Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

Interim 2–Ooops, I Forgot

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Sorry.  Second post for the day, but I’m a little addled.

I didn’t say that the value of things is determined by how much money–or how many people–are willing to pay for it.

I said that in any society in which individuals get to decide for themselves how to spend their own money, there will be inequalities of income–and likely vast inequalities of income.

And that will be the case even if nobody acts like an idiot–if everybody gets up every morning, goes to work, stays out of debt and all the rest of it.  Some people will simply have skills their fellow citizens value over the skills of others. 

People do, of course, make bad choices all the time.  But I’ve never seen a system that relies on anything else BUT allowing people to make up their own minds about what to value (and therefore what to pay for) that I like better than this one. 

I am more than happy to put up with the people who insisted on buying pet rocks–and who turn people like Paris Hilton into celebrities–in order to be left alone to make my own valuations in my own way on my own time.

Written by janeh

September 15th, 2011 at 11:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses to 'Interim 2–Ooops, I Forgot'

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  1. I said that in any society in which individuals get to decide for themselves how to spend their own money, there will be inequalities of income–and likely vast inequalities of income.

    This is the “Wilt Chamberlain” problem discussed by Robert Nozick in his book Anarchy, State and Utopia.


    15 Sep 11 at 7:18 pm

  2. Do you really think the people who follow celebrity gossip and watch reality tv – or even those who go to Wednesday night church – are going to respect your right to live or think differently from them?

    I have no problem with allowing people to spend their money on crack or lottery tickets if they want – except that I know that when they run out, they WILL be (and are) wanting to spend my money as well. Here, some provision must be made at some point.

    Sure, people should make their own choices and fully bear the consequences. Will they? No. There has to be some balance, some structure.

    Also: I definitely got the impression that you thought it was acceptable for doctors to have unlimited incomes, merely because people were willing to pay them, although I may have been mistaken.

    Inequality of income is a necessary fact of life, and not disputed, I think, by anyone. Unlimited inequality is something that many people would think necessary of some sort of justification.


    15 Sep 11 at 8:25 pm

  3. AB, are you under the impression that the followers of celebrity gossip and reality TV, or the Wednesday night churchgoers are less likely to respect my right to live and think differently than are, say, PBS supporters or Ivy League faculty? News for you.

    Might want to ask who introduced thought crimes to our legal system and turned our schools into re-education centers, then re-write that first paragraph.

    I’d also say the rich and educated “politically involved” have blown through a lot more of my money than the gamblers and crack addicts could ever dream of–but the conected types were “investing” it, which has worked out–hmmm, pretty well the same way as the drugs and lottery tickets, come to think of it.


    15 Sep 11 at 10:02 pm

  4. I’ve certainly never noticed the people who watch reality TV and follow celebrity gossip lacking in respect for my differences. They generally give up chatting to me about reality TV and celebrities since I’m lamentably uninformed on such subjects(well, except for the ones about buying or repairing houses, which are practically educational), but that’s not the same thing as not allowing me to be different from them at all.

    The people who used to try to change me so I would accept their ideas were generally the ones with Causes – and not usually religious causes, actually, so they pretty generally weren’t at church on Wednesday nights or even Sundays, or worshipping on other days of the week either. They were members of political parties of various stripes or ardent adherants of environmental causes. Or animal rights, although they usually weren’t the type who help out at a local shelter because they’re interested more in policies and right belief than real animals.

    Eventually I learned a bit more about how to deflect Yet Another Polemic at the source, and how to cooperate pleasantly with someone I simply didn’t discuss certain topics with, and some of them learned the same, and so I wrote above ‘used to try to change me’ not ‘try to change me’.


    16 Sep 11 at 6:02 am

  5. We have a situation here in Australia where the Federal Government where the “progressive” dominant party in a makeshift coalition with the extreme leftist Greens is being forced by a pair of anti-gambling fanatic independents to introduce legislation to discourage slot machine gambling by forcing players to pre-commit to a self-imposed limit before any session of gambling. The people whose freedoms are about to be even further circumscribed by government diktat are that very ordinary majority of citizens “people who follow celebrity gossip and watch reality tv – or even those who go to Wednesday night church…” and are those who, in Australia at least, are the only ones likely “to respect (others’) right to live or think differently from them”.

    Talk about projection.


    16 Sep 11 at 9:47 am

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