The Economy Of Plenty (Was: Free-Markets)

Anton Sherwood (
Thu, 11 Sep 1997 18:40:21 -0700

Eliezer Yudkowsky writes:
> Solution three: Raise the standard of living. Why hasn't this
> happened already? That is, how can we be running out of work when
> people are still poor and hungry? The answer is that these people
> are unemployed, hence do not have any money, hence cannot pay for
> supplies, and hence do not add to demand.

Arkuat replies
: No, the reason this hasn't happened is because of barriers to
: trade and migration imposed by national governments. If each
: person on the planet had an global market for their stuff [...]

Don't forget purely local employment-prevention laws, especially
licensing and minimum wage. Civilization, apparently, would crumble
if the riffraff were allowed to braid hair or provide car rides for
money, or if young people were allowed to learn good work habits
at a dollar an hour.

: Of course, some of the comfortable people living in the more
: lucrative markets would be disturbed by having to compete with poor
: and hungry people on the labor market, which is why such laws exist.
: This is the answer to your question: the greed and indifference of
: the comfortable and laws designed to protect their cushy lifestyle
: from the poorer parts of the world. Tear 'em down, say I.

Not much in that paragraph needs changing to fit my addition.

Eliezer replies:
: ... I suppose I could tear down the
: entire sociopolitical structure of the world if I really had to, but it
: just seems easier to redesign the economy along more efficient lines -
: design an economy that is to capitalism what capitalism is to communism.

You reckon that abolishing money is easier than abolishing trade barriers?

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*