posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 07:50 PM
The Europeans have mastered the liberal social welfare state, in whatever form it is currently manifest. Contrary to what you may believe, it is the
U.S. that is currently in the lead when it comes to social economic policy, which is what most people associate with when they hear or use the term
"If everyone was wealthy then their wealth would become valueless, because capitalism requires a disparity in peoples wealth level to allow
exploitation of the market."
That is inaccurate. While capitalism requires a disparity in the powers of production, it doesn't specify that people have to be hanging from the bad
end of the stick. Wealth is created through education. If there were no human labor market, demand would skyrocket for methods to replace it. It is
currently within our technological capability of replacing 100% of the human labor jobs on the planet at this very moment, if for some strange reason
all the workers on the planet went simultaneously on strike (for purposes of my argument we would have to be aware of this "future" strike).
Anyway, you're comparing wealth in terms of something akin to dollars, which is misleading. You're thinking something along the lines that if the
money supply were to increase, the total value of one dollar in proportion to the whole would decrease. So you apply that notion to a situation where
if the supply of wealth increased, the wealth of an individual would essentially inflate. This is reasonable thinking but it has nothing to do with
wealth. Capitalism is currently the most equipped to produce wealth, because it provides every individual the means of production through the
banishment of traditional, contractual social relationships upon which the successes of all ancient societies were contingent, i.e monarchical,
feudal, tribal, even Communist!!! etc.
While disparity might be apparent, I'll attempt to offer you a different way of thinking about it. Imagine if you will that all people lived forever.
The first generation ever born is granted intimate knowledge of a vast diversity of arts and sciences at the moment of creation. All the individuals
in this society both consume and produce at the exact same rate; they waste zero resources in their production endeavors and they accumulate their
rate of accumulation of resources is exactly the same. They put their knowledge to use. By the time they sufficiently develop their products in,
let's say, approximately 10 years time, a new generation will have been born and acquired their own skills and knowledge. This second generation
would be poorer, in that they would have less purchasing power to attain the items produced by the former generation. After 10 ten generations,
assuming one new group is produced every 10 years, those that are currently 100 years old will undoubtedly be in a much greater position of wealth
than those that are just born, by approximately 10 times. Just imagine if everyone lived forever, the people that lived the longest, while not
assuredly, will have a higher chance of being wealthier (assuming they stick with their studies and research projects). Some very wealthy families
today live entirely off of inheritance acquired through individuals that got into commerce at the start of true industrial capitalism in the late 18th
century. The most popular of these companies in existence today are probably breweries. Anyway, after a certain amount of time, there should be enough
material wealth in society to account for the physical well being of all individuals. Those born in the latest generations should naturally have
little purchasing power and little wealth. Fortunately, it can be acquired with an equal level of accessibility after years of patient work and
dedication. This is exactly the case of a family today that has emigrated from a poor part of the world today. You can expect, if they work hard, to
have accumulated wast wealth over time. Some of the early immigrants who landed in the U.S. during the mass migrations of the 19th century probably
have very wealthy, burgeoning families. Eventually, if this pattern continues all people should experience a high level of wealth for human standards,
even though those born in the very first generation will be immeasurably richer.
The problem is cramping in all the needs and desires of millions of families, born naked into the viciously competitive post-industrial Capitalist
world, and condensing their desires into the span of a life time or perhaps a single generation if they're greedy.
Today, automata and industrial robotics are capable of replacing every single manual labor job on the entire planet. If all the poor starved to death,
then there would be no poverty. The middle class would stay exactly the same. Wealth wouldn't decrease overall. It would technically increase per
capita. But that's a sad, sadistic joke. The reality is that we do in fact need certain classes of labor, which are utilized in the production of
cheap material. However, humans were never meant to do manual labor tasks. Actually they aren't being used as effectively as they could be. These
tasks should totally be relegated to machines over time, as education gets better and class boundaries slowly diminish. That is where the disparity
is. It's not inherent to Capitalism, nor is it a product of Capitalism. It's inherent to our inability to recognize that by employing people in jobs
that do not maximize their creative and intellectual faculties, we are essentially trapped within a perpetually inefficient political economy.
The problem with humans and our exceedingly short life spans is that we want a sufficiently advanced quality of life, when our system isn't currently
designed to handle those sort of desires in the time constraint we give it.
[edit on 30-1-2009 by cognoscente]