Re: a free replication economy

Paul Hughes (
Tue, 28 Apr 1998 16:54:59 -0700

James Rogers wrote:

> >Is there a free-market mechanism (incentive) w/o coercion that would
> alleviate the >poorer segment of the populace through this transition period?
> Off hand, I can not think of a free market mechanism that would serve as a
> solution given your criteria.
> However, I think the scenario will play out a little differently than as
> you describe. The transition of marketable skills may happen somewhat
> prior to the transition of the production economy, creating a very
> uncomfortable gap for those who cannot adapt and whose skills are no longer
> valued. Information/knowledge economic transitions are happening now,
> while strong nanotech is still decades off. In this case, it may be far
> too expensive to support those who cannot adapt, since the difference
> between skill value and cost of support would be large enough to be a very
> significant burden on the productive segment of society, far more than
> altruism is likely to support.
> This transition may not have a "feel good" solution.

Finally Ah ah! Therein lies the rub! You see, most people in the US at least
have enough money to get by. So if the economy is increasing in productivity and
efficiency, why then will more and more people become impoverished instead of
becoming better off? I tell you why, because the means of production and capital
becomE accumulated at the top at the expense of all those at the bottom. It's
simple mathematics! Gee, sounds like this is already happening. NPR announced
the other day that now 94% of US wealth is in the the hands of the top 20% - the
greatest discrepancy in US history. Hmmmmmm...

***So if I were to take your scenarios seriously, the free-market is nothing more
than a ripe opportunity for the rich to get richer at the expense of the rest of

I cannot think of a better argument against free-markets than the one you have
just outlined!! :-)

If not, then only one conclusion can be drawn - AUTOMATION IS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY.

Boy its fun being a devil's advocate!!

Paul Hughes