Re: One humanity, all in the same boat

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Jan 14 2002 - 21:56:04 MST

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

>>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).

Are you denying that people today, even quite a few right here
in the US of A, have insufficient clothing, housing and
nutrition to even be healthy, much less participate fully?
What you say may be true but it does not automatically work out
that everyone gets what they need or the means to earn what they
need either. That is my point. What do you think should be
done in such cases? Are our theories of how it should work out
to be clung to even while people, some of them children in our
own country, are in this shape? I see the arguments for the
goodness of the theory and I see the suffering ones at the same
time. I do not know if I have the best answer but I think I
have a very valid question that cannot be easily swept aside by
mere theory.

> 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

Well, it isn't at this time so. So again, while it is not so
should these people continue to suffer and perhaps die? Should
children be allowed to be so malnourished, even in a country as
rich as ours, that their brains are seriously damaged thus
making even more suffering and burden?

> 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

Go look at the homeless and then claim this. Go look at the
projects a bit more closely. Look into the some of the
one-parent homes that now do not qualify for welfare and can
find no work or source of income equal to what they once had.
Are you ignoring them or claiming they don't exist or that they
are not relevant?

> 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
> downwind.

Sorry. The real world does not work like your ideals. Not even
here. Certainly not in less developed countries. So what
happens to these people while we wait for your theory to work?
What happens if your theory is wrong?

- samantha

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