There is a special election next week in Georgia that will greatly influence the partisan control of the U.S. Senate. The outcome is as important to Marylanders as it is to Georgia.
In his last week’s run up to the December 6 vote, incumbent Senator to Raphael Warnock (D) posted a television ad showing his opponent Herschel Walker (R) making a campaign speech in which he, Walker, says that he would rather be a werewolf than a vampire.
The video clip of that ad has generated much discussion among Talbot residents, many of whom are “dissing” Walker as unfit for the Senate. This note is to rise in defense of Mr. Walker who is raising a legitimate matter—a matter that has both political and economic implications. Some facts are in order:
Political: A werewolf can often be disabled by wolfsbane, but that is about it. If the werewolf makes it through the night without having an encounter with someone who happens to have a ready supply of wolfsbane nearby, then your typical werewolf can go about a reasonably normal life, like participate in a U.S Senate caucus.
However, a Vampire has a sleeping pattern problem — up at night, but sleepy during the day when most others in the party caucus are awake (or seem to be). Furthermore, there is the reality that if one puts a crucifix between themselves and a vampire, the vampire becomes dysfunctional. This fact combined with the reality that many members of the Senate caucus are identifying with religious nationalism and, thus, likely to have a crucifix in their pockets, gives them a ready tool to exclude a vampire from caucus participation. This is not good for democracy. Better to be a werewolf Market Economics.
More to the point: it all comes down to the fundamental principle of supply and demand. One can kill a vampire by driving a wooden stake through its heart. Wooden stakes are inexpensive and easy to get at Lowes. However, it takes a silver bullet to kill a werewolf. The current price of a silver bullet is about $47 per ounce (Amazon.com). Add to that the transition costs incurred in getting ahold of a silver bullet, and the price of fending off a werewolf rises even more relative to that dealing with a vampire. Again, better to be a werewolf.
Behavioral Economics. As noted above, markets work. However, to get a complete picture of why Herschel Walker has it right: the werewolf manifests itself only when there is a FULL moon, whereas the vampire can come out nightly. Accordingly, the supply of werewolves is limited by lunar events (in the economist’s jargon, “externalities”) relative to that of vampires. So, now the merits of Walker’s thinking becomes even clearer: go long in werewolf futures and short the vampires. If he wins next Tuesday, perhaps Senator Walker should become a member of the Committee on Finance?
Robert Ebel is a former Lead Economist for the World Bank Institute. He now lives on Tilghman Island.
Letters to Editor
Kathy Carroll says
But if the werewolf only comes out on a full moon, how can he attend regular Senate sessions and committee meetings? Do you want a senator who is only effective once per month — and maybe not then if the Senate isn’t in session during a full moon?
Rick Skinner says
Thank you, Mr. Ebel. A native Georgian, I confess to no small sense of embarrassment in light of Herschel Walker’s complete lack of qualifications to campaign for or serve as a member of the U.S. Senate.his talk of werewolves and vampires is but the latest example of his irrelevance.
That said, your analysis of the relative merits of the two demons Mr. Walker chose to discuss in the course of campaigning suggests that what he lacks in qualifications may be offset a bit by his service as a source for satire.
William Keppen says