RE: `capitalist' character values

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sun Jul 22 2001 - 19:14:07 MDT

Barbara writes

> With respect to the existing situation in the U.S.A. I believe that a GMI
> would probably be possible for no more than is currently spent on health,
> education, and welfare benefits. As Damien said, it wouldn't be enough of an
> income to provide a cushy lifestyle, but it would be enough to survive on,
> particularly if laws were changed to allow people to build their own houses
> and grow some of their own food.

Richard Nixon actually proposed a negative income tax back in the 70's.
Since from an entirely practical point, giving all the money that is
spent by HEW back to the people who earned it is out of the question,
I'd join you in favoring that it simply be equally distributed to all
adults in the U.S. (Of course, from an entirely practical point of
view that's out of the question too, because bureaucracies are build
on a need for power, and to support the jobs of innumerable bureaucrats.
But as a question to probe the values of all the intelligent people who
have been posting on this question---and I that I mean all the people
who've been posting :-) ---I'm wonder if the other redistributivists
here would agree with us. (Of course, they'd not find that amount of
money sufficient for what they think people *need*, but it'd still be
an interesting data point to see if they agree: namely, to repeat,
to take all the HEW money, fire the bureaucrats, and equally distribute
all that money to adults, excluding, as you said, recent immigrants.)

>> Maybe it would be best to wait until ... a number of compassionate rich
>> people will simply fund a minimal standard of living for everyone.
>> This should occur as we approach the Singularity, and we don't
>> the onerous stealing from the rich to give to the poor (by force).
> I'd think these rich people would want to impose at least SOME restrictions,
> such as requiring recipients to undergo sterilization after the birth of one
> or two children.

I wouldn't! If we've got close enough to the big S where I can
afford supporting the world's poor, e.g., about 1/5 of my income
(assuming the entirely stupid notion that I'd be the only such
person willing to do so) then I'd not place any restrictions on
my charity---not to strangers: I don't like telling people what
to do.


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