You Get More with Honey

Economic Game Theory
In business, there is a noted phenomenon called economic game theory where cheaters of game 1 are punished in every subsequent period for cheating in the first place. Once a cheater, always a cheater, is the expectation Рyes, this is how it works even in business. If you always cheat, there is no reason to ever provide a new opportunity; you will simply cheat again. It is the get me once shame on you, get me twice shame on me effect - yes, another clich̩.

Quick Example: The Prisoners’ Dilemma
Two suspects are questioned separately, and each can confess or keep silent. If suspect A keeps silent, then suspect B can get a better deal by confessing. If A confesses, B had better confess to avoid especially harsh treatment. Confession is B’s dominant strategy. The same is true for A. Therefore, in equilibrium both confess. Both would fare better if they both stayed silent. *Such cooperative behavior can be achieved in repeated plays of the game because the temporary gain from cheating (confession) can be outweighed by the long-run loss due to the breakdown of cooperation. Note that cooperative cheating only works when parties are given a second chance and it is also the primary reason cheating parties are never given a second opportunity in economic game theory.

Daily Observation
I am fascinated by the concept and yet both annoyed and disgusted by those “playing the game.” If we all know that anything less than transparency, honesty, and good faith efforts are punishable then doesn’t it simply pay to exude these characteristics at all times? If we all know the rules then someone is bound to eventually see the truth and damn that cheater to hell. The rules of the road: life may not be fair; however, no one likes a cheater.

Idealism Trumps All
Ideals are not difficult to live up to unless you are trying to find a way around a “system” to cheat a system. Respect is given to those who learn a system, master a system, and help to move a system to an ideal efficiency and effectiveness. If and only if we are in agreement that an ideal system does not include any semblance of harmful or negative physiological, psychological, or environmental impacts – this is my one condition.

If we are forthcoming and work to master a system (make honey) versus becoming a part of a system (cheater’s anonymous) then we all live to see a new day.

Library of Economics and Liberty