Capitalism & Wealth

Perry E. Metzger (
Sun, 4 May 1997 21:46:21 -0400 (EDT)

> From: Erik Moeller <>
> Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> > The thing that will help the poor worldwide far more than anything
> > else is economic development, and the only thing we know of that
> > actually causes economic development is free market capitalism. I
> > would have thought this was more or less accepted here in the Rabid
> > Heart of Extropian Thought.
> I can't talk for Extropians, but I can talk for myself. And I know that
> economy and free markets is what makes those people poor. Liberating
> markets even more would replace one system of injustice with another one
> much worse.

Much worse?


About 120 years ago, India and Japan were both profoundly poor
countries with extraordinarily underdeveloped agrarian economies. One
of those countries chose socialism. One chose the free market. Can you
guess which was which?

About 50 years ago, on the Korean peninsula, a controlled experiment
was done. A uniformly shattered economy was divided in two. Half the
country got a largely capitalist free market economy. Half got a
Maoist local version of communisim called "Juche". Which half is now

Around the world, pure idiots think that they know "better" than the
market, that they can redirect resources better than a pareto optimal
free exchange of goods between free people could. Over and over again,
the experiment is done, the people suffer, but the idiots, being pure
in their lack of mentation, never seem to draw the obvious conclusion
the facts lead to -- which is that the freer the economy, the
wealthier the people -- even the poorest 10% of the U.S. population
look rich compared to the average North Korean, the average Albanian
or the average Cuban.

Mr. Moeller claims to "know that economy and free markets is what
makes those people poor". Well, I'm sure thats what he thinks, but
then again, I know of lots of people who believe in Alien abductions,
pyramid power, psychic surgery and telekinesis. What he "knows" just
isn't so, and hasn't even the slightest crumb of evidence holding it

What disturbs me more, though, is that anyone would post anything like
that to the Extropians mailing list. Why would anyone *want* to be on
this discussion list if they thought that human freedom wasn't one of
their highest ideals?