George V. Higgins wrote about scufflers and their lawyers. In one of them, Eli either remembers or hallucinates, Higgins explained property transfer, something along the lines of
You take something of value from one person and give it to another and then do the reverse. The beauty of it is that magic moment when the things of value are in your hands and you get the chance to rip off a chunk for yourself.UPDATE: Carrot Eater below points out that Eli was hallucinating and this was from Kurt Vonnegut. So it goes.
Many, many years ago as a young bunny the Rabett read this and recognized truth. Jerry Ravetz and Roger Pielke Jr. made careers acting as property transfer agents between science and policy makers. Attempts from either side of the gulf to contact the other directly without paying the toll threaten their magic moments, explaining their antipathy to folks like Phil Jones and Al Gore.
And what better way to close this post than an actual quote from George V. Higgins
We are surrounded by nitwits, Matt. It is not a good idea to consider how much time we spend correcting the results of their idiocy