The technology of theft

Had we but world enough, and time,
this coyness, lady, were no crime.

-Andrew Marvell

Had I but wealth enough, and time, I would make many more wealthy with my well-timed stock picks. But as an English teacher, many students’ writing and reading skills would suffer if I diverted even a minute from the stacks of papers I bring home (and grade on to provide valuable learning feedback. My adult energies, you see, are invested in empowering the next generation, not my bank account. (I do not claim this with any moral superiority–it is merely the job I have found that I do well and conveniently.)

If asked for proof of my investment prognostication skills, I’d point to my 100-plus % gains in Apple, Google, and Starbucks over the last several years. My plan has been selfish:  to supplement a dubious teacher pension with a portfolio that I could grow and reinvest for financial security into my old age. Let me mercenarily state here that if any of my readers wishes consultation on his/her investments, s/he can rest assured that I will treat his/her interests with scrupulous confidentiality and all my proven perspicacity–but for a price.

For, alas, I now seek supplemental funds. My portfolio suffered a sudden loss last week when a West Side vandal (see map), no doubt propelled by crushing 19th century economic pressures, did serious damage to my 20th century automobile (see insurance photo). It’s un-drivable now with no muffler, bruiting disturbance to the community’s peace. That’s why I had to liquidate $2500 of my 21st century holdings. What a drag! Sometimes our plans for the future get  impinged on by persistant pressures from the past.

It seems the catalytic converter on my car is full of valuable platinum metal. That precious metal’s noble isotopes, which reduce air pollution in the atmosphere, also increase a thief’s wealth, provided s/he is equipped with a Sawsall and access to the underside of a vehicle. It’s as simple as several seconds on the ground and a trip to the metal resaler then. 

But in consequence of my thief’s entrepreneurial proficiency, I have had to diminish my investment in my future. Thus is the equation balanced. Oh, the cruel social arithmetic of modern capitalism!

And oh, the technology of property crime: from a dream-less place it often strikes, and in the process depreciates the dreams of others!
[note:  this post was originally written in November of 2010].

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