Embedded Growth Obligation (EGO) (& Ponzi Schemes)

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An Embedded Growth Obligation (EGO) is a property of many institutions whereby their design is predicated on the assumption of future growth. They were designed in a time of unusually great growth, but that growth is now running out.

Examples

  • Universities that exploit postdocs for research
  • Law firms that exploit workers with the promise of partner (see hierarchy)
  • Accepting immigrants to rise the population, to collect more tax revenue to fund social security

Girardian Perspective

The works of Rene Girard are informative. When growth runs out, growth frontiers shift, which leads to rivalry.