The Power of Sex: Measuring It in Economic Terms Is an Endgame

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Whoops, having sex with your coworkers is a bit of a scandal, especially when you routinely make fun of people who get caught with their pants down. I think all of you know what I’m talking about here. Last week on the David Letterman show I viewed a complete mea culpa over sexual liaisons with staff versus extortion for a lot of money. Needless to say an arrest was made and now everybody is picking up the pieces.

If there is one thing I’ve always been uncomfortable with in life it is “morals.” That’s not to say I don’t believe in good morals, it is only an admission that through my life I believe most people have one or two skeletons in the closet and that’s just the way it is. Believing humanity can actually control themselves in certain situations never quite added up to me. I preferred to live my life and tried very hard not to judge other people. So when the famous fall from grace like we saw last week with David Letterman, it is a bit of a train wreck. Sometimes things just cannot be avoided.

You could make the argument that sexual chemistry makes the world go around a little bit more than the laws of supply and demand and economic equilibrium. For instance much of my early economic training had to do with “books versus beer “and the pricing of life’s vices such as cigarettes, alcohol and even more lurid distractions. The point being the more sinful the vice, the more some people would pay for it. It all had to do with learning the nuances of something called “price discrimination “.

However I have learned that some things just cannot be measured and when it comes to the sexual realm there sure is a lot to measure. For instance, there are a lot of smart people in this world, far smarter than yours truly, but invariably some of them get caught up in scandal and essentially throw it all away for a few moments of pleasure. Of course one of the best examples is former Pres. Bill Clinton. If you listen to Bill Clinton and if you watched his presidency he was clearly one of the smartest, smoothest presidents in quite some time. However, what we all remember about the Clinton presidency was his sexual dalliance with a White House intern. Say what you want about what happened, but at the time it must’ve been one heck of an idea.

Of course a great lesson in all this is you have to be careful. I suppose that you could even make an argument that there is a huge industry in the family-planning world about being careful. However that really doesn’t encapsulate exactly what you should do when the train goes off the tracks. David Letterman, Bill Clinton and unknown others who have walked down this road threw caution to the wind and seemingly forever will be trying to get it back.

And I don’t know all the particulars about the Letterman case. For instance as I write this I’m reading that David Letterman will apologize to his wife tonight and who knows what else might happen. Putting the toothpaste back in the tube is always so much more difficult after pushing it out. I’m sure over the next few weeks we will be hearing many of the tawdry details that many in the media will use to boost their ratings. Simply put, the sexual intrigue surrounding a big star like this draws people in. Sex, even in 2009 still sells.

Still I suppose it all boils down to what we call “morals”. However it is very difficult caging this human condition. For instance this past week in Canada we saw the resignation of Bishop Raymond Lahey who was the Bishop of the diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia who was charged with possessing and importing child pornography. Of course everybody is shocked, who knows what the trial will bring out. There is just so much we don’t know.

When I hear of these sexual scandals I like to turn the other way, mainly because I think there is a temptation to judge very harshly even though if you really think about it our greater society is not particularly “moral”. There is lots of deception out there, hiding the truth, what will David Letterman say next?

Of course everybody has their day in court, whether that is a real court or the court of family and friends. It’s never going to change and if you think it is think again. Mankind has been like this forever. Now of course the 24-hour news cycle exposes it for everybody to see. I’d like to tell you to turn away, but I probably can’t even do that myself. So as society evolves consider the power of sex. Measuring it in economic terms would be an end game. However if you could, I’m sure it would be off the chart.