Salad Bars, Freeriders, and A-holes
Sunday, October 20 2013
Contributed by: dbsmall
Tonight, we went to Sweet Tomatoes, a salad bar restaurant. With our dinner, we ordered three sodas, and were given three clear, transparent cups. If, instead, we'd stuck with ater, we'd have been given transparent blue cups. Several people were filling up their transparent, BLUE cups with soda.
Now, you can assess these "freeriders" two different ways:
- They're a-holes. They knowingly ripped off the restaurant, which will ultimately result in higher costs for everyone. They expect the rest of us to kick in so that they can get what they want.
- They're just smart, playing the game strategically. After all, they might get free soda. And if they get caught, all that happens is that they have to pay the fair price. There's no additional penalty.
So, what can the rest of us do to discourage "freeriding"? All we can do is refuse to go to the restaurant, subsidizing the a-holes' "free" soda. So that, eventually, the only people that go to the restaurant are a-holes, who steal soda. Right up until the restaurant goes out of business, because (surprisingly) there aren't enough a-holes in the world.
Now, consider this an allegory. Ted Cruz and the rest of his pseudo-GOP buddies are the soda stealers. Are they smart, because they can find loopholes to push their own pet cuases? Or are they a-holes, because they hold the rest of the country hostage so they can get what they want?