1997-08-04 - Re: The Poor in Spirit

Header Data

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: aca051f8e100e1a69145ac7ab0e3d43a868986631eedbc19974cc953418ede72
Message ID: <19970803193422.17765@bywater.songbird.com>
Reply To: <199707311120.MAA00669@server.test.net>
UTC Datetime: 1997-08-04 03:02:58 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 11:02:58 +0800

Raw message

From: Kent Crispin <kent@songbird.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 11:02:58 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: The Poor in Spirit
In-Reply-To: <199707311120.MAA00669@server.test.net>
Message-ID: <19970803193422.17765@bywater.songbird.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Sun, Aug 03, 1997 at 10:28:28AM -0400, frissell@panix.com wrote:
>At 09:29 AM 8/2/97 -0700, Kent Crispin wrote:
>>In more general terms: A "free market" fundamentally grants more
>>control to those with more money.  
>In a free society, the "poor" have more money (collectively) than the rich 
>and outbid them for resources all the time.  

I'm not sure what you mean by "free society", since earlier writings
by you and others indicate that you believe that no such thing
currently exists (certainly not here in the US), or indeed has ever
existed.  Consequently, your statement here must be false on its 
face, since the poor have never been in a "free society".

Even so, your statement is not an argument against what I said in any
significant way, but rather is a corollary -- the trend for the rich
to get richer and the poor to get poorer, if extrapolated to the
extreme, still results in a very small number of people controlling
more wealth than all the rest of mankind.  What intrinsic 
characteristic of completely unrestricted markets do you see that 
naturally contervails this trend?

> Were this not so, communities of 
>the "poor" would never increase in size and yet they do.

Doesn't follow at all.  The poor can increase in numbers, and just 
get poorer.  You can see this all over the world.

>It is also much easier for the poor to get money in a free society than for 
>the powerless to get power in the sort of societies you favor.

Doubtful.  I favor free societies.  Realistic free societies, that is. 

>I can teach a poor person in America today the simple ways to triple or 
>quadruple his income. 

I don't believe you.  Oh, in isolated cases perhaps.  But not as a 
general lesson you can give to any Joe Poverty, and suddenly make 
him middle class.

But once again I am struck by the thought that, contrary to much of 
the sentiment expressed on this list, you actually believe that 
America today is a *true free society*.  Have you turned in your 
cpunks credentials?

> I could not teach a resident of France or Germany or 
>Japan a simple way to triple or quadruple his "influence" on his government

But are you then  implying  that you could in the US!?!?

>and indeed a tripling of such influence would give him much less than a 
>tripling of income.

No doubt about it.  :-)

Kent Crispin				"No reason to get excited",
kent@songbird.com			the thief he kindly spoke...
PGP fingerprint:   B1 8B 72 ED 55 21 5E 44  61 F4 58 0F 72 10 65 55