Why "loss of productivity" is NOT an issue

Lisa Dusseault lisa@xythos.com
Tue, 31 Jul 2001 12:35:45 -0700

> Obviously, if Jane Reye had instead become a hand surgeon,
> she would pay more taxes than she does waiting tables, and
> she would hire people to run her office, and an accountant
> to keep her books, and we would all enjoy some spill-over
> benefit from her being more economically productive. But.
> (1) This really is secondary. The big difference between
> these two scenarios is how much money Jane Reye makes.
> (2) Despite the fact that we are all connected economically,
> and that your educational, career, lifestyle, and investment
> choices affect us all, the fundamental premise in a free
> nation is that you still get to make these decisions, and
> we'll let the market provide the incentive for people to
> make them in a fashion that is economically beneficial to
> us all.

I get it now -- the thing that ties many recent threads together.  Rather
than try to force people to be productive members of society (which doesn't
work), society manipulates them into it by convincing them that, if money
can't buy happiness, it can at least purchase revenge, fast living, friends,
coolness, beauty, amusement, power and more.  So the pressures on Jane Reye
are intense, and if she doesn't resist, she will try very hard to make a lot
of money and spend it too.

So the question isn't whether the rich Jane's money buys her happiness.
Does it buy other people spill-over happiness -- her office assistance,
accountants, and purveyors of the other services and goods she consumes?

lisa "contributing member of the economy" dusseault