Re: capitalist religion

From: J. R. Molloy (jr@shasta.com)
Date: Fri Jul 20 2001 - 00:52:33 MDT


From: "Lee Corbin" <lcorbin@tsoft.com>
> However, the real reason that I oppose government confiscation
> of the wealth of the prudent to finance the needs of those whose
> lives haven't worked out for some reason, is evolutionary:

Seems as likely to me that government confiscates the meager wealth of those
whose lives haven't worked out for some reason, and uses it to finance the
needs of the prudent (who have managed to figure out how to gain access to tax
dollars, viz., politicians).

> Approving of government to pay for everyone's health care, for
> example, seem to me unappreciative of how wealth is created in
> the first place.

Private sector workers (whose lives often don't work out for some reason)
create most of the wealth that government in turn redistributes to those
who've figured our how to avoid work (often by getting government jobs).

> Specifically, there seems to be little awareness
> necessary attributes of all those societies that in the past
> gradually became wealthy.

The higher they rise, the harder they fall. The evolutionary phase transition,
with its accompanying upheaval and transformation of entire socio-economic
systems, augurs to make all previous analyses obsolete, if not irrelevant.

> Let us suppose that in the Constitution of "the first new nation",
> i.e., the United States, there had been a provision for a minimal
> guaranteed annual income. Isn't it clear that many people would
> have lost the incentive to contribute? As it was, there were a
> number of people who were too lazy, or too wasteful, or lacking
> in other positive traits. But they didn't thrive and people didn't
> look up to them or accept them, and as a result the traditions that
> *did* survive were positive ones. I'm always surprised at the
> "no fear" attitude of liberals who don't appear---under a lot of
> cases---to understand how historically important *incentive*
> has been in people's lives.

The income tax put the brakes on incentive it seems to me. In effect, this tax
says to young workers and entrepreneurs, "We've got ours, now you'll have to
pay an extra premium to get even a fraction of what we've got." The US income
tax was the beginning of the new class system separating the haves from the
have-nots.

> Later, when our world economy has become so strong that it no longer
> matters whether everyone is guaranteed an income of $100,000 or not,
> then I will be much less concerned about destroying the traditions
> of personal responsibility that took so many centuries to evolve.

Personal responsibility takes a back seat to personal greed when it comes to
accumulating wealth. In fact the concept of responsibility serves the rich
better than it serves the poor, because the rich can far more easily afford to
practice it. The most responsible thing a sufficiently intelligent entity can
do is to provide an example for other sufficiently intelligent entities so
that they don't commit suicide.

Unlike socialism, capitalism does not actually require one to make a religion
of it.


Stay hungry,

--J. R.

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, CYC, and ELIZA

     Everything that can happen has already happened, not just once,
     but an infinite number of times, and will continue to do so forever.
     (Everything that can happen = more than anyone can imagine.)

We won't move into a better future until we debunk religiosity, the most
regressive force now operating in society.



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