He Was a Middle-School Loan Shark
Enterprising kid. Outrage. Enterprise stopped. Kid shamed. Other kids can't buy the candy they want. Nobody wins.
Jeffrey Tucker writes at FEE of a 17-year-old kid (perhaps his or that of a friend of his) who started loaning other kids money for candy:
He would loan anyone a dollar. However, the next day they had to pay him two dollars. This was great because it weeded out people who were not serious about their candy needs, and got rid of those who had no intention of paying him back. His idea helped to ration his scarce resources. It had the additional advantage of making him some money, which incentivized him to make funds available.
Everyone was happy. He made money. They got their candy. Most everyone paid him back. If he began the week with $5, he ended the week with $10. This was nice. No one was hurt.
...My friend was making lots of money. And why? Because many students wanted candy and failed to make the proper financial preparations to purchase it. He was there to facilitate an exchange. They would get candy now, which is what they wanted, and he would be rewarded for anticipating their desires.
...Predictably, there was mass outrage. He was hauled in and accused of "loan sharking." There was a trial. He was declared guilty. He was put on detention and humiliated publicly.
Once he was out of the picture, kids no longer had any means of getting financing for their candy fixes. They just stood in front of the machines staring blankly. It's hard to see how the overall middle-school economy was improved by this crackdown.
The response of the parents and teachers was a typical example of mob behavior against intelligent capitalist practices. It's been going on for hundreds of years, particularly hurting people who make money with their minds through financial savvy.
People spend money because the thing they are spending it on is of greater value to them than what they're trading it for. Nobody was getting duped or swindled here. They all made a choice to pay a premium price to get candy right then and there.
P.S. No, I don't eat sugar -- save for a tiny scoop of ice cream or a mini chocolate bar once a week or so -- and Gary Taubes' new book, The Case Against Sugar, will explain why. Still, other people have yet to make this decision, and if they want to borrow money from a kid to buy candy, well, that should be their business and his.