At 11:35 PM 6/15/00, you wrote:
>>Zero Powers wrote:
>Do you actually believe that capitalism can provide the means to
>universally eradicate poverty? That if every "lazy, stupid" etc. poor
>person "got off their lazy ass" they could live a life of abundance? Have
>you *ever* traveled to the third world? Can you possibly believe that the
>only reason some people are poor is because they are "programmed" to
>believe the lie that they cannot live any other way?
I shouldn't jump into this, but I will, even though you're talking to Mike.
Have you ever traveled to the third world? Do you really think they live in
a free market society? (I dislike the term "capitalist"--the term was
coined by Karl Marx, who understood nothing about human capital.)
Poverty has multiple causes, not all of which will automatically be
eradicated by free markets. But governments usually make things worse. The
welfare system (especially in Europe) has perpetuated poverty by subidizing
it. State schooling which stifles competition for good education works
especially badly in poor neighborhoods. There's a clear correlation between
degree of education and income (though it's not perfect). Putting some
competition into the (pre-university school system would immensely help the
least well off gain real skills that can help them in life. It would also
make my part-time college teaching more fun. I'm frustrated that in
philosophy classes I have to first explain factual basics (whether in
physics, biology, or finance) before I can even tackle the philosophical
issues. The United States still has a rigid industrial style of education
in an information economy.
In the "Third World" (an increasingly outdated term), the state is usually
pervasive, or else fails in the job it has taken on of enforcing the rule
of law, thereby making markets ineffective, and making it hard to get out
of poverty--unless you can become one of the rulers.
Free markets are not the whole answer. Some unfortunate people do poorly
because of psychological disorders. Extropians of benevolent disposition
look forward to a time when medicine has advanced to the point where Prozac
and Zanax will look as primitive as ECT, and we can truly offer people the
chance to function effectively.
Max More, Ph.D.
President, Extropy Institute. www.extropy.org
CEO, MoreLogic Solutions. www.maxmore.com
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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