pensions and natality

Fri, 16 Apr 1999 14:15:43 -0500

OK I guess I got a different impression from Fare's prior post that I
replied to.  I had the impression of a mechanical system whereby 
the critical elements of stability are to be _ensured_ by external
control, i.e. the sovereign.  In fact in economics there is a theorem 
that a benevolent, all-knowing dictator is the best possible regime for
producing optimal economic allocation.  Of course no human can know
each person's innermost desires and feelings, and most have trouble even
being generally benevolent.  Fare and I have both given up on centralized
control as the right way for the human race.

It is an interesting question, whether _some_ amount of centralized
control is optimal for humans.  Can anyone own anything?  Then they
can control that thing even if others do not like what they do with it.

Total "freedom" may result in the
worst visions of anarchy, uncaring jerks without concern for anyone else
and no constraint on their bad behavior.  The much maligned Biblical 
"an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" control deserves
consideration.  And then up to kings and monarchies with various
distributions of the ownership of land and rights, where the king
claims to be a representative of god, finally to the modern
"first world" state where the state legally owns everything and
everyone and the government does not admit its subordination to
any entity.

The latter system is frequently called "democracy" but by hook or by
crook, the common man and woman don't run it.  We can all see that.
The American military's invasion of Serbia, against all law and
reason as well as American public opinion, is convincing proof.

There is "freedom" in the typical democratic system but it is
actually limited to what the government decides to allow.  For example,
discussion of ways of avoiding tax liability must be kept within
certain bounds.  Discussion of certain legal strategies has landed
people in jail.  We all have a feeling for what is "responsible" and 
what is "extreme" and the distinction has nothing to do with legality.
Put simply, the distinction has to do with fear.

I think I am taking a "micro" approach and assuming that if things are
right at the level of the individual, they may be right on the grand
scale.  Perhaps what bothered me about Fare's earlier post is that
it seemed to look from a "macro" level without adequate concern for
what goes on at the micro level.  I think that if one can look at only
one level, it is far more important to get things right at the micro

>===== Original Message From Francois-Rene Rideau <> =====
>Before someone replies, I want to add a few remarks.
>Firstly, that in most (all?) civilizations other than liberal democracy

Perhaps we disagree on the true nature of "liberal democracy".  At
any rate, the current condition of the United States is corporate
ownership of the citizens and all their possessions.  This is literally,
legally true.  I would be surprised if France is much different.

Where do you send taxes every year in France?  Is it the French government,
or some other taxing authority like the "Internal Revenue Service" 
that sends out Form 1040 to US taxpayers?

>savings and mutual funds weren't reliably possible but to a tiny,
>minority having sufficient capital, and successfully breeding respectful
>children was the only way to ensure one's old days.
>Secondly, that from a cybernetical/memetical point of view,
>successful breeding of children is the perhaps one most important
>thing for the parents as well as for the children, for the society
>and for the species at large!

But curiously, the government has nothing to do with this.  Remember,
if the government gets involved, it will train the kids to respect
the government not their parents.

>Thirdly, that a stable atmosphere of economical welfare and
>security depends on individual responsibility as well as respect of
>family, and is indeed strongly correlated to growth of population
>through natality.

Or at least population replacement.  With improved useful lifespans, we
may not need so many children to care for us in our nonproductive
years.  Each family can make their own decision.

>Fourthly, that it is still completely illusory to pretend achieving
>the causes (welfare) by encouraging the effects (natality). It's really
>like pretending to fight an illness by removing the symptoms, and results
>at best in a waste of resource (accompanied by the consequential
>additional disbalance to the catallactic equilibria), as well as
>the growth of the ignored illness.

Is this argument actually made in France?  If the government encourages
more children, it's to turn them into supporters of the government not
supporters of their parents.

>Fifthly, that the essential illness of the french system is IMNSHO its
>overly central state management (also reproduced at a smaller scale
>within french companies), and the complete citizen deresponsibilization
>that follows.

Not just French system but that of any sovereign.  Power corrupts.

>Best regards,
>PS: I didn't know you were father yet. Congratulations (and greetings)
>to your wife, David!

Thanks!  Mark will be 11 months old on April 18.  He is very strong
and has the energy of about 3 typical kids!