The Poor Masses

John K Clark (
Sat, 5 Oct 1996 21:25:11 -0700 (PDT)


On Tue, 1 Oct 1996 Suresh Naidu <> Wrote:

>Business assumes that the workers aren`t competent to run a
>business by themselves. I`m a big advocate of co-ops.

Fine, sounds like something worth a try, sometimes a big corporation becomes
ossified and is driven to extinction by a small fierce competitor. Maybe your
co-op could do that, maybe not, the market will let you know.

>so this justifies the less than 5 percent tax business pays
>versus the much higher (15%) taxes us "commoners" have to

Politicians love business taxes because they are invisible to most consumers,
they just lead to higher prices for everything. Corporations are robbed twice
by government thugs, once as a business tax and then any profit that goes to
shareholders is taxed again, both as dividends and capital gains.

>you are likely to have talents that get you ahead in the
>current economy. However, there are those that arent as

The only hope these people have is to live on charity until they can learn a
marketable skill. If most people do not feel charitable toward them then they
are in deep trouble, but government can't help. If I am unwilling to
voluntarily give money to these people why would I vote for a politician who
would force me to do it through taxes?

>Nigeria has a very very repressive dictatorship [...]
>Anyone who opens their mouth in protest is imprisoned. [...]
> Nicaragua, Chile, El Salvador and every other country the
>U.S. secretly invaded [...] Good government to these people
>means a well-armed riot battalion. The Soviets were even

I really don't understand it, whenever somebody wants to show how evil
corporations are, they always come up with a long list of rotten things that
governments do. Granted, few companies actively opposed these monstrous
regimes, but that's not quite the same thing as instigating it, and anyway
can you really blame them for not playing the hero, in most cases it would be
economic if not real suicide.

>Shell has the government in its pocket

It would really be great if that was true, then justice could be treated like
a commodity, surely the best way to maximize it, but unfortunately it is not
true .

>this was a fault of the bureaucracy and elite control rather
>than the concept of equality.

Equality is a second rate sort of virtue, you can't have too much justice or
truth or beauty or intelligence or kindness, but you can have too much

>Because Altruism isn an extropian virtue we shouldn practice

Good heavens NO!!! I don't care for it myself but I definitely think altruism
would be just perfect for you, and for everybody else for that matter. I have
often said Anarchy is only the second best system, undoubtedly the best is
one where everybody just does what I want them to.

>If humanity is truly going to ascend and take our place in
>the universe, a then we need to cultivate a sense of respect
>and a little bit of compassion for each other

True. I confess I was being a little glib before, but only a little. The
truth is I engage in compassion myself, but I do so for selfish reasons,
seeing somebody in pain makes me unhappy and if I am the cause of that pain
then I'm even more unhappy.

>the 358 people that own 45% of the worlds wealth.

If I own a steel mill worth a billion dollars, that does not take money from
poor people, just the reverse, it produces a product that people want and
jobs that people need. I will be able to keep my steel mill only as long as I
can run it as well or better than anyone else. The day somebody finds a way
to operate a mill significantly better than I do is the day I go broke,
unless I learn real fast and copy his technique. Having a public mob run the
mill will produce little wealth for anyone.

>what I mean is that the markets that most companies aim to
>are the affluent. Not a whole lot of demand for electric
>toothbrushes outside the Western World.

Then it is in a corporation's best interest to expand its market and make as
many people affluent as possible.

>Governments acting in business interests.

Then dump the Government not the business. We can live just fine without
Government but we'd all starve to death without business.

>Any elite should look ack at the rest of the people and
>aim to educate and improve the rest with their gifts, not
>hoard information and power.

Yes, I think the rulers of governments should do that, but it doesn't matter
a bit what you or I think, our masters will do what they want to do. The
reason the free market sometimes looks bad in debates like this is that
people are comparing the market as it actually is, warts and all, with a
mythical government lead by a man who always knows exactly what the right
thing to do is, always has the moral courage to do it, and can convince those
less wonderful than he is that it is indeed the correct path to take. A man
like that never existed and never will, yet people keep thinking if we can
just elect the right man everything will be fine.

>They [corporations] take all of some peoples time and
>don`t give enough money to feed them.

It doesn't matter how much it takes to feed you, it doesn't matter how big
your family is, if your services are only worth 75 cents an hour to me then
that's all I would pay for them, unless I was giving charity. Don't
misunderstand, that might be exactly what I decide to do, but I don't want
to be forced and it shouldn't be confused for a salary.

>I think public communication should be open to the public.
>Sort of like Ralph Naders proposed Audience Network.

If people think what is on this network is valuable then people will watch it,
even pay for it. If people think it is worthless then I see no reason it
should be subsidized, that would just result in a huge network that nobody
watches, or should watch because it's junk.

>If we`re lucky, the internet will alleviate this, but from
>what I see, nope, simply because it costs a lot to get on.

Costs a lot? AOL charges 10$ a month and you can communicate with the world,
if anyone wants to listen. The real reason that people aren't demanding to
read Mr. Joe Average's home page is the same reason public access television
is so dull, Mr. Joe Average has nothing worthwhile to say. You may not be
average but superior, if so then people will read your Web page, and nobody
can tell how much money you have only how much talent you have.

John K Clark

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