[ExI] Slavery Now and in the Past
kevinfreels at insightbb.com
Tue Apr 15 14:26:36 UTC 2008
Olga Bourlin wrote:
> From: "Rafal Smigrodzki" <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>
> To: "ExI chat list" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
>>> On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 7:16 PM, Olga Bourlin <fauxever at sprynet.com>
>>> (in answer to a previous post of Lee Corbin's) Your remark about
>>> "institutions dead nearly 150 years ago" does not take into account de
>>> jure segregation that existed in parts of the USA into the 1960s, and
>>> many instances of de facto segregation since then. Those institutions
>>> are interrelated - and not all dead.
Of course the question we are really trying to answer is whether a
totally free market will always be superior to a market that is managed
and manipulated by government. If we were just talking about the past,
then it would be obvious that government regulation is necessary.
Without labor laws, people were working for pennies - or even as slaves.
Without the FDA, companies were free to market any kind of snake oil
they could. The free market didn't build the interstate highway system
we all enjoy and I doubt it would have been built without government
intervention. And without compulsory education there is no telling where
we would be at the moment but I am sure evolution would be taught even
less. Most of the large bloated bureaucracies were created in response
to the shortcomings of the free market.
But we're not talking about the past. We're talking about the future. In
the past, if someone was using a cheap process to create a toy which
left lead in the paint that could harm children, there was no way to
quickly prove it and notify people. If an employer wanted to pay pennies
the people couldn't hop on the internet and find a job in another city
that paid twice as much because they wanted better people. The free flow
of information offsets most - if not all - of the benefits of the
bureaucratic systems that are in place. A free market can only work when
there is a free and rapid flow of information. Consumer Reports is a
service I subscribe to and it is much more effective than the consumer
product safety commission could ever hope to be and I'm sure you can
figure out all the reasons why.
My point is that it's probably a waste of time debating the free market
of the past as there are significant differences today. What we should
be focusing on is how we can utilize these technologies today to create
a more efficient system than exists now.
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