RE: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Sun Jul 22 2001 - 11:47:08 MDT

 Tiberius Gracchus wrote:

>An example is housing. Given the relative level of sophistication of
>manufacturing methods, I would wager that comfortable homes could be
>cheaply manufactured in Mexico and shipped here.

Your reasoning (or perhaps Ehrenbach's) about the creation and maintenance
of wealth is questionable, but I'm glad you brought up the subject of

Actually, comfortable homes could be built on site using local materials for
very little money. I know this is true, because I built my own house out of
mud bricks I made myself (I happen to live in a rare county that enforces no
building restrictions). Total cash expense around $100, although it would
have been more if I hadn't scrounged metal roofing from a building someone
wanted torn down.

So far, the discussions about freedom on this list have focused on taxation
and public aid to poor people. We haven't talked much about how certain laws
that most people take for granted especially harm poor people.

<These laws act to prop up the values of current ocuppied and future
homes--at the expense of those without a home.>

Sure, that's true. These laws also benefit manufacturers of electrical
supplies (eg. laws that require electrical outlets every x number of linear
feet); manufacturers of plumbing supplies (eg. laws requiring septic systems
or hook up to city sewage systems rather than more efficient and safer
composting toilets--or laws such as one in Australia which requires the
expenditure of $1,500 for a thermophilic composting system that consists of
a bucket under a toilet seat, a setup which should cost around $3.00);
manufacturers of electrical and gas appliances, and so forth. In fact,
lobbyists for such manufacturers are often instrumental in the passage of
such laws. (I know this both from reading about it and from personal

>Medical care is another of the pillars of a "comfortable life". I
>note that the physician lobby acted a few years ago to limit the
>supply of doctors.

Ditto for lawyers, plumbers, hair stylists, electricians, caterers, and so
forth. Rather than licensing, I much prefer something such as boards of
Certified Public Accountants which are not run by the state. A client is
free to pay more for a CPA or to shop around and find a good non-certified

>I could go on and on.

So could I. City landscaping ordinances, for example, that require neatly
clipped lawns rather than vegetable gardens in front yards. As far as public
expenditure for landscaping--planting public grounds in food crops rather
than lawns and ornamental shrubs would provide an incredible amount of food
at a similar cost. (But of course the whole agricultural system is currently
propped up by gov't support)

Social security, unemployment taxes, minimum wages make it more expensive,
often prohibitively so, for small business owners to hire help. Licensing
laws make starting a business difficult.

The public assistance currently available doesn't begin to make up for the
hardships poor people suffer on account of government involvement in various
aspects of the economy. Not the least of their hardships is forced
indoctrination by public schools. One reason I favor a guaranteed minimum
income over all other sorts of public assistance is that it would leave
people free to choose their own form of education.

>Therefore in order for the vast of majority of wealth to
>exist, there MUST be scarcity of resources.

Not so. You're referring here to relative wealth, zero sum games, etc.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:54 MDT