[FoRK] Chart of the Day...

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Thu Jun 10 04:25:25 PDT 2010

On Jun 10, 2010, at 4:32, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> 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 citizenship,  
> etc.
> 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.
>> $0.02,
>> jb
> sdw
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