Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On the Stipend: discussion

    On the Stipend: discussion

Paying the poor to be consumers is, indeed, a beneficial effect of your scheme. but its primary function is to pay the poor not to rebel. It’s the old ‘bread and Circuses’ strategy. That is not to say it’s a bad strategy. Certainly preferable to our current overly-complex, bureaucracy-ridden, system. I say all this as one who depends on our current social safety net.

And, BTW, the entire basis of the Star trek economy is the replicator, an invention that makes hash out of economics, altogether.

I agree that the main purpose of the stipend is political; but efficient compassionate market-based Keynesianism is an added selling point, for the business class. Note this inherent stabilizer; when the economy heats up, then there are fewer poor distributing stipend stimulus, which cools the economy; but when the economy is cool, the number of poor increases, and their stipend stimulus heats the economy up.

What happens to the losers in society? I know of four outcomes;

Exile. I call this the ‘savage’, or ‘Jacksonian’ solution. The defeated tribe is driven from the land; the scapegoat must flee town.
Death; the ‘barbarian’, or ‘Hitlerian’ solution. The ambushed village is slaughtered; the traitor is hanged.
Slavery; the ‘Pharaoh’ solution. The conquered city is enslaved; the criminal is imprisoned at hard labor.
Dependency; the ‘bread-and-circuses’ solution. The defeated nation is subsidized, the retiree is pensioned.

What kind of stipend would you give up your present income for?

But an sT-like replicator would do for all consumer goods what the internet has done to the music industry, as you say, crash it. In an ST economy, only raw materials and the replicators, themselves, would be scarce, economic goods.

Almost all  domestic government, and most foreign policy, must be plutocracy insurance; possibly something else as well. This is no objection. The question is whether it is cheap and effective plutocracy insurance; the Libertarian variants tend to be neither.

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