Re: Were to put our money (was PHIL: The (im)moral state)
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 04:59:27 -0800 (PST)

Arjen Kamphuis [] wrote:
>If you can convince a few big investors of this I'll buy it (I'm talking
>about banks and such, they seem to know something about where to put

I assume you're talking Dutch banks; British banks made many hideously
stupid investment decisions in the 80s.

> I've always understood most investors like stabile, predictable,

Of course they do; they want all the payback with no risk. But that's not
how the world works. You think a Singularity will be stable and predictable?

>(sorry to be such a pain in the butt ;-) but: we then also have to take
>into account how 'cost' is determined. People rioting in LA are causing
>cost to individuals and companies that _may_ have been avoided if their
>standard of living was better.

Are they rioting in LA again, or are you talking about the last big
riots? Either way, if your only argument for welfare programs is that if
we don't pay off the poor they'll beat us up, then you're getting into
incredibly dangerous territory. You say that the costs of rioting might
be lower if the rich paid them off... the rich could just as well say
that the cost of rioting would be much lower if they just shot the
rioters on sight; absent gun control laws you could pick up a used
machinegun and a couple of thousand rounds for much less than a year's
welfare tax payments.

>I'm not at all sure that funds freed by abolishing welfare systems will end
>up being invested in immortality research. Won't it simply go largly into
>bigger cars, vacations and onther nice goodies?

Immortality *is* one of those 'other nice goodies'. Poor societies don't
develop immortality. Stable, predictable societies don't develop immortality.
Only unstable, unpredictable, rich societies do.

Anyway, as the Year-2000 bug looks set to take down the IRS in the next
couple of years (along with numerous other federal and state agencies)
the question of welfare in America is probably moot.