By Janice Lam

“There are differences between free goods and economic goods that are free-of-charge… The former are not scarce but may be limited in supply… For the latter, supply can be more elastic given more time to respond… In the long run firms may reduce production levels or eventually leave the industry with the expectation of loss.”

What about words, Miss? Are they bads? Goods? Private goods? Public goods? Economic goods that are free-of-charge? Economic goods with a selling price? How elastic is the supply? How does the production run? 

Can we account for words? Is there a ledger for them? Or should I shove them in the suspense account? Are they errors to be reversed? Or to be simply written off? 

The study of economics assumes rational human behaviours. And the prime principle of accounting is to be prudent. You’ve forgotten a lot and not everything fits nicely into theories. But remember to be rational and prudent, dear girl. They taught you these when you were sixteen, the legal age for you to have sex.

Of course we are presuming there is the on-going concern, without which one need not account for anything. As for pricing? Have you checked if it is not a one-woman economy? If it isn’t, why bother? Why bother?

One-woman economy? It’s not the same as one-man economy, is it? A woman is made from the rib of a man. Yes, one-man economy means one-person economy. But one-woman economy must mean a man and a woman, for there couldn’t be a woman without a man. These are God’s words. Which God? The God who is white. Oh, you mean the God whose words are white! I’d rather think these words should be classified as Bads; as opposed to bad words that are nice public goods for everyone’s appropriation. 

Mind your words, dearie – better not run the risk of excessive supply. It makes one cheap. Make sure you don’t unlearn the stuff they stuffed your head with all these years. It’s not a matter of showing off. It’s just one ought to dust one’s weapons once in a while so one doesn’t get silly. It’s a sin to let go of your brains when you don’t have much beauty and breeding to start with, woman. Besides your parents worked so hard to pay your tuition fee. Don’t you have a sense of du-ty?

But where should all these words go to? Facebook of course. It’s a book, is it not? A free chat would never do for these precious words. Did I not tell you I am in the library? A library with an unlimited supply of thoughts to which I have free access. Hush hush! Silence is golden, as they say. I’m a rich woman, as you say.

A woman whose brain is rich with reason and breasts with tenderness. A woman who has a coat of gold-like silence against chilling glances. A rich woman who looks beyond the short run to free herself from fixities and refuses to sell her words like a charitable prostitute on some happy drug called love. 

Forget the metaphors. They take too much time to decode. This is a business world where everyone is busy with their own business. Got it? Got it. 

Good. No more feelings and silly words. That leaves us the final thing – expectations. Do you expect to make a loss? Will you make the loss? Can you make it? 

“The art of losing isn’t hard to master”, said the poet. 
And this is not a poem.


Published on: February 1, 2016 < Back >