Re: `capitalist' character values

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Jul 23 2001 - 23:29:33 MDT

At 09:58 PM 7/23/01 -0700, samantha wrote:

>> we'd have, say, about a third of
>> the workforce quitting within five years. Sound too pessimistic?

>Much too pessimisstic. At least until recently you could get
>about the equivalent of that on welfare in the US (though
>admittedly with a lot of hassle). You sure didn't see any large
>number of people in a hurry to quit their jobs and live on such
>an amount. So why believe they would if you simply removed the
>red tape?

Maybe some would. I really loathed the red tape when I was on the dole, on
and off. Luckily, back then I was one of the first with a home PC (a Kaypro
II in its tin box) and could pump out a dozen long-winded highly
circumstantial job applications a week, mailed to anyone remotely relevant
in the job ads (I never got back an invitation to an interview).

>Do you hate what you do for a living enough to be tempted? Do
>you think many people really do?

But mais oui, tout le monde! More or less. Working in Westciv is by and
large, after all, a shitty, horrible experience. I guess most of the people
here, programmers on the whole I believe, haven't got a clue how awful and
soul-destroying most industrial work is. (I've done a bit of it, enough to
cure me for life.)

>When only 25% of even major
>lottery winners decide to not seek any gainful work why on earth
>would you think a whopping 25% would do it for something on the
>order of $10000/yr?

The speculative figure I cited earlier, which Lee seems to have overlooked,
was $US 25K per family of four. Is that as much as $US 10K per adult?
Surely a bit less.

Lee asked if we need to read through the economists I cited. Well, Robin
Hanson will assure you, from previous list discussion on this topic, that I
am Not A Doctor of Philosophy in Economics. (In fact I failed Econ I back
in 1963, which doesn't embarrass me as much as might be the case had it not
been part of a [botched] attempt to work around some onerous and truly
stupid academic requirements for an Arts degree). I think at a certain
point--quite early on, actually--one needs to sit down and read some of the
elaborate work on the GMI topic, starting from the 1960s. I was galvanized
by the late Robert Theobald's books, for example.

Damien Broderick

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