council went deeper into debt paying the new employees.
• Economic activity declined because the cost of capital tripled.
• The village grew poorer, and everyone suffered as their cost of living increased. In many respects they were worse off than before the dragon arrived.
After a drought and partial crop failure, prices for wheat tripled and the dragon grew hungry and cranky. He ate three village residents. The villagers met and demanded the council banish the dragon because dragon maintenance was too costly. They ordered the Mayor to roust the dragon and send it elsewhere. The Mayor promptly resigned. People escaped to other towns, and the village deteriorated culturally and economically as it sunk into poverty. The village council fed mal-contents and old people to the dragon when the council could not afford other food. Soon everyone feared the village council would declare them dragon food. Most people fled the village except for members of the council who were confident the dragon would protect, but not eat, them.
They were mistaken.
The dragon ate roasted councilmen for dinner, burned the village to the ground and flew away, searching for another village that wanted protection. The village had survived for hundreds of years but it died not long after the dragon arrived. However the village existed a long distance away from the United States and the dragon maintenance saga happened before the world developed central banking, fiat paper money, deficit spending, ever-increasing debt, High Frequency Trading, derivatives, Quantitative Easing, PhD Keynesian economists and career politicians who manage our nations… so don’t worry… about dragon maintenance.”


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