Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0033, March 9, 2015

DEPT. OF SOCIOECONOMICS


Economic Freedom



Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

     This is an ancient idea which has been implemented, on and off, throughout the ages, on a limited scale (usually limited to the one percenters of the time). The idea is that humans should not have to earn a living by hard labor - that our natural lot is an Edenic society where all necessities of life are provided free to everyone, and all are free to pursue (or not) their individual enthusiasms without concern for their economic values. (Social values, however, are of consequence, but that's another story).

     Originally, we are told, God provided all the infrastructure necessary for the good life (except possibly the clothes, the necessity for which was, in any case, questionable in the mild and even climate of the Garden of Eden). Then things got complicated and in general ever since then we've had to earn our daily bread the hard way. That is, most of us most of the time. (Myself, I am back to the Edenic mode thanks to Social Security, a real nifty invention, if you ask me).

     We've been trying to get back to the Edenic mode of life from the day we got kicked out of Eden. An obvious solution was to get somebody else to do the chores, hence the invention of slavery the use of which continues to this day in various forms. We have also attempted to use machines, preferably intelligent ones, to do the work, but this hasn't worked out - yet. As things are, we find ourselves enslaved by the machines which require our constant attention in order to continue to produce an exponentially growing cornucopia of goodies and gadgets without which we can no longer function.

     The good news is that technology is catching up - it can now potentially meet and exceed our demand for ever new stimulations and excitements at very low cost. The bad news is that technology is becoming increasingly self-guided and self-maintained requiring less and less human intervention or supervision. People are being displaced by hardware and software and being deprived of the traditional means of earning an income. They can't afford what machines produce, even at bargain prices. Thus yet another economic snafu.

     The solution, of course, is staring us in the face. Technology is our ticket back to Eden. We have an intelligent slave class to provide us with all that we need while maintaining itself at peak productivity and remaining infinitely capable of whatever labor needs to be done. All we need to do is assure that everyone has adequate minimum guaranteed income to cover life's necessities so that we can live a life of free creative play (which for some of us will undoubtedly include continued optimization of the activities of our slaves).


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