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Not in this market

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:28 pm    Post subject: Not in this market Reply with quote

The story of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) has always stuck in my craw. To cut a parable even shorter, a guy had 3 slaves. He gave 5 dollars ("talents") to the first, 3 dollars to the second and 1 dollar to the third.

At the end of the day:

1st slave: $10
2nd slave: $6
3rd slave: $1

So much is made about wasting your dollars (talents). While the first two "invested" the last one held on and came back even Steven.

What gnaws at my noggin is what exactly did the first two slaves "invest" in that gave them a 100% return all in the span of one day!? I mean, they're slaves remember...did they suddenly figure out how to trade myrrh with the best of them? There are very few honest ways, pre-electronic era, to double your money in single day. And so, I'm surprised that the master did not become a bit more inquisitive about these fantastic investments.

Even if you buy the story in toto, I have to say, as someone who has tried all sorts of get rich quick schemes, its very rare to find that kind of return even in a year's time...and for it to happen for two different people using two different methods. In my world, the slave with five talents would come back owing 20 to some loan shark and the slave given three talents would come back with half a talent and some expired spices that he couldn't unload. The slave who held on to his dollar would be the winner, having a net gain of zero.
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I followed your link, and I found quite a different story than the one you are puzzling over. It wasn't one day, but the duration of a long voyage. The second slave only got 2 talents, not 3. Also, a "talent" is the equivalent of 20 years of a worker's labor - a fantastically large sum, considering.

Doubling the master's wealth would seem impressive, assuming that the journey lasted less than 10 years - which seems likely. So yes, how to double 100 man-years of minimum wage, $1,2 million? Impressive.

Finally, the 3rd slave might've fared better if he hadn't been so honest, and insulting, in describing the master. Assuming his description is accurate, it is the master who should be kicked out to dark cold night.
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