Re: Krugman looks back from 2096

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Fri Jul 14 2000 - 08:05:59 MDT

Robin Hanson wrote:
> Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> > > I'll side with Krugman here; yours is a nanosanta scenario where all
> > consumer
> > > goods are as cheap as wheat. Krugman forsees progress in the cost of
> > ordinary
> > > consumer goods, but the same sort of progress we have seen. So I'd bet he
> > > wouldn't expect a nanosanta tech to be available in a century (if ever). He
> > > might be wrong about that, but if so it's not because of bad economics.
> >
> >Its doesn't necessarily require a nanosanta at all. normal scale
> >autoreplicators/automated refinery/assembly processors are sufficient to bring
> >the cost of cars, houses, refrigerators, stoves, and microwave ovens down to a
> >commodity/disposable cost range:
> >Homes that are inflatable with a hardening structural foam can be mass
> >produced
> >as easily as air matresses. ... Basic cars should be as inexpensive as
> >bicycles
> >are.... What is expensive is energy, ... Just as with starvation and
> >malnutrition,
> >the problem is ... with the tyranny of the governments ...
> You are living in more of a fantasy world than I realized.
> I don't think we can have a productive conversation now. Take care.

Sorry you feel that way Robin, but look at the record of prices for consumer
goods and durable goods, adjusted for inflation. Prices are not going up, they
are going down, while third world incomes are going up. As more and more plant
automation occurs, this trending will continue. Concern about accelerated prices
for oil will only occur if the Chinese cease to burn the dirty coal they use
currently prior to the establishment of other non-oil energy sources, either as
solar sats, nukes, what have you.

Its Krugman who is living in a fantasy world of limited expectations and of
resource use unmitigated by new paradigms of utilization efficiency. I KNOW its
possible to gain magnitude changes in efficiency, I've done it.

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