[ExI] Economy: "The Big Takeover".

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Mar 31 15:37:51 UTC 2009

BillK wrote:

> On 3/31/09, Lee Corbin wrote:
>>  Actually, the economies of southeast Asia, particular
>>  that of Singapore, is far more free than here. And the
>>  economic results speak for themselves.
>>  And Samantha is right, the U.S. *used* to be far freer
>>  than it is now. The 19th century showed the greatest
>>  economic progress per decade of any since.
> As you said:
> "It is harder to imagine a more hideously cruel system
 > of getting economic progress".
> Oh, sorry, you were talking about evolution, not economics.
> That's where you're misapplying your logic.
> The methods of evolution should not be used in a humane society.

Freedom *is* indeed cruel to the irresponsible and improvident.
But that's why irresponsibility and lack of prudence get
eliminated over time, so the effects are transitory.

Oh, sure, in every generation there will be sad sacks
that just can't get it together, and people who know
them ought to be appropriately charitable. But they
should never be *entitled* to such charity. That's a trap.

Moreover, these sad sacks will hardly be able to afford
a large family (unlike now, where on some kinds of welfare
they're actually *rewarded* for each child they have),
and so evolution---still a very powerful force even unto
this very day---would cause there to be fewer imprudent
people and more prudent ones.

A relatively free economy, such as exhibited by the
U.S. between 1800 and 1900 indeed does allow for a
very small number of people to go completely broke
and even face severe hunger. (But the unleashed
capitalism is so effective at creating wealth that
the society prevents none from actually starve to death,
or vanishingly few in weird isolated cases, anyway.)

But I suspect that whatever system you have in mind
has a much more dismal history. (The present European
system which, for example, in Germany has created a
class of people on welfare who actually reside in Spain
and other cheap countries, would be patently disastrous
in a non-homogeneous country like the U.S.---or, for
that matter, anywhere outside Europe with its historically
large, homogeneous, and hardworking middle classes.)


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list