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http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-03/star-trek-economy-and-life-after-the-dismal-science Star Trek Economics: Life After the Dismal Science 91 AUG 3, 2015 8:00 AM EDT By Noah Smith I grew up watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (easily the best of the Star Trek shows). There’s one big, obvious thing missing from the future society depicted in the program. No one is doing business. There is almost no one buying and selling, except for a few species for whom commerce is a form of traditional religion. Food and luxuries are free, provided by “replicators” -- machines capable of creating essentially anything from pure energy. Recreation, provided by virtual reality, is infinite in scope. Scarcity -- the central defining concept of economics -- seems to have been eliminated. Is this really the future? Is it possible? Is it something we want? Periodically, economists and economics writers struggle with this question. Back in 2013, Rick Webb and Matt Yglesias theorized that as society gets richer and richer, capitalism and free markets will still exist, but will simply recede into the background. Others have described Star Trek not as a socialist paradise, but as a libertarian one. A writer named Manu Saadia is even writing a book about the topic. So let’s think about the economics of Star Trek. What we’re really thinking about is how to get to economic utopia. It’s an important question. The first thing to consider is how to distribute the fruits of plenty. If we can harness renewable energy to ward off a collapse when fossil fuels run out, then it’s a good bet that increased automation, virtual reality and other technological advances will provide us with a world of plenty unimaginable in previous times. Current world annual gross domestic product per capita, in purchasing power parity terms, is only about $13,000 -- enough to put food on the table and a roof over one’s head. What happens when it is $100,000, or $200,000? It would seem ridiculous to limit this incredible plenty to a few people. When the world gets rich enough, a trivial tax on the rich would be enough to provide everyone on Earth with a basic income that would allow them to lead lives of leisure. Or, as Yglesias suggests, voluntary giveaways by the rich could support the rest, since we might get more altruistic as our lives become more comfortable. Who cares if the robots put us all out of a job, when we can create paradise with just a tiny dash of redistribution? Of course, this depends crucially on the number of humans being limited. As economist Thomas Malthus pointed out in the 19th century, exponential population growth will eventually bring back scarcity no matter how rich we are. Fortunately, it looks like that won’t be a problem -- global fertility rates are converging to replacement level, meaning that world population will level off. It is unlikely that a population bomb will threaten the leisure society. There is also the problem of the dignity of work -- people enjoy feeling needed. But human values change over time, and there seems no obvious reason why people couldn’t get their self-worth from artistic self-expression, or from hobbies. This is the basic Star Trek future. But actually, I think that the future has a far more radical transformation in store for us. I predict that technological advances will actually end economics as we know it, and destroy scarcity, by changing the nature of human desire. In economics, a core assumption is that desires and motivations are fixed, and that our actions are merely attempts to fulfill those desires -- that, to quote 18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume, “reason is…only the slave of the passions.” But desires and motivations come from the brain, and the brain can be hacked and modified with technology. Someday -- perhaps sooner than we think -- we will be able to change what we want. Reason will no longer be the slave of the passions; instead, the two will do an eternal, elaborate dance, as we constantly decide what kind of people we want to be. That will have huge ramifications for human society. Some people will doubtless choose to simply be satisfied and happy all the time, like MDMA (“Molly”) users but with no risk of drug tolerance or addiction. But these people won't be the ones who choose to be productive. The people out there exploring the stars -- the people on the bridge of the starship Enterprise -- will be the ones who want to be explorers, who choose to be restless and never satisfied. If they are not born with the requisite motivation, they will use advanced technology to implant it in themselves. In other words, the rise of new technology means that all the economic questions will change. Instead of a world defined by scarcity, we will live in a world defined by self-expression. We will be able to decide the kind of people that we want to be, and the kind of lives we want to live, instead of having the world decide for us. The Star Trek utopia will free us from the fetters of the dismal science. -21From the Preamble to the United States Constitution: “We the People…” Exodus 24:3 - And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. Deuteronomy 31:12-13 - Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: And that their children, which have not known anything, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. 1 Samuel 8:10-18 - And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king. And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. “In order to form a more perfect union…” Genesis 2:24 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Matthew 19:6 - What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Psalms 133:1 BEHOLD, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! “Establish justice…” Psalms 82:3 - Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Proverbs 1:3 - To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; Proverbs 21:3 - To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Ezekiel 45:9 - Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD. Acts 10:34 - Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: “Ensure domestic tranquility…” Leviticus 26:6 - And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. “Promote the general welfare…” 1 Chronicles 22:13 - Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed. Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Proverbs 31:20 - She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. “Provide for the common defense…” Hebrews 11:32- 34 - And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Luke 14:31-32 - Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. “Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…” Genesis 45:7 - And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Daniel 2:44 – 45 - And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. Galatians 5:1 - STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Articleshttp://www.nccs.net/2014-01-us-constitution-the-bible.php -7If you value your life, your family, your future, your grandchildren’s futures, being an American and being able to ‘live the American Dream‘…then please take the time to read what I have to say. Have we long forgotten what the Declaration of Independence states? What it stands for and why it was written? "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.https://www.facebook.com/candice.johnson.319247/posts/789915637708215 That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolution, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions...etc." (http:www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html) This Independence Day, July 4th, 2014 remember "..it is their (the People's) right, it is their (The People's) duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their (The People's) future security." The People; meaning You, me, all American Citizens!! Let us come together as American Citizens - men & women, rich & poor, Caucasian & African & every beautiful race in between inhabiting this great nation, not as Democrats or Republicans -- to abolish the current government and institute a new, in touch with society, once again regulated and respected government!! As it is our Right and our Duty to do so!! As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "...God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion. The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure." -Thomas Jefferson Nov. 13, 1787 (http:www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/tree-liberty-quotation) We are long over do my fellow Americans. We need to get out of this mindset that we can't do anything about what is going on in our nation. Need we be reminded that our government is a government of the people, by the people, for the people? I know I do not need to point out the problems with today’s government, one only has to turn on the news or do a brief internet search if they wish to inform themselves. I know I probably shouldn’t remind you that we, as a nation, are but a joke to the rest of the world now. I am not going to discuss the problems with the POTUS, for he is merely a fraction of the issue. I’m sure you’ve all heard the quote by Mark Twain, “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” Pretty accurate as they get quite full of shit. Not to mention they have been in their position so long they can no longer even relate to 99% of the rest of the American population. They have no empathy for how we live, how hard we work, how much time we give up, how much of our lives we waste working to be able to feed, shelter, and clothe ourselves just to live for the next day to do it all over again!! I can’t be the only one who feels like this isn’t what we’re supposed to be doing as humans. Things need to change, and they’re not going to change by themselves. We the people need to address this once and for all, we the people need to come together as a people who are tired of the ignorance & abuse shown by the government. We have so many men and women willing to serve and fight in different countries, why can’t we at home find the balls to finally do something for our country?! We are the citizens, we are the courts, we are the judges, we are the employers, let them be remembered. This Independence Day marks our 238th birthday as an Independent nation. Let us celebrate it by joining together in Washington D.C. for a sit in. Bring food, water, tents, reading material, music, anything that will allow you to be comfortable as we sit and peacefully force ourselves to be heard once and for all. If you are worried about your job, remind your boss and everyone you work with that what you are doing IS THE MOST IMPORTANT, MOST AMERICAN, and MOST PATRIOTIC duty of all American people! This HAS to happen! We can no long rely on their “checks and balances.” So, please share this. Do something for your country. Be a part of something bigger than you. Be a part of the change. Thank you all for taking the time to read this. I sincerely hope you understand how important this is. From one pissed off patriotic American More