Can Money Become Medicine?

Dalrymple has often said that satire becomes prophecy these days, and this seems to have come to pass at least once in his case…

Not long after I suggested satirically that money might be the cure for the terrible disease of burglary, experiments were performed to bribe drug addicts into remaining abstinent. I had suggested that money was a genuine pharmacological treatment of burglary because there would be a dose-response relationship (the larger the dose of money given to burglars, the greater and longer-lasting their law-abidingness) and that, as with most drugs, there would be treatment failures. Some burglars are more interested in the excitement of burglary than in its material rewards; money would have little or no effect on them.

Now, this approach has been tried on schizophrenics:

….18 of 75 patients changed their behaviour considerably as a consequence of the bribes but 57 did not. This probably means that the dose of money will have to be upped if better results are wanted. I suppose this should surprise no one. The mad are different from us, but not that different.

3 thoughts on “Can Money Become Medicine?

  1. Benjamin Rossen

    Eeek! “… law-abidingness.” That kind of word-inventiveness, even if done with a certain tongue-in-cheekness, offends my sense of good-Englishness.


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