July 10, 2013 in Editorial
It’s a Thursday morning, about 10am. Richard has just made another comment about your clothes. Mary ‘didn’t have time’ to type up the report. And the boss made comments suggesting overtime is inevitable.
The little voices start talking about lighters, crowbars and an alternative use for a stapler.
Only you don’t go through with any of it. Because for most people, most of the time, there is too much to lose by going evil. And so after careful consideration, you decide that defaulting on the mortgage isn’t worth the satisfaction of putting naughty pictures on the CEO’s PowerPoint.
If the good guys don’t go bad because it costs too much, presumably the bad guys don’t go good because it costs too much. What we’re asking today is, what exactly would bad guys have got if they had chosen to use their powers or abilities in the legal free market?
For the sake of comparison, and because we find it more amusing, we’re going to assume that all of these people lived in the modern day real world.
An interesting point to raise though in our modern day analogy is ‘what if the finances above were almost, but not quite enough?’ As in, for just a small, little bit more money, these guys would have turned good (or at least, legally profiteering). Then the way to stop evil becomes rather odd. To stop the Joker, subsidise the arts. To stop the White Witch, enforce school trips to ski resorts. To stop Magneto, make it easier to get foreign visas.
Of course, we’ll never know in the real world who has chosen against going evil because they make enough money already.
And to be fair, whilst stopping villains by making ‘good’ more profitable might be cool, the Hulk’s methods are way cooler.
If you liked this article then you should check out our entire coverage of the economics of being evil. We’ve looked at the costs of being an evil overlord, of running Mordor’s economy, and of building a supervillian lair among others. You can find them and more in our Greatest Hits section, and we hope you stay in touch: