[FoRK] Chart of the Day...
sdw at lig.net
Thu Jun 10 02:32:11 PDT 2010
On 6/9/10 4:44 AM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> On Jun 9, 2010, at 0:02, "Stephen D. Williams" <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>> I wonder if the solution, probably in the distant future, is
>> guaranteed reasonably priced housing / healthcare / etc. through some
>> mechanism that doesn't generate its own gigantic money sink.
> All ears.
Cheap land in good climates and/or close to power, economy of scale
purchases of infrastructure, beeline long-haul transportation to a metro
area, guaranteed baseline in return for some contribution: time, money,
etc. Chopped up into fractal blocks that are run like a business with
those that go "bankrupt" fast tracked into new management, etc. Create
an ecosystem of support, entertainment, education, medicine, etc. Even
support competitive manufacturing (fast-tracked and/or leaned in various
ways), call centers, or anything else that can be in-sourced. Make it a
special trade zone where immigrants can spend a certain amount of time
working at a wage similar to where they came from to earn a path to
If you start where the land is essentially free, bootstrap on various
initiatives that need space, attention, people, then provide a market,
expedited rules in every sense, and basically combine competitive
feedback with direct support for initiatives with immediate economic
payback, it could be interesting.
Even, if you just found a way to make a significant percentage of the
people in prison more productive during and after incarceration, you'd
be way ahead.
> Tempted to point out that a perpetual motion machine would solve all
> our energy woes, too... ;-)
For some purposes, we already have that: Sun, nuclear, wind, etc.
Boring, next problem. ;-)
> Here's the thing: there will be no such thing as "post-scarcity" in
> the physical world, no matter what technology develops, because
> scarcity is relative and resources are finite.
I disagree. We're already in a post-scarcity world in a lot of ways.
Clothing for instance: Not fashion per se, that is the compelling need
to constantly spend at the limit as often as possible to ride the wave.
But functional clothing is practically free. $15 for shoes that should
last at least 6 months. $3-10 for shirts and pants, etc. Not to
mention recycled clothing that is often free. They did a clothing swap
at Maker's Faire for instance.
Internet bandwidth is getting there. (And is in Mountain View and most
public libraries.) Information. A shower of cast-off gadgets.
> You could probably provide some cost-effective baseline existence by
> uploading those folks who can't or won't be productive in vivo, but
> even the maitenance of their existence in simulo has a cost in terms
> of substrate resources, energy, and compute cycles that could be
> directed otherwise. Short of some Tipler-esque magic trick, that is.
> Don't get me wrong: I'm not suggesting that technology won't continue
> to improve the mean standard of living beyond anything we can likely
> imagine, assuming we dodge the various existential risks. But absent
> some changes in human nature it won't "cure" want, envy, and some
> notion of poverty.
Of course not. However, a lot of angst and inefficiency goes into
meeting the demands of various local living costs, requirements, etc.
that is out of whack with what should be required.
>> With children and a mortgage, it would be hard to be over half.
> Not so, but this provides a nice teachable moment. Don't forget that
> with incomes taxes and witholding, particularly witholding to fund
> entitlements, a big chunk is gone before you even have it to spend on
> mortages, kids, etc. Then factor in e.g. a non-scaled AMT, then all
> the usual state and local property, income, sales, one-off licensing
> and registration, double-dipping for the use of already
> publicly-funded services and resources, and other taxes and I'd hazard
> a guess that a surprising percentage of the population is over 40%
> already. Close enough to half for government work. ;-)
> Then factor in the dilutive effects of inflation to feed voracious
> deficit spending, the most insidious tax of all, and you have a grim
> picture indeed.
> And absent some massive about-face on spending and entitlements, it's
> about to get a LOT worse. Absolutely shocking to me that, even as the
> US rushes to become more like e.g. the U.K. and Europe, those polities
> are waking up to the harsh and austere futures they now must face.
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