Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pirate Treasure

Business people are often accused of acting like pirates. After a new look at pirate history, it turns out that might not be so bad.

Peter Leeson, an economics professor at George Mason University, argues that pirate ships were actually some of the world's earliest democracies. His new book is "The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates."

An excerpt from a review in the Boston Globe:

In one successful cruise, a pirate could take home what a merchant sailor earned in 50 years. Yet a business enterprise made up of the violent and lawless was clearly problematic: piracy required common action and mutual trust. And pirates couldn't rely on a government to set the rules. Some think that "without government, where would we be?" Leeson says. "But what pirates really show is, no, it's just common sense. You have an incentive to try to create rules to make society get along. And that's just as important to pirates as it is to anybody else."

No comments: