Eric Sink posted an article bemoaning the current state of the web. In his footnotes is this observation:
I think we need to stop saying that the spammers only continue because they make money doing it. Virus writers don’t make money. They write viruses simply for the joy of causing harm to others. I don’t see much reason to believe that spam would stop if the financial incentive were magically removed somehow.
I agree with him. The idea that spammers will quit if they can’t find any more suckers is yet another piece of conventional wisdom I get tired of hearing. I also think it’s fairly useless to talk about something that’s not going to happen. As long as there are people, there will always be people getting suckered into making bad decisions. It’s human nature.