Re: Will the free market solve everything?

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 25 Feb 1997 21:04:56 -0500

J. de Lyser wrote:
> Since my name is still in here, (for some mysterious reason that evades me,
> as there are no quotes by me anymore), i'll jump in.
> William Kitchen wrote:
> >Imagine each individual as an op-amp. Those who are wealthy
> >(positive) beyond a certain admittedly fuzzy threshold will tend to
> >become more wealthy (extraordinary stupidity can change that, but
> >I'm talking about a tendency, not an outcome that is certain in
> >every case), while those below that threshold will tend to lose
> >ground. The further you are from either side of that threshold, the
> >less likely it is that you can cross it by your intelligence and
> >effort alone (or lack thereof, in the case of crossing the threshold
> >in the negative direction).
> Which is why equal chances in education are so important. And which is also
> why a zero starting position like Michael Suggests may not work, and where
> a starting situation that lies on that fuzzy treshold might. Problem is you
> can't accomplish something like that without redistributing wealth. Young
> adults have no wealth, and are therefore all by definition under that
> level. Taking money away from their parents is an option, but what the hell
> is the justification for such a system ?

Well, if we go by American Constitutional standards, we are entitled to
life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Getting a free trust fund
from daddy kind of deprives one of the right to pursue happiness, don't
you think? There is not right to take it with you, and with estate taxes
in the order of 50% here in the US, the highest rate of any tax here in
the US, with little political opposition to it (compared to the much
lower capital gains tax at 36% which is the political gadfly of
Republican politics), there seems to be little opposition to the
proposition that your kids don't have that much of a right to it either.

> Seeing the benefit that any productive individual contributes to the rest
> of us, i view the loss of such an individual and his possible contribution,
> as a loss to society. On that basis i feel the rest of us should feel
> 'responsible' to some degree for that individuals chances for success.
> Besides providing education, theres the ethical question of not letting
> people starve to death, which i feel is a moral responsability, but it
> shouldn't go much further than food and shelter. (i'm not quite out of the
> medication part, as illness is not societies fault in any way, should it be
> it's moral responsability ? I like to think it is, but i haven't found a
> justification for it yet)

Communicable diseases require a community present to become pandemic.
Diseases like TB, smallpox, etc. have traditionally been a community
problem simply because they can reach epidemic proportions, so while
innoculations may seem socializable, treatment for cigarette induced
emphysema is not. What health threats are community problems and what
ones are individual problems? Therin lies the difference.
> One of the positive characteristics of a free market is that it would
> boost economic growth enourmously, and the effects of even a growing
> imbalance, would diminish greatly. The way i see it conditions for this are
> a guaranteed coninued economic growth, population growth (educated) , and
> (continued) human expansion beyond it's current habitat (space- colonialism
> ?). One flaw in the system that halts this (like a limit ?), and the walls
> come crumbling down though. That's when we need the alternatives you (and
> i) proposed, or preferably built in security measures that deal effectively
> (and coordinated, but exclusively for this) with crisis situations.
> >Put aside your distaste for
> >taxation for a moment and contemplate the outcome of this: A 100%
> >post-mortem tax, but no other.
> I proposed it myself a few weeks back (in the thread that lead to a thread,
> that lead to this one), toyed with the idea, allthough not as radically as
> you have. And came to this conclusion:
> 1) Why should the individuals power over his worldly posessions or his
> property end at death ? The individual is the one that aquired it,
> shouldn't he be the one to decide what happens to it ?

That individuals were smart enough to earn those assets implies a level
of intelligence to wisely dispose of that wealth upon death, but such is
not that case with much wealth that is inherited, and thus, not earned.

> One great thing about extropianism and transhumanist movements is that it
> tends to reject the powers nature (and all other) holds over the
> individual. Should it not be a beautiful thing for that rejection to
> include the loss of the power over ones property at death ?
> 2) Extropianism pursues eternal life and life extension, viewed not only in
> this light, but also in the light of an ever increasing population growth,
> the system you propose would be like throwing water on a hot plate.
> Allthough i do not agree that everything proposed (yet) for a free market
> system will work, i have come to the realization that any solutions for
> problems left unanswered, must come from, or be adapted to the same
> background, the same set of ideas and laws, that are inherent to the
> theory, as much as possible, in order for it to work.
> Finding solutions, and proposing to implement them in ways that directly
> oppose the basis of such a system, has been my initial (and occasionally
> still repeated) error as well.

Here's a proposal that links in with the clone thread: ANy individual
has a right to the sanctity of his or her own genetic coding, but is
also legally and financially responsible for any liabilities incurred in
the dissemination of said genetic coding. THis brings in a concept that
one must be able to afford the reproduction of one's coding, from not
only birth, but to adulthood. Reproduction becomes a long term
investment (30-40 years to maturity) that one can not collect on.

of course, this is a politically impossible scenario, as the vast
majority of people having kids cannot rationally afford to have them
when they do, adn would go on the warpath against anyone trying to
interfere with their right to reproduce. But think about it. Just as one
must demonstrate financial responsibility to drive a car in most states
(insurance), people should have to demostrate financial responsibility
to have kids.


Michael Lorrey ------------------------------------------------------------ President Northstar Technologies Agent Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Website: Now Featuring: Mikey's Animatronic Factory My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ Transhumanist, Inventor, Webmaster, Ski Guide, Entrepreneur, Artist, Outdoorsman, Libertarian, Arms Exporter-see below. ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}