Animals take what’s there is to be had, gorge in years of plenty, die off in famine. Humans, some of them, strive to produce a surplus. Curiously though the evolutionary development of humans has not progressed well to any consensus on the business of managing surplus. There has been marginal progress in moving from the outright piracy and theft of surplus to some kind of rational decision making, (laughably called economics). The misallocation of resources remains extremely popular, whether it’s gambling away the apartment rent, or gambling away a nation’s security in the name of big spending military toys. The bigger the surplus, the more extreme the mis-spending (which is at least one good argument against having big countries with mega economies). The prudent allocation of resources, the family budget or the national tax take, earns faint public praise and rude private jokes. Hell remains a far more interesting place than heaven in the public imagination.
So maybe we can extract some predictions (laws?) about the semi-evolved human creature and his habits:
1. The road to hell is paved with plenty.
2. Wherever there is a surplus, it will be wasted.
3. A surplus of money will be misspent.
4. A surplus of time ensures ineffiency, even mischief (lucky we don’t live forever).
5. A surplus of food guarantees gluttony, at least for the few (even in the presence of starvation by the many).
6. A surplus of convenience is followed by sloth.
7. A surplus of power will be abused.
8. A surplus of weapons guarantees war.
9. A surplus of government predicts incompetence.
10. A surplus of resources precedes pollution.
11. A surplus of religion breeds fanaticism.
12. A surplus of hypocrisy signals a culture of betrayal.
… roll your own prediction
It seems that Virtue is the daughter of that odd couple, Scarcity and Hope.