a new rant

From: Stephan Vladimir Bugaj (stephan@bugaj.com)
Date: Wed May 17 2000 - 22:29:51 MDT

[Non-member submission]

> Here's my thoughts on making it affordable, the intent is really to
> eliminate the supposed have/have-not 'problem': Give tax breaks to those
> with above average or excellent genomes to donate their ova and sperm,
> and absolve them of all financial responsibility for the children that
> result from such donations. At the same time, give tax incentives as
> lump sum payments to women who give birth to such individuals reflecting
> the potential reduced costs to society by them not giving birth to
> psychopaths/sociopaths/mental/physical defectives. Its a free market
> solution to the have/have-not problem, it also won't encourage racist
> eugenics as well.

Not exactly. Who does the rating? The same kind of people who sit on
boards or staff the FDA?

My idea is to use insurance companies. Parents would be required to buy
insurance on their future kids. And these policies would pay off if the
has a horrible birth defect, ends up in jail, or on welfare. This would
the decision in the hands of a free market. And this should encourage loser
types to either reduce the number of children they have, or use high quality
sperm donors. It might also help people make better mate selection

BTW, I think we could also require insurance as a condition for parole.
way harmless people would be let out, while dangerous people would be facing
impossibly high insurance rates.

What makes people think that corporate bureaucrats are any more trustworthy
than government bureaucrats? My girlfriend's entire family are all
and quite skilled ones at that, and their insurance bureaucrat horror
only reinforce what I'd already come to believe based on my own insurance
stories: those people are as bad as, or worse than, government bureaucrats.

Why is a huge corporation supposed to be more trustworthy than the
I'd no sooner give Microsoft regulatory control over the Internet than any
government, and they would like such power as much as any government.

Eugenics is a sticky ethical situation, and the REASON is because the kind
choices that are to be made are to be made by bureaucracies - governmental
corporate bureaucracies all have their own agendas.

I'm sure this will be very unpopular to say in this crowd, but the free
is a myth. Our economy, every economy on earth, actually, is a regulated
economy. Both governments and large corporations conspire to wield their
unequally to the masses, who suffer from dispersion of their power and
in organizing and communicating.

Additionally, it is unclear that free-market eugenics would be any less
challenged, not to mention the dilemma that whom the masses selected as
gene doners might not be such a great gene pool... Think of people who have
been very popular with the masses: John Travolta, Bill Clinton, Michael
Mike Tyson, not to mention truly evil people like Hitler.

Who is qualified to make the decision as to who is a "loser type"? To many
Extropians and other tech-heads, futurists, and general "nerdy" types are
and we should be exterminated. Clearly, WE would not want THEM in charge of
decision, and THEY probably wouldn't want US in charge... In the free
market, of
whom is there more? Us, or them?

People's faith in insurance companies is amusing. I grew up fairly poor, in
lower-working-class family, and we were considered "high risk" by insurance
companies. Your notion that insurance companies would be able to sort out
"good" from the "bad" based on any criteria other than their ability to pay
premiums is very funny to me. I mostly avoided incarceration and managed to
become middle-class through some cunning, and a lot of luck. If insurance
companies were involved in policing then dangerous wealthy people would
while innocuous poor people would get the shaft. Hey, wait, that wouldn't
change anything about the American justice system, would it...?

Someone may now make the argument "well, they could be enlightened to the
of the 'good' poor people, and other social criteria other than ability to
premiums could be used". One can make the same argument about enlightening
government bureaucrats, and more convincingly, because a government at least
theoretically has concerns other than just pure profit-motive.

Admittedly, though, it would be nice to save taxpayer dollars by having
foot the bill for mayhem caused by those criminals who COULD pay their

Considering that capitalist economics has been intrinsic to the creation of
various American (and Western European, Australian, etc.) social ills,
thinking that
merely expanding rather than truly altering the character of the current
system will create positive change in social issues seems like a fallacious
to me.

Also, if enough power is given to corporations (and they will take it if
power is eroded under the current system), at what point to they become just
as or
more corrupt than the government?

Part of what Sasha and I (and others) were thinking about when the HEDG was
was trying to change the character of economics through the creation of a
network for
the consumer masses to be able to better communicate and pool their economic
power to
influence and manipulate value in the system, to extend value beyond pure
supply and
demand economics, and to include valuation using social parameters to
include benefit
and detriment to the social and biological well-being of humans and the
we depend upon as direct variables in the pricing calculation.

We're *supposed to* have a government "by the people", and part of the
problem is that
at least we Americans have given too much power to the bureaucrats.
However, the
solution lies not in the corporations, but in the people. A collection of
power organizations is detrimental to the people, whether they're called
or governments. If one wants a weaker government and stronger individual
rights and
better social climate, the responsibility lies with the people themselves.
complacancy and laziness is as much a contribution to a corrupt system as
the opportunism
of those who sieze control.


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