A lesson on economics

It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a $100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to
inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the $100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the $100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the $100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel. The guy at the Farmers' Co-op takes the $100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna. The publican slips the money along to
the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him "services" on credit. The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the $100 . The hotel proprietor then places the$100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the $100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town. No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However,
the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how the bailout package works.

It will be as smooth as 05 September 476 A.D.

The story is cute, but leaves out the fact that, yes, they all got their bills paid, and nobody made profit, but, The German stole all the light fittings, soaps, towels, bed linen and mint chocolates, and meanwhile, his French friend was out the back, piling the contents of the freezers, wine, spirit and beer store into the back of their oversized Beamer.

Do people really think that the bailout will be as smooth as that?

Barbara Deane, Nigel Bray, and Graham Ritchie, (any relation to Guy?), I agree with all of you. Denise, you're so funny, of course if the publican had been a woman she would've let the room. As for the only woman being a prostitute, aren't we all? Her trade just happens to be sex. There is a happy prostitute in the film 'Never on a Sunday' 1960 from Jules Dassin, but I digress.

Disclaimer: Please forgive how verbose the following might be, and I'm usually way more fun than this, not so serious, but sometimes I just must have my rant.......

This tale was a very nice tale indeed, however if only one person in the chain buys something he or she wanted instead of paying their debt, this system will fail. I think it would be swell if everyone were as conscientious as the Greek villagers in this story. Since we know that even the best of us has succumbed to greed at least once in our lives, what always needs to accompany a bail-out is an oversight committee with honest members therein. Can anyone imagine that? An oversight committee in which every single member is honest? If so, I have some land for sale.

From the dawn of the industrial revolution world economics' systems have deteriorated. What makes anyone believe that anything could work from those big-wigs with everything to gain and nothing to loose? To rectify a problem that frankly was brought on by a certain mindset that we haven't changed yet? I'm not saying it will be easy, I'm changing things in my own life and know how hard it is. We have been conditioned for at least several decades, if not over 100 years that our own self worth is attached to consumerism, debt, and we're taught that a little greed is good. The powers that be stuff our faces, especially here in the States I'm afraid, with fear to make us get deeper and deeper into debt. As long as there's big money for the people running the world, nothing substantial will change. We might feel better for awhile because something is being done. But it would be like the proverbial band-aid put on a cut, one day when that band-aid falls off, we'll see that cut has festered. I'm aware of how grim I sound, but some one has to say it.

Here's a scenario:

Out of town guests come to visit us. We might like to take them to a restaurant down the street where a the owner owes me for quite a few haircuts, for which I took no cash. (I'm an artisan and make jewelry and other things I trade goods for too). Or we could just stay home and my husband and I could wine and dine them for no money out of pocket. You see, he sells bread for a baker at the open market on Sundays. At the close of the market he trades some surplus baked goods for some veggies, and the baker paid him in wine, not cash for manning the stand. The guy down the street my hubby gives his cardboard bread pallets to, (to recycle), gives my hubby some home-made pasta his wife makes, just as a thank you, yada yada, you get the picture. True story.

We've made a mess of things, all of us, me included in my own seemingly insignificant way. Can you imagine having a system like the one used years ago before the industrial age, with some improvements, of course? I really do need my computer, and absolutely a few creature comforts. Let's not get all crazy. But really, if each of us does our part not to buy into, (excuse the pun), the things that we really don't need, we can change the world one by one from the grass roots up.

No problem. I wasn't at a all offended that she was a prostitute. Clearly a town inhabited only by men would require one. Of course, if the publican had been a woman, she'd have gotten to keep the tourists 100E. LOL


No offence intended Denise, it was that or a priest and i thought that was the lesser of the 2 evils lol

I like the analogy -- but really --the only woman is a prostitute? I don't think I'm overly PC but let's be a little conscious huh?

I've heard a similar one in Viet Nam in their own context but it comes out the same, good old classics persist and often become truisms...

the hotel owner never gave a service so he wasnt owed anything me thinks

Steal away thats how I came across it, though I just took it and never asked

..bouche-bec..exacte..bravo !

That is the best.. can I steal it and pass it along?


Don't spoil the story by being right.....

Hi Bruce,

You have to remember the hotel owner went next door to settle his debt and start the ball rolling.

Surely the hotel owner is still out of pocket?

if only it was so simple....AND swift.

If only....Inspect my rooms and the woe will be over....

I've never seen it before and I think it is brilliant, now who'd like to loan me a few thousand so we can share in some of the optimism?

yes Celeste I seem to remember it from a while ago but it is such a simple explanation, sadly its so close to the truth