[ExI] Donald Trump

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sun May 8 16:08:41 UTC 2016

On Sat, May 7, 2016 at 9:53 PM, Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at gmail.com> wrote:

> ​> ​
> There is no reason in reality that the relative income of intelligent
> agents (people for now) should be confined to some arbitrary narrow range
> relative to one another.

I'm not talking about "should", I'm not talking about morality, I'm just
saying when the gap between the rich and the poor gets large social
instability occurs. And when the 62 richest are equal to the 3.5 BILLION
poorest I wouldn't call that gap "narrow". That huge gap is a problem, I'm
not saying I have a solution to the problem I'm just saying those who think
"Income inequality is a complete non-problem" are
kidding themselves. Maybe it shouldn't be a problem but it WILL be a

> ​> ​
> Do we want to limit an Elon Musk to no more value creation than some
> arbitrary factor times the average value created by persons of his
> generation and society?   What for?
>> Or do we want to limit the amount of the wealth he produced that he can
> personally control?

​It doesn't matter what we want if we can't get what we want and if
civilization is in turmoil nobody is going to get what they want.

> ​> ​
> I would want rationally to see that person expert in increasing
> value/wealth to have as much of it to multiply as possible.

​I would want that too but when it's already 62 verses 3.5 BILLION and the
trend is pushing hard to make things even more lopsided it's ​likely that
neither of us are going to get what we want.

​> ​
> Under accelerating change I would expect and increase in income/wealth
> inequality.   Those who avail themselves of it earlier and/or better will
> have their efforts multiplied more, including efforts that have economic
> consequences.

​That is completely true, and it's not just in the USA, in every nation on
the planet the gap between the rich and the poor is growing and it's
growing about as fast as the rate that technological ability is growing. A
nd there is
​ no way,​
absolutely no way that
​gap ​
won't produce
​very ​
​unpleasant situations for rich and poor alike​
. I don't know how to fix the gash in the Titanic's hull but at least I
know it's a problem and it shouldn't be ignored.

>  is the perceived "problem" that more money might buy more political
> favor?  Well the answer to that is that government's should have no favors
> to sell

​I agree in theory and at one time I would have agreed in practice too​. I
still think that if we were starting from scratch and civilization was
organized by means of privately produced law and private protection
agencies we'd be richer happier more peaceful and better educated than we
are now, but the trouble is we're not starting from scratch, we're very
very VERY far from scratch. I just don't have the confidence that I once
did that you can get there from here.

> ​> ​
> It is not the fault of the wealthy that government has so gotten out of
> hand that it controls aspects of about everything in our lives.

​Who's fault it was is irrelevant. If there is too much steam in a boiler
it's going to blow up regardless of whose fault it was for letting the
pressure get that high. Let future historians theorize about whose fault it
was, right now we have far more pressing concerns that need solutions.   ​

> ​> ​
> Nor that it has so drained the economy that despite how much it has taken
> for so long it has put (US) us nearly $20 trillion in debt

​That reminds me of something from another thread.  Under Democrat Bill
Clinton the government ran a SURPLUS in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001.
Republican George Bush was in power in 2002 and the government ran a
deficit that year and has been running a deficit every year since. Ronald
Reagan never managed to balance the budget for even one year, but Clinton
did it for 4.

 John K Clark

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