"altamira" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Can we all agree, though, that in general, people are willing to work harder
> if their material rewards are directly proportional to the work done? And
> that they're willing to spend more time, thought, and money on research if
> they stand a chance of getting a patent if and when they come up with
Open source programmers work for no material reward, receiving pride in their
work and community esteem instead. Research scientists work quite hard for
the love of knowledge and discovery, and the credit of discovery, not for high
monetary profit. (The Nobel carries money with it, but that's a bonus more
than a direct goal.) Politicians get paid well, but not _that_ well; varying
mixtures of public service and desire for power drive them. (Actually, at low
levels I can see public office as a cushy job. But not the Presidency.)
Certainly there is quite often a correlation between work and reward. But
'directly proportional' is a strong claim, and at any rate there are
significant spheres of people having other motivation.
Public activism being another such. Betcha Max More isn't following the
shortest path to riches in running ExI.
> > I love the way such topics (from a non-US perspective) go instantly
> > hysterical with fear & loathing. Might do many people on the list some
> > good to spend some time in other First World nations where we do things
I agree with Damien, but note this cuts many way. US economic conservatives
can stand seeing countries with more active public sectors and functioning.
US social conservatives can stand seeing countries with lower ages of consent,
legal prostitution, and more sex than corpses in their movies. Europeans
and US urban left-wingers can stand seeing that many parts of the US have lots
of guns without being free-fire zones.
 On rec.arts.sf.written there's a New Zealander who keeps saying NZ is the
most free market country on the earth, as of 1989. Seems odd, given their
national health care system, whatever it is, exactly. But they are much
more consistently free trade than protectionist bastions such as the United
States, and supposedly have much less in the way of industry subsidies.
Basically it sounds like a very free market with a very fine social safety net
underneath it. As opposed to the US and Europe, which are varying mixes of
selective tariffs, direct subsidies, random regulations, and safety nets with
holes (at least in the US case.)
Some New Zealanders and Dutchmen on rasfw have also been describing their
banking systems, which make ours sound rather primitive.
 Actually, I've read an essay by William Bennett wherein he acknowledged
the big moral differences between the US and Europe and attributed this to
Europe being corrupt and decadent, and even claimed many Europeans secretly
admired our stricter morality. But perhaps less arrogant Americans would stop
and think a bit.
> Most taxes and regulations DO end up impacting the poor more than the
> wealthy. Listen, one reasons I stopped practicing tax law (I confess, it
Not the estate tax we want to repeal!
-xx- Damien X-)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:14:42 MDT