[ExI] retrainability of plebeians

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat May 2 05:19:47 UTC 2009

On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 2:09 PM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:

> The thread-context has been lost, I think. My sense is that this thread
> started as an enquiry into what happens as machines drive more and more
> people out of work--can such people be retained, and for what jobs? Even so,
> in my own long post summarizing early analyses of guaranteed income
> proposals, I cited one economist's estimate that introducing such a scheme
> in the 1960s or 1970s would have cost the equivalent of a small war. There
> has been a number of wars since then, large and small, paid for by
> taxpayers, yet private industry is still around (even if it's currently
> battered by other failures, usually of its own making).

### That economist may have been a commie. It's silly think that GI
would cost as much as a small war!

No, it would cost as much as a medium large never ending civil war.
The real cost is not the piddling amount of money initially committed
to the parasites.

The real cost of such schemes is totally different from the primary
initial costs and it is driven by secondary effects over long periods
of time. For example, the monetary cost of Social Security increased
by orders of magnitude due to various selection effects and political
pressuring. At the same time Social Security reduced investment  -
people do not invest for retirement if they think the state will give
them money later, and besides they have now less money to invest
because the state is taxing it away to pay off previous "investors",
just like Bernie Madoff. This contributed to the catastrophic slowing
of long term economic growth which fell to as little as 3 - 4% a year
from the 10% or more normally expected in a well-functioning
industrial economy.

Or take the War on Drugs - the cost of paying the narcs is a tiny
fraction of the full cost of the war. You have to add the impact of
inducing widespread corruption, strengthening of gangs, destruction of
neighborhoods, inducing destruction of other countries, increasing
revenues of terrorist organizations, direct and opportunity cost of
keeping millions of people in prison, and soon you are talking about
real money.

Same with GI - the problem is in feeding the parasites and punishing
workers over long time. At first just a few parasites, and not
punishing much but as parasites breed, they vote for more money, so
the burden on workers is higher, so there are fewer workers and more
parasites, and the positive feedback effects feed on each other, until
something breaks.

Luckily, the black rain will kill us all way before so we don't really
have to worry about the long run.


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