Re: true abundance?

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Tue Jan 30 2001 - 14:16:31 MST

At 12:30 PM 01/30/2001, Samantha Atkins wrote:

>Thinking is not heriditary and introducing that here is a canard. It is
>a matter of training and will and basic ability. Only a small part of
>basic ability is arguably genetic.

I'd be interested to know on which data you base this assertion. If it were
true that thinking is not genetically based, then there would seem to be
little point in attempting to increase human intelligence via genetic

You have not explicitly stated what you believe to be the source of the
ability to think, but the following implies that you believe training has
at least some positive effect:

>Well, there is some actual evidence that beyond a certain point in life
>the brain is not exactly very malleable to learning some foundational
>things including formal operations.

I'm fairly certain that on other occasions you have stated that wealth is
created rather than being a static store of resources to be divided among
people. It would seem to follow that the more thinking people there are
(who have also been trained to put their thinking into action to create
wealth), the more wealth there would be. It would also seem to follow that
there would be a greater chance of progress if there were more people with
the ability to think.

Following this line of reasoning, it seems as though you would consider it
worthwhile to invest in providing good nutrition and early training for as
many children as possible. I realize this would in no way provide
justification for anyone to force you to make such an investment against
your will. Given that as a constraint, however, it might be useful to look
for ways of providing good nutrition and early training for children whose
parents cannot afford it (or who do not choose to provide it for them).

With respect to compensation for work you say:

(in response to Charlie, who said " Behind every aerospace engineer or chip
> designer there's a small army of people working supermarket checkouts and
> farms and food factories (so the engineers don't have to hunt their

Samantha: "Yes, and each and everyone one of them is paid the market value
of their
contribution already. So exactly why do they deserve a cut of someone
else's contribution?"

Is it really true, though, that every worker is paid the market value of
their contribution? In an ideal situation in which there were perfect
information, perfect flow of goods and services from one region to another,
and so forth--AND free market conditions, this might be true. In fact, none
of these ideal conditions exist. I don't believe it's possible for them to
exist in any but small, locally governed groups of people.

You said (in an earlier post),

"...This assumes a "normal world" of job opportunity distributed
across most intelligence levels of the population. What about the
world, by local beliefs coming rapidly, where only the top of the
intelligence pool can be gainfully employed (with a few service jobs to
one side)? Eventually there may not be anything a given worker can be
trained to do that pays a living wage and there may be no region that
requires such workers. What then?"

This doesn't just describe the future. This describes right now for many
people. I personally know a number of people who are unable to get work
because of minimum wage laws--the minimum wage has priced their services
out of the market. OTOH such laws have resulted in price inflation which
make it nearly impossible to live on earnings based on minimum wage.

You have said that it's not very useful to try to train people to think
after they reach a certain age. I ask your own question with a slight
change. What now?


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