With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Economics in One Lesson.

(Trying to mend my broken heart, I've decided to devote myself to the dismal science. Here is some of what I have learned while trying not to think about why I can't marry Lindsey.)

Economics is the social science devoted to understanding the exchange of goods and service. For example, if we were interested in studying dowries, we might turn to economics. What counts as a sufficient dowry? Is there a reason why a young lady’s dowry might be unusually large or unusually small? Or nonexistent?

Such questions are only the surface of the exciting field of economics. When is it O.K. to ask a girl about the size of her dowry? Should one marry solely for a dowry? If a gentleman find out that a girl doesn’t have a dowry should he break it off? The single gentleman should know that challenges raised by the dowry are a leading cause of relationship failure, second only to issues surrounding a couple’s decision to breed.

Let’s start with what the classes of goods are that constitute a dowry.

The dowry ordinarily consists of two parts. First, the agricultural, such as land, crops and livestock. The major point to remember is that you want to make sure not to get stuck with locust infested fields or animals with a terrible disease. To be responsible for a pandemic is not a happy way to start a marriage.

The second part of your dowry will consist of cash. A dowry without both the agricultural and monetary components should not be thought of as valid. As with the agricultural component of the dowries there are pitfalls to be aware of when evaluating the cash component. The modern world relies on paper and coins as a primary good of value. One consequence is that people will make their own money, what we call counterfeiting. According to one early economist, Dante, this sin puts you in the circle of Hell past murders. Because murders tend to make for lousy neighbors, economists have tended to shy away from counterfeiting. To make sure things start off on the right foot, be sure to alert your potential father in law to Dante’s warnings whenever talking about the dowry.

Certainly it is acceptable to negotiate the size of the dowry, although remember money is hard to come by and the alternative routes to wealth are not easy. Obviously getting a house as part of a dowry is a sweet deal. Stay flexible and be willing to negotiate. Although, it is a nothing more than a personal preference many prefer to have all non-livestock put in a treasure chest. If that is something that appeals to you, be sure to be up front about it.

While we have touched on the major issues in applied economics, mention needs to be made of problems in theoretical economics. The big question is who determines the rules for exchanging goods? Two major schools of thought exist. On the one hand you have the Planned Dowrists who advocate strict government regulations on dowry. Economists such as Jane Austen have argued fiercely against this position. The polar opposite are the Laissez Faire Dowrists who advocate the individual’s right to negotiate without any government interference. Forward thinking economists look to the day when a middle ground is found between these two extremes.

Finally, what will dowries look like twenty-five years down the road? Perhaps one of the most significant debates centers on whether the world governments are willing to allow dowries to be translated into a ‘digital currency.’ According to the U.S. Treasury nearly 10 percent of dowries are sat on. This loss to the dowry sub-economy can not be recovered, especially as many of these dowries are buried in far away locales.

17 comments:

part-time buddha said...

I will give you ten million drakmah for the dancing lady!

goldennib said...

Did you break up with Lindsey because she wants a dowry from you? Or did she want a deposit?

Bert Bananas said...

I like a woman with a tight dowry!

QuillDancer said...

Justin, apparently you are not into speculation. Lindsey's dowry might not be impressive now, but you weren't planning to marry for several more years. You have given up all that compounded interest -- or did she ask for a prenup?

Jenn said...

Quilly, priceless!

Justin...dowries?

Urbakon said...

401Ks are the new dowries, just like knitting is the new yoga.

Anonymous said...

Lindsey's lucky!

Justin said...

p t b:
Deal. I just made myself 30,000 drakmah.

j d k

Justin said...

goldennib: that butterfly hypnotizes me. I'm so sleepy. j

Justin said...

bert: Your the third guy I've heard say that today. j

Justin said...

quilly: how exactly does compound interest work on livestock? j.

Justin said...

jenn: I'm going to have to seperate you two. j.

Justin said...

urbakon: If Lindz could knit, dowries would be irrelevant. She could knit her way to wealth! Afterall, I already have a bedazzler. We would be unstoppable. j.

Justin said...

anony: cute.

QuillDancer said...

Justin, if you don't know how compound interest works on livestock you've apparently never owned rabbits.

Jenn said...

Separate us? You sound more and more like an "adjunct instructor in philosophy, humanities and religious studies" with the two of us giggling in your class and swapping Justin stories, rather than paying respectful attention.

goldennib said...

Justin: Are you suggestable when hypnotised?