Thursday, January 15, 2004

Charlotte Iserbyt says: "Our loss of hundreds of thousands of good manufacturing and intellectual jobs to foreign countries and creation of high unemployment in the United States equals redistribution of wealth called for by Karl Marx."

I must offer an amendment. Rather than wealth redistribution, I think we are seeing wealth _evaporation_. The U.S. economy is a creation of staggering complexity and value. Destroying it does not mean there will be a corresponding increase in complexity and value in other economies. It is possible to simply destroy an economy and replace it with nothing, just like you can destroy anything else and replace it with nothing. (Yes, purists, the matter and energy will still exist; I'm only talking in terms of useful -- ordered -- stuff here, not laws of thermodynamics.) So my wording would be that these losses are akin to killing the goose which laid the golden eggs. The U.S. economy can lay some mighty fine golden eggs, if it's allowed to. If collectivist meddlers get ahold of it, though, it can be reduced to a less-advanced stage. That will impair us, but it won't help anyone else. In fact, it will hurt others, since they all benefit from the advances of our creativity. Their future standard of living takes a dive when ours does, unless they do manage to evolve their economy to a level similar to where ours has been. That is likely, eventually, but I don't see what mechanism would cause such a spontaneous evolution. Do you?

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