In macroeconomics, the gum versus teleporters model is an example of a simple production-possibility frontier. It demonstrates the relationship between a nation's investment in defense and civilian goods. Er-- no, that's not right...
Since time immemorial, players on the island have gifted each other valuable items as a way to ferry req between DriveKills. This has led to a curious feedback loop, where the most useful item on the Island (one-shot teleporters) becomes the most expensive item due to supply and demand, and then becomes even more expensive because of the demand to use it as a method to transfer requisition.
This feedback loop was broken only by a concerted effort of veteran players with huge stacks of cash, such as Isaac, Kuroko, and Tamar, to buy huge quantities of nicotine gum (a largely useless item) and sell huge quantities of one-shot teleporters. This action made gum the most expensive item on Improbable Island, thus enshrining it into the feedback loop as the most expensive item. This was widely regarded as a Good Thing, because teleporters are cool and sci-fi and gum is mundane and only good for avoiding the debuffs of smoking cigarette addiction (which no one has anyway, because cigs are worth more as currency).
Keeping the price of gum up if it starts to fall below the price of teleporters is a noble sport pursued by the wealthy & well-to-do on Improbable Island, along with polo, cricket, and yacht racing.