Re: True Abundance

From: Max More (
Date: Mon Feb 19 2001 - 19:37:08 MST

At 06:48 PM 2/19/01, Emlyn wrote:
>I've got a reference to a study somewhere (80's I think), which showed that
>people were far more socially mobile under Ruski-style socialism than under
>US capitalism. The study showed that it was viable for people to move from
>peasant to high ranking party official in their own lifetime, for instance,
>whereas the norm by far under capitalism is to move very little from the
>social position in which you are born.

It's true! Under Soviet socialism, but not US capitalism, you could very
quickly move from a comfortable existence as a Kulak to sudden death. You
could move quickly from privileged member of the Communist Party to
Siberia, if you said the wrong thing, knew the wrong people, or if Stalin
had a bad day.

The figures for social mobility anywhere are suspect, unless they give
dynamic rather than static data. (This has often not been the case.) The
overall composition might look static if about the same percentage remain
in specified groups, but you may find that the individual in those groups
change greatly over time. Contrary to what you suggest here, I believe this
is often the case in the US. I've seen studies to this effect, but cannot
remember where either!

>Another relatively random point; did anyone notice the recent article on
>NYT, which talked about the fact that over the last decade (?), the major
>trend in employees has been in moving back to large organisations, and out
>of risky smaller ventures and self employment, contrary to popular opinion?

Funny, again my understanding is the opposite. The figures I've seen quite
recently showed that a declining number of people are employed by large
companies, more people are consultants or self-employed or work for smaller
companies, *even though* the share of economic output attributed to large
companies has increased.

Alas, I don't have those figures or studies at hand. So take my impressions
for what they're worth.



Max More, Ph.D. or
President, Extropy Institute.
Senior Content Architect, ManyWorlds Inc.:

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