One of my favorite stories takes place in 1848 in the small town of Westhaven, California. Westhaven was settled very early compared to the rest of California, so when the gold rush rolled around they had already been settled into a pleasant, peaceful lifestyle for a long time. The problem? Westhaven was right in the middle of a gold vein passing under the city.
Fearing that the incoming rush of gold miners would overpopulate and eventually destroy their town, the city council of Westhaven acted quickly: they passed a law. The law stated that no one could mine, search for, or even posses gold. Period.
Despite the best effort of the town, nothing can come between people and money. Eventually tunnels were dug from outside of town to the rich gold mine sitting directly below it. In fact, three such tunnels were made, all from separate sides. Eventually the tunnels grew wider, wider, and wider, until the mines spanned underneath the entire town.
And then, one day in late 1850, the town collapsed. The tunnels caved in, and Westhaven sunk into the Earth in seconds. In trying to prevent their gold from being taken and their lifestyle being upset, they ended up stripped of both.
Only a few people survived the cave in. Not a single structure was left standing, save the statue in the dead center of town. A stone statue of the founder of the town, who had ventured west in an effort to escape the greed and conflict of large cities.
It stands there to this day, bearing the inscription, "Greed is the bane of humanity."