[ExI] Meme change not person death/was Re: Friedman and negative income tax

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri May 8 02:50:08 UTC 2009

2009/5/7 Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:
> Let's put this in the fashionable meme-speak of some in this audience.  :)  I actually think no or very few people would really die.  (It should be pointed out that the current system -- paying some able-bodied NON-retired people to NOT work -- does not result in zero deaths.  So the choice is not between a welfare state world where everyone lives forever and gets a good education, decent medical care, but a few anal libertarians are unhappy and a libertarian world where hordes of people live in the worst poverty and the few happy rich people only have to worry about tripping over the corpes of the downtrodden.*)  Rather, the lazy meme would start to die out.  (I doubt it'd go extinct.)  Individuals themselves would learn -- er, lose that meme.  The fact that any cost is experienced -- cost in terms of the agent NOT in terms of money** -- will give an incentive to change the behavior and perhaps even the thought patterns.

It doesn't actually work out that way. Most developing nations have
poor social security and other government services, but it doesn't
spur them to greater productivity. Instead, people do die, of easily
preventable or treatable conditions, sometimes even of starvation. On
the other hand, laziness and not wanting to work is not a problem in
countries where there are extensive social security systems, or there
would be a labour shortage. The only places where this does seem to be
a problem is in wealthy, resource-rich countries which import labour,
especially for the more menial tasks.


Stathis Papaioannou

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