Dateline: Richardsville, Suckersland—Economic inequality in Suckersland has reached its ultimate end point: a single man in that nation owns absolutely everything and all of the other inhabitants are broke or in debt.
Lord Richard, the man who literally has everything, surveys Suckersland from one of his palaces, sending in his robotic henchmen to remind the masses of their lowly station.
A family strolls along, a large robot shows up, displays Lord Richard’s insignia, and the parents strip the clothes from their back. The robot snatches the clothes and also the lollipop from the child’s hands.
Having collected those tributes, Lord Richard will make his daily rounds, parading through the streets with his robot guardians and wearing a thousand shirts at once, over top of each other and stitched together. In each of his hands: a dozen lollipops.
“He certainly has a lot of clothes,” says an indebted resident. “But at least we Suckers have only one plutocrat.”
Before he knighted himself, Lord Richard was a salesman and a predatory investor who looked at business like a game of Monopoly. “The goal in business is to destroy your competition,” he said, “so that you wind up with all the money and the property and the power.”
His prowess as a salesman was renowned. “I could sell anyone anything. I’d just spin the truth of what I was selling, tell people what they wanted to hear, and they’d throw their money at me. They kept buying my mass-produced schlock and then they went into debt. But I also owned the banks to which they were indebted. So I took their homes and all their possessions too.
“I kept everyone working for a while out of charity, but then of course no one could afford what I was selling. I could have exported, but I preferred to be the big fish in the little pond.”
Effectively, then, the Suckers were reduced to serfs who work at the pleasure of Lord Richard, whom many worship as a god. “I had my politicians rewrite the constitution and reinstitute feudalism,” explains the ruler of Suckersland. “I find it just streamlines the workings of plutocracy. Now we don’t have to bother pretending we’re capitalistic or democratic. You know, all of that self-deception can wear on you. The Suckers don’t even have to suffer from doubts about an invisible God, since they can go ahead and worship me. I’ve got everything, after all.”
Economists failed to predict that a formerly-capitalistic country could so quickly regress to a feudal society. As one economist concedes, “I think our problem was that we pulled our mathematical models directly out of our hindquarters. I mean literally, I think I have a second brain in my rear end, like a dinosaur, because I wasn’t really thinking when I came up with my rosy models and forecasts about how a capitalistic economy progresses to an optimal state of equilibrium in which everyone gets what they want.
“Instead, I reached inside my anus and pulled out not just the mathematical tools to disguise the counterfactuality of my assumptions, but the audacity to practice that pseudoscience in the first place.”
Now Lord Richard keeps a bevy of economists as his court magicians and jesters. “Make the peasants believe they’re in a meritocracy,” he’ll order the court economists. And, as Lord Richard says, “they’ll reach up their backside where they store their myths and legends, and start spouting the most astonishing foolishness. I’ll command them to tell the tale of how we’re all rational optimizers seeking to maximize our utility. And they’ll do their little dance to distract from the fact that ours is a nation of Suckers with only one god.”