quinta-feira, fevereiro 07, 2013

Luditas

The Luddites Among Us por Gary North:
There is another error, comparable to the error of the pro-sales tax non-economists, which is also widely held. This is the belief that machinery makes workers poorer. It is usually described as the Luddite philosophy ..
The trouble is, the philosophy of the Luddites is still with us. It specifically has to do with the criticism of robotics. We still see people who have little economic understanding of the nature of free markets and their relationship to economic prosperity ..
There is a fundamental rule of economics which should not be ignored: anything that can be done by a machine profitably should be done by a machine. Why is this true? Because human labor is by far the most versatile and mobile of all capital ..
Whenever somebody comes to you and tells you that the free market is going to make us poorer, start looking for his hidden agenda. Start looking for the people he represents. Follow the money. If this does not show you anything of interest, follow the idea back to its origin. You can be sure that it is not a new idea. You can be sure that someone else a decade ago or a century ago came up with the same argument.

So, the free market is going to make us poorer. Why? Because it is going to enable creative people to serve customers better. This is a liability for existing producers who are not in a position to compete with new production methods. It is always in the name of the producer, and specifically the displaced producer who cannot effectively compete. Never is it in the name of the customer. Yet we evaluate increasing per capita wealth by means of whatever it is that we can buy, and when we can buy more with our income, we are richer. We are better off.

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