Re: killer apes

Max More (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 10:03:37 -0700

At 08:10 PM 4/15/98 -0700, Anton wrote:
>Erik writes:
>: The workers like to give, too, with their net wages and standard of living
>: declining.
>Which is why we're so much poorer than our great-grandparents, eh?
>Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*

I'm only going to comment on this point. Erik: Recently, the wages of
workers has been rising. However, over the last couple of decades, if you
exclude other forms of income and wealth, the inflation-adjusted incomes of
workers with few skills has indeed been stagnant. Is that the fault of the
market? I would say no. Why?

Today's economy increasingly rewards those with skills, especially
"symbolic" skills such as computer programming, language skills, legal
expertise, etc. While, in the USA, less skilled workers have made no
progress over a couple of decades, at least they are employed. In European
countries, the very same factors are at work, but the result is high and
persistent unemployment.

In our case, I would argue that the fault is not the market. Partly it may
be an inevitable result of differences among humans and their abilities and
culturally-influenced preferences (such that some refuse to learn the
necessary skills). But much of it I would say results from a poor
educational system that is weak at motivating students, lacks innovation,
and fails to instill important skills. (I *know* this goes on because I
teach students entering college who almost all lack logical skills, basic
math, and any semblance of scientific education.) Schools in this country
are almost entirely run by the state. The state, not the market. Introduce
market discipline and I predict that things would improve dramatically.
Maybe we'll see: One state has recently begun to use the voucher system,
which is an important step towards a market system.

So, once again, the market is blamed for the deficiences of statism.



Max More, Ph.D.
Updated website (Jan 98):
President, Extropy Institute:,