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  1. #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    I think cheap transport is very significant currently.
    Surur
    Think about it. Export of raw materials. Import of cheap manufactured goods. Cheap export of services. Remember when immigration was a one-way trip and for life. My parents had three in service but could not afford to go to Hawaii. I have a cleaning lady two days a month and she goes to Hawaii.
  2. #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs View Post
    Healthcare would be one of the biggest, IMO.
    A doubling of life expectancy in a century.
  3. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    As a society:

    • Internet
    • Wireless Communication opportunity (both data and voice)
    • Weapons development (an EMP could bring us to a halt in nearly every aspect of our lives from electricity to water to transportation, non-manned air and ground crafts)
    • Entertainment (MP3 players, video games, HD video, sat tv, etc..)


    The decade long question is.....do these technologies bring us closer together or isolate us from others more?
    It is not an accident that the church dominated the state for a thousand years. It is not an accident that the nation state emerged at the same time as the printing press. Every advance in information technology has increased the scale of human cooperation, coordination, and collaboration. This is one kind of togetherness.

    Another is personal intimacy. The pill has clearly advanced physical intimacy. On the other hand, it may have diminished commitment. Can you imagine trying to outlaw it?

    In the twenty-first century, we will produce so much wealth and liesure that welfare mother will become an honored profession. The question will no longer be whether we can afford her but how well she does the job.

    An ever larger percentage of our time and money, we will have more of both, will be devoted to music, sport, dance, drama, graphic art, architecture, travel, and learning. Technology will empower but we will choose. We will choose noble or ignoble. Technology will not do it to us.
    Last edited by whmurray; 02/12/2007 at 04:52 PM.
  4. #24  
    ... or alternatively the haves will find they can support themselves in style without the support of the have-nots, and massive unemployment and disenfranchisement will result.

    Surur
  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    A doubling of life expectancy in a century.
    And a dramatic increase in both the convenience of life support and the number of people dependent upon some sort of life support. What could be more apropos to the original question?
  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    An ever larger percentage of our time and money, we will have more of both, will be devoted to music, sport, dance, drama, graphic art, architecture, travel, and learning. Technology will empower but we will choose. We will choose noble or ignoble. Technology will not do it to us.
    If history and the Friday Night Smackdown give us any clues, we will choose ignoble.
  7.    #27  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    It is not an accident that the church dominated the state for a thousand years. It is not an accident that the nation state emerged at the same time as the printing press. Every advance in information technology has increased the scale of human cooperation, coordination, and collaboration. This is one kind of togetherness.

    Another is personal intimacy. The pill has clearly advanced physical intimacy. On the other hand, it may have diminished commitment. Can you imagine trying to outlaw it?

    In the twenty-first century, we will produce so much wealth and liesure that welfare mother will become an honored profession. The question will no longer be whether we can afford her but how well she does the job.

    An ever larger percentage of our time and money, we will have more of both, will be devoted to music, sport, dance, drama, graphic art, architecture, travel, and learning. Technology will empower but we will choose. We will choose noble or ignoble. Technology will not do it to us.
    Reminiscent of the promised Leisure Society which has certainly taken its time in appearing (but which like so many other things may, in fact, eventually arrive). At least *I* hope it will.
    Last edited by copernicus; 02/12/2007 at 07:31 PM.
  8. #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur View Post
    ... or alternatively the haves will find they can support themselves in style without the support of the have-nots, and massive unemployment and disenfranchisement will result.

    Surur
    Ah well, I left open the question of distribution of the wealth and leisure. (Incidentally, I decry, not to say, despise, those who complain about the inequitable distribution of income without proposing alternatives.)

    At the beginning of the 20th century there were two classes, the wealthy, called the leisure class, and the poor, called the working class. The working class worked a 72 hour week with no vacation and no hope of retirement.

    At the end of the century there were two classes, the wealthy, called the working class, and the poor, called the leisure class. The working class works a seventy-two hour week, works on vacation, and fewer and fewer can retire.

    Neither class is happy with this last system. The leisure class would like a little more wealth and the working class would like a little more leisure.

    The present system works the way that it does, in part, because of the unintended consequences of the Wage and Hour Act and high payroll taxes (FICA and Unemployment Compensation). These have conspired to price (US) hourly labor out of the market and give capital a disproportionate advantage.

    In the 21st century both wealth and leisure will accrue to savers and investors, the owners of the capital. However, the regressive taxes on the first dollar of labor make it almost difficult for the hourly laborers to save and to become owners.

    If a more equitable distribution is desirable, and I think that it is, then it must be achieved by public policy. For example, we might stop taxing labor and tax consumption. (The opponents of this idea claim that a consumption tax is regressive. The proponents fail to point out that it is not nearly so regressive as the present taxes on labor.) Such a system would encourage savers at the expense of consumers.

    Another strategy might be to sell the laborer, on credit, the capital required by his job, for example, his per capita share of the stock of his employer. (This is analogous to lending the young physician the money necessary to set himself up in practice.) At the end of the term of the loan, say twenty years, the worker would own his job, probably greatly appreciated by increases in productivity over twenty years. He could sell it, enjoy the dividends, borrow against it, or otherwise enjoy ownership.

    Note that at the beginning of the last century fifty percent of us, men women, and children over the age of seven, worked in agriculture. By the middle of the century, fewer than five percent worked in agriculture and the work week was down to about forty-four hours. This transition was accomplished in part by the aforesaid Wage and Hour laws that penalized long work weeks.

    By the end of the 21st century fewer than two percent of us will work in agriculture, mining and extraction, manufacturing, or construction. That is a lot of leisure to spread around. We had better start soon.

    I am open to alternative ideas and policies except the ones that the Europeans are using to impoverish themselves.
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