One thought on “Day By Day September 12, 2012 – Specials

  1. When you say “the wealth runs out,” are you implying that all things that have value are ultimately non-renewable? That’s a dangerous argument in that it implies the following:

    –Ultimately there will come a day where there is nothing of value will be left and everyone/everything will degrade due to overwhelming wants and needs.
    –Therefore, the choice is to allow a few people to have it good for a long time or everyone to have it good for a shorter time.
    –You can go with the latter you start with a peaceful society that slowly gives way to corruption, or you can go with the former and break out the torches and pitchforks straight away!

    Now in all likelihood I’ve misinterpreted you, as it can easily be shown that while some resources are non-renewable (e.g. fossil fuels) others are fairly long-lasting (e.g. you can reuse the same gold and silver for centuries without too much concern for atomic breakdown). So I think what you’re getting at here is the fact wider distribution of wealth will have A) a sagging effect on economic growth and/or B) will make being wealthy an impossibility.

    In the case of A, I would ask you to bear it in mind that wealth needs to cycle through an economic system in order to stimulate production (supply & demand). The people who are most likely to spend into a system are those who are most likely to need things in order to make themselves comfortable. Using an arbitrary number of $2,000, if you were to give this money to a family with a collective income of $30,000 and a family with a collective income of $300,000, the former group is more likely to make immediate use of it than the latter as it will make a significant difference to that group’s comfort and well-being. The problem with trapping too much wealth in the upper classes is it does not see enough use. Wait, did I just hear you mention investment? Well, that’s true, but it’s difficult to make an investment profit when there is no one available to buy the product or service?

    Now in the case of B we have to consider some moral questions. Not rhetorical questions, ones that everyone has to answer as those answers will ultimately contribute toward the society that is built. How much wealth is necessary for comfort and happiness? Does anyone need more than this figure? If so, what justification is there for an excess? Is that justification worth the inevitable consequences of some having less and some having more (e.g. class-centered infighting)? What are you willing to do at an individual level for the sake of maintaining your wealth? Are you willing to hurt people? Imprison them? Kill them? How many? Do you have more bullets than than the mob outside has people?

    I’m interested to hear more, as I’ve wanting to cut to quick in terms of your values since I discovered your blog.

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