Re: The Poor Masses

Twirlip of Greymist (
Wed, 4 Sep 1996 11:41:55 -0700 (PDT)

On Sep 4, 4:42pm, Anders Sandberg wrote:
} On Wed, 4 Sep 1996 wrote:

} Yes, I think this is the best solution. My personal view is that a being
} should only reproduce if it can guarantee its progeny a certain minimum
} amount of resources. If every being uses this strategy, collapses can be
} avoided and there is a strong incentive for expanding the ecological niche.

Lots and lots of problems are solved if everyone approximates a plant.
By which I mean having within one's sphere of influence enough wealth to
survive. Actually, if you count human labor (all spheres) most of us
already have that. The problem of course is that generally the welath
needs help to be converted into usable form, the way desert farmers need
to trade for water. Which means everyone must trade to survive, which
means that the first libertarian liberty of being able not to interact
is meaningless, which is why I'm suddenly taking issues of economic
coercion much more seriously. Having one's own self-sufficient wealth
would solve that problem; I think it would also help solve the
reproduction problem. A rational being (and most people can be locally
rational) wouldn't have more children than their sphere could support.

If there wasn't a frontier (uh oh, extropians like frontiers) and
children didn't have a high probability of dying and it was clear how
many people at what level your domain could support, people should breed
less. If they didn't, people otherwise inclined to feel guilty could
point to the time when everything was set up right and say to the excess
children "We're sorry, but this is clearly your parents' fault, and we
clearly can't help you without becoming equally poor ourselves. Go

} Problem: how do we get there?

Er. Massive one-time redistribution? But there might not _be_ enough
easily usable wealth to go around.

} reproductive capacity (can you hear all the libertarians screaming
} "Coercion!!!"?). And how do you remove the barrier to make conception

Libertarianism is ill-defined regarding reproduction, IMO.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

I'll dance upon your grave a twelvemonth and a day
I'll do as much for you, as any maiden may.
I'll make you rue the very day you were born
I'm a bonnie brown girl...