We must understand that we’re living in a Ponzi scheme, of sorts.
Or so a friend suggested to me over coffee, earlier this week.
Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi, better known as Charles Ponzi, was a con artist who operated in the U.S. and Canada, promising his clients a 50% profit within 45 days, or 100% profit within 90 days, from “buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the U.S. as a form of arbitrage.”
In reality, Ponzi was simply paying earlier investors using the investments of later investors. His scheme ran for over a year before it collapsed, costing his “investors” $20 million.
A little rural community that wants to be a well-cultured urban center will typically find its caught up in a similar scheme — relying upon “new investors” (new residents) to help pay for the debts and underfunded maintenance needs created by the “earlier investors” (existing residents.) Some people refer to this scheme as “economic growth”, but as we are seeing in 2022, the economic issues can result in working families being driven out of the community they once called “home”.
Of course, the situation is much more complicated than the simple con games run by Charles Ponzi in the 1920s.
But to keep the scheme going, there are certain facts we can’t talk about.
Disclosure: I currently serve on the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) board of directors, but…