An amusing observation on bicycling from the words of banker and CEO of Euro Exim Bank Ltd. Emeric Sillo. I say amusing because they come off as funny, but in reality this is how many financial people and institutions look at things.
Bicycle is the slow death of the planet
Walking is even worse
A banker made the economists think this when he said:
“A cyclist is a disaster for the country’s economy: he doesn’t buy cars and doesn’t borrow money to buy. He doesn’t pay insurance policies. Does not buy fuel, does not pay to have the car serviced, and no repairs needed. He doesn’t use paid parking. Doesn’t cause any major accidents. No need for multi-lane highways.
He is not getting obese.
Healthy people are not necessary or useful to the economy. They are not buying the medicine. They don’t go to hospitals or doctors.
They add nothing to the country’s GDP.
On the contrary, each new McDonald’s store creates at least 30 jobs—actually 10 cardiologists, 10 dentists, 10 dieticians and nutritionists—obviously as well as the people who work in the store itself."
Choose wisely: a bike or a McDonald’s? It’s something to think about.
~ Emeric Sillo
Here’s a link to a longer story
Now I think it’s time to go for a ride and tick some bankers off.
I hope that was a deliberately provocative thought experiment rather than a genuine opinion piece on this chap’s behalf. If not, I would like to test my new dynaplugs on his tender areas
Upon further review……it looks like this was a spoof story. My apologies for spreading it. But even as a spoof it is somewhat funny. And I’m pretty sure that he sentiment in the story is not far off.
disclaimer: I haven’t read the whole opinion piece.
But in short, this is what’s wrong with consumer economics - the world we (in the west, if not elsewhere) live in. Growth and GDP is everything - there is a lack of meaningful measures to differentiate meaningful economies that improve our quality of life, with unproductive consumption. It all goes in the same box.
So to benchmark economic measures, spending $10k on a holiday that provides lifetime memories and sustains local tourism is equivalent to spending the same amount on lapband surgery because you have led an unhealthy life.
That may sound obvious to some people, but it’s not to others. So much of our consumer economy is non-value adding - as measured by my values. Of course, personal values vary between individuals, but it’s hard to argue against the example I gave above.
This is also why the constant claims that “cyclists don’t pay their way” is so inaccurate.
The bank doesn’t care about your lifetime memories on holiday. They will profit from a loan for lapband surgery exactly the same as for a holiday.
This is old, bro. Read it like 10 years ago, and it might’ve been old then. Pure satire.