It’s easy to think that abundance — especially of free stuff — is a good thing.
But of course, too much of anything is bad.
Joshua Brown, CEO at Ritholtz Wealth Management and author of one of the widely-read financial blog “The Reformed Broker,” rung in his 39th birthday with a scathing reflection of where American culture, politics, and the economy stand.
And it’s not a glowing review.
“The only way to save the economy is to crash it,” began Brown in a post entitled “Abundance.”
“There’s too much of everything and it’s not good for anyone. It’s hurting everyone. Paradoxically, abundance is now the enemy. This sets us apart from virtually every other society throughout history.”
His thesis is simple: There’s too a glut of everything — funding for startups, money for mega-corporations, media content, TV, music, political voices, everything — and it has created a toxic atmosphere that needs a downturn to correct it.
For instance, here’s his take on startup funding and culture (emphasis ours):
Clay Christensen’s book on disruption, ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma,’ has been twisted into an entirely different book. It was once the Bible, now it’s the Necronomicon — the book of the dead.
Even money is free. The people and firms with the least need to borrow it can borrow it with abandon. Apple can have as much money as it wants, virtually free. They have no idea what to do with it. The US and German and Japanese governments can borrow for free. Then what? There is nowhere to put the money and no will to risk using it for the future. The electorate is old. They don’t care about the future. They don’t have one, just a present. We live in their basement. We live in their extended past.
“Here’s the perfect business idea for this environment: Open a Hundred Dollar Bill Store™. You sell hundred dollar bills for ninety dollars each. You’ll lose ten dollars per transaction but you’ll do a trillion in revenues in year one. Maybe you show an ad to everyone who walks into the store and you break even. User growth with be on the order of 1000% per month. A billion users. You’ll be the biggest IPO of all time when Goldman’s underwriters get wind of that growth rate. Go public and let someone else worry about a competitor selling hundred dollar bills for eighty-five.
When you can have anything at any time, is anything worth anything?
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