Re: true abundance?

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Mon Jan 29 2001 - 22:13:05 MST

> > But our present system isn't working very well either. Not for the vast
> > majority of people living within it. Most people spend the majority of
> > their time doing things they don't want to be doing. For most people, life
> > cannot be said to be joyful.
>This may be true, but the problem is this. Almost half of all people
>live in China or India. I've never been there and I know little about
>their culture. Any analysis of what "most people" do must be based on
>lifestyles in these countries and other countries where the bulk of the
>people in the world live.

I was referring to the population of the world when I said most people
spend the majority of their time doing things they don't want to be
doing. I've never been to China or India, but I've known people from both
places. From what they tell me and from what I've read, it seems that the
majority of the people there spend more time working than people in the US
and most of the work is pretty tiring and definitely not what you'd call
fun or uplifting.

>Most people are, by Western standards, very poor.

Yes, this is what I've heard too.

> It may well be that
>most people do not experience much joy in life. I don't know; I've never
>spoken with a poor Chinese peasant.

I haven't either, but I've spoken to poor peasants in other places, and the
work they do seems to be tiring, and the pay is low. In general the people
age more quickly than people of our culture do.

> But if we hope to improve the lives
>of most people, we should not analyze their situation in the context of
>a Western middle class lifestyle.

You have to take people where and as they are. The Western middle class
lifestyle impacts the lives of poor people throughout the world, sometimes
in good ways, other times in bad. As technology continues to advance, I'd
guess that the impact will be greater, but its character may change.

>It's one thing to talk about the future of the West, about the new
>technologies and what opportunities they will bring to those of us wealthy
>and fortunate enough to be participating on this mailing list. But let
>us not forget that "most people" are unlike us. It's going to be a much
>longer road for them to share in the bountiful future we hope to see.

Getting back to the idea of a guaranteed income--it's possible that those
people who are unlike us might be able to handle the social change more
readily than Western middle class people. I'm not suggesting that I know
one way or the other, but it's something interesting to think about.

  I was referring to the population of the world, incidentally, when I
spoke of a guaranteed income. It seems as though a technology which made it
feasible to grant a guaranteed income to everyone in Europe at no expense
to anyone would also be capable of doing the same for the population of the
whole world.


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