[FoRK] Re: An armed society... (freakin' Canada.)

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Wed Sep 19 19:58:04 PDT 2007

+1...

Few things today are zero sum.

Lion wrote:
>   * the destructive urge of wanting to have something,
>     in excess of "need" or "want," in excess of health,
>     either for myself, or for others.
>
>   It is something that works to throw life out of whack, on
>   either a large or small scale.  (My daughter can say,
>   "Don't be greedy, you're hogging all the popcorn.
>    Let us have some, too.")
>
>   "Restraint" is a virtue that can counter greed.
>   
At some point this makes sense, but there is a large middle ground that 
is purely subjective.  There is also a lot of probably erroneous 
perception. 

For example, buying a Prius made sense to a lot of people.  
Analytically, it's probably a bad deal.  The cost, which is probably 
still subsidized, was, when I last looked, $20,000 for a type of car 
that is about equivalent to a $12,000 car.  So you would think that 
$8000 for a car that gets 50mpg rather than 25mpg (worst case for a car 
in that class) would be worth it.  Assuming a 100,000 life of the 
vehicle (and in the case of the Prius, I think you were forced to return 
it after a 5 year lease or something), gas at $3/gal (it was still sub 
$2 when I looked), that is $6000 for fuel vs. $12000 for the normal 
25mpg vehicle.  So you save $6000 but it costs you $8000 more (at 
least).  If prices have any kind of sanity (questionable), it is better 
to not buy the apparently less wasteful or "greedy" vehicle.

There are a lot of other things like this.  A more general case is 
people's time vs. service vs. consumption tradeoffs.  If someone is 
getting paid a lot, presumably society is valuing their efforts highly 
enough that it makes sense for them to pay for services or consumption 
to maximize their efficiency so that society gets full benefit of that time.

sdw

Kevin Elliott wrote:
>
> On Sep 19, 2007, at 11:38 AM, Lion Kimbro wrote:
>>   * the destructive urge of wanting to have something,
>>     in excess of "need" or "want," in excess of health,
>>     either for myself, or for others.
>
> On a global scale, the deep question is do we live in a world of 
> scarcity or a world of plenty.  In a world of scarcity, taking more 
> than your "fair share" is directly hurting other people, and the 
> reason people are worse off than you.  In a world of plenty, the fact 
> that other people are worse off than you has nothing to do with your 
> consumption- they are worse off because somebody is hurting stealing 
> stuff from them, or they're lazy, or they have bad luck, or for some 
> other reason they are unable to grab a hold of the plenty available to 
> them.  Regardless, altering your consumption will have no effect on them.
>
> I think "World of Plenty" is a much better description of our world 
> today than "World of Scarcity".
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Stephen D. Williams 703-371-9362C 703-995-0407Fax 20147 AIM: sdw


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