Are people who work for hedge funds societal leeches?. The whole argument probably works even better for blackjack players. I wonder what my friend Jordan thinks about all this.
patri has a good anecdote a few posts down to demonstrate that prompting greater efficiency isn't necessarily productive behavior:
Or suppose that one apple grows a day. When only I live at the bottom of the nearby hill, I can stroll up and pick it at my leisure. Now you shack up on some nearby grass. We both want the apple, and so every day we race for it. Our gain is still just a total of one apple a day, but now we are out the energy of running. Maybe we start sleeping on less comfortable ground closer to the tree so we have a head start. We could agree to just take turns, and that may work with two people, but as you get more and more people all competing to be the one to get the rent from this apple tree, it is more likely that there will be disputes, coalitions, and resources expended to get the apple. So the total income for society is less than with just one person.