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

zuzu <sean.zuzu at gmail.com> on Wed Sep 19 20:10:12 PDT 2007

On 9/19/07, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
> +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.

questionable sanity of the price system is precisely the issue at hand
here, I think.  with all the subsidies and distortions people are at
best "guessing" what the "true cost" of their commodities are; at
least for those with a modicum of wealth have the spare time and
resources to play that game.


> 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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> --
> swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
> Stephen D. Williams 703-371-9362C 703-995-0407Fax 20147 AIM: sdw
>
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