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user-inactivated  ·  371 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What happened when Walmart left

That's a really interesting point.

Most people know I'm a Libertarian and that includes the support of the free market economy in most places, which of course includes wage transactions between adults. Moreover, where government subsidizes, the free market is interfered with. Wal-Mart is a good example of government making their low prices possible by offering social welfare programs for their workers, which allows their workers to be paid less and still maintain a sustainable lifestyle. I'm not saying it's a life of luxury, but they would likely have the basic necessities at that point.

However, where I think I depart from most L-Party is that I don't know how, in the age of automation of soon to be everything, that it will be possible for the free market to function. At a certain point, no matter how much innovation and development creates new jobs, there will not be enough jobs to sustain the population. Transitioning to the age of plenty will be damn near impossible to do well and especially knowing when that begins in earnest, and when we're still subject to the Luddite fallacy.

I'm also concerned that we may try to transition to early, and slow development of society otherwise. For all the ills heaped on capitalism, life is better than it ever has been for more people than ever. There's more food, there's cleaner water, there's less disease. These developments did not come from the USSR. Of course, you could also argue that altruist heroes like Jonas Salk who literally just gave away the polio vaccine (see below for an interesting side note) have done some good, the development of most vaccines does not come from similar places and instead comes out of the same labs that make boner pills.

It's going to be a really interesting thing to watch that transition from old to new as we go through the next 50 years.

SIDE NOTE: As pointed out by Robert Cook-Deegan at Duke University, “When Jonas Salk asked rhetorically “Would you patent the sun?” during his famous television interview with Edward R. Murrow, he did not mention that the lawyers from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis had looked into patenting the Salk Vaccine and concluded that it could not be patented because of prior art – that it would not be considered a patentable invention by standards of the day. Salk implied that the decision was a moral one, but Jane Smith, in her history of the Salk Vaccine, Patenting the Sun, notes that whether or not Salk himself believed what he said to Murrow, the idea of patenting the vaccine had been directly analyzed and the decision was made not to apply for a patent mainly because it would not result in one.