Re: One humanity, all in the same boat

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Mon Jan 14 2002 - 10:50:23 MST

> This, again, is simply an assertion that there is no such
> problem. If you turn out to be wrong and there is no job at all
> for a significant part of the population, what then? Should we
> just allow them to die and hope that we never end up one of them?

You seem to be laboring under a pathologically narrow definition
of "job", which is a much more flexible concept than you give it
credit for. Step back and take the larger view: resources as a
whole, i.e., food, water, housing, etc., cannot help but increase
as technology increases. The rate of population growth decreases
with technology. So the total available resources per person
will always be increasing (with a few short-term fluctuations
here and there caused by transaction costs and such).

Those who need those things must (1) become producers, which
becomes easier as technology advances, (2) bargain with producers
for their goods, which likewise becomes easier because increasing
supply and decreasing demand drives prices down, (3) become
predators, stealing from the productive (such as becoming a
government). Setting aside (3) for the moment, bargaining for
goods produced by others can only become easier as technology
advances, to the point where a "job" consisting of nothing but
taking goods off producer's hands might be enough to bargain
for them. A person might have to do nothing more than fill
out a marketing survey for some company once a month to get
enough money to live comfortably for the month (of course, even
those who are fabulously wealthy by today's standards will
lament their abject poverty just as the so-called poor today
with running water and good food and safe housing and televisions
and cars do today). A "job" is merely doing anything that
benefits some other person in some way, and may be as minimal
as providing an entertaining story (like the San Franisco
homeless man who tells jokes for $1), or as complex as building
construction; the level of labor each person performs will be
whatever gives him an adequate standard of living by his own

Now, most people will have skillsand talents that allow them
a large enough share of the produced goods that they can afford
to give some away as well. Some will do so for pure ego: to
control a family or a congregation, for example. Some will do
so as rationally self-interested charity, to reduce the amount
of predation in their neighborhood. At any rate, it is
extremely and increasingly unlikely that anyone will actually
starve without there being /something/ he can offer for food
and shelter, even if it's nothing but a promise to stay

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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