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Many grifts are pyramid shaped

Grift is used in favor of Scams because it also includes legal but ethically questionable business models that permeate modern capitalism.

Flavors of Modern Grift

Examples of modern quasi-legal grift include:

Making Grift Taboo

Since the legal and regulatory systems cannot always intervene to prevent this type of behavior, capitalist culture needs to make them taboo. The rampant grift in our economy will only end when unscrupulous business activities can no longer buy you access to the upper echelons of society. A culture of grift-awareness that educates people on how to recognize scams and unethical business practices can reduce the number of potential marks and make the grift life less profitable.

Taboos will also enable the enforcement of business ethics within organizations. It is not possible to implement an unscrupulous business practice without the help of many people. If these people are empowered through the incentives of cultural norms, it can override the tendency for organizations to discourage dissent.

Grift Begets Grift

The prevalence of grift causes a feedback loop where the more grift there is in the economy, the more people see it as the only way to get rich, so even more people abandon their business ethics and join the grift game. The more economic power that grifters have, the more they can shape the political and regulatory environment to legally allow or even supercharge their scams, giving them even more power. This cycle continues until the people get sick of being marks and fight back, hopefully just at the ballot box.

Grift erodes trust in institutions. It preys upon the most vulnerable. It exacerbates economic injustice. Legal systems and consumer protection agencies need to catch up to modern grifting techniques and prioritize the prosecution of these crimes. Culture needs to catch up as well, and give people the critical thinking skills they need to navigate modern capitalism.

Spiritual Grift

Spiritual spaces are especially susceptible to grift, due to several factors.

Anyone whose belief system is based on faith over reason makes themselves an easy mark.

When Internet-connected capitalism means that you can be grifted by anyone in the world at any time, protecting yourself from these scams is a necessary prerequisite for achieving modern financial literacy. It should be a cornerstone of our updated scripture and belief systems to recognize and call out shady business practices, not only outright theft.

Grifty Videos and Podcasts

Hidden Brain - How to Spot a Scam

The Grift Economy: Everything is a scam, always.
How Dips**t Grifters Are Scamming You - Long Story Short - The Daily Show

Matt Binder has a whole YouTube channel dedicated to the exposing the Scam Economy

Scam Economy 101: The ABCs of Crypto
The Simpsons: Grifter's Game
Jamiroquai - Scam Live Japan Tour 1995