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Re: Workers Paradise. /Political rant.
On Thu, 12 Sep 1996, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> Yes, we could be a workers paradise like one of those lovely European
> countries with double digit unemployment and all. Too bad we didn't go
> in for democratic socialism while we could have, eh?
If I were an unskilled person I would rather live in one of these
countries where I would be paid approximately the same for doing
nothing as for selling burgers at Mac Donalds. The low rate of
unemployment in the US is partly due to the creation of service
jobs with a salary that would be 'illegal' according to European
union agreements. Now, the situation is that I have some wanted
skills and pay a lot of taxes to support those who have none, and
who are not permitted to work for lower than minimum wages. From a
pure egotistical viewpoint I really should join the present calls
for, as the debate goes here in Sweden, transforming the enemployed
into 'maids and servants'. But I don't. I think it would backlash;
the 'lower classes' would come back at us and cut our throats
eventually (say, when 70% are serving the remaining 30%).
With the present rate of increase in world population the planet
will go to hell anyway. But suppose the population problem could
be fixed. Then, with technology escalating towards singularity,
machines doing almost all labor, there could certainly exist a
system where the 'dumb' and 'lazy' could be fed and housed properly
without anybody complaining. Those who want to become maids and
servants for some extra pocket money, well, good luck to them.
But to force people into menial service jobs just to literally
survive is not to my taste. No, give them minimal shelter for
nothing and from there on let the market anarcho-capitalistic
struggle begin, for obtaining a higher than minimum material
standard or reputational standing.
But I get as angry as any libertarian when my tax money goes
to subsidizing obsolete eduction, 'culture' and endless hordes
of bureaucrats, when all we need is some basic police, courts
and the Minimal Ministry for Collection of Taxes (probably
based on production of some physical goods rather than income)
for Redistribution to the Police, Courts and Everyone - yes,
of course everyone should receive the minimal support-without-
work and be able to rise from there.
P.S. Mac Donalds could easily be replaced by a bot.