- Capitalism and Alternatives -

limiting measure by calories burned

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on December 06, 1999 at 19:04:56:

In Reply to: Possession, privilege and circumstances posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on December 06, 1999 at 11:27:46:

: This is an excellent post. No, Bill Gates doesn't work nearly as hard as a Colombian coal miner, or a Malian peasant, or an Indian latrine cleaner.

Are you measuring work by calories burned? If not then it is important to justify what you mean by 'working hard' before concluding about either Gates or a peasant.

: He exemplifoies the fact that power (and wealth) in this society is based not on how hard ypou work, but rather on "possession, privilege and circumstances."

Can you analyse his 'circumstances' and claim, as many alamrmingly do, that "if only" they had been so lucky to have been there at the time / location he was then they too could have done the same?

This concept of 'circumstances' again needs to be explored properly in light of the claim in that quotation.

: And work is not a individualistic enterprise neither, at leats not the work involved in building and designing computer chips. When i see a man like Bill own, what is it, 25 billion dollars? it horrifies and saddens me, for I think of how many babies' lives could be saved for a couple of dollars, how many families could be fed for that muuch money, and how many peopel could be raised up to a decent standard of living.

Does it ever occur to you that the growth of microsoft - with its hundreds of thousands of salaries, has accomplished that to a great extent? Sure we can argue that if Bill was more generous it could go further than his prodiguous charitable outflows and the wealth created by microsoft, is that your point?

: Until we reach a society where people receive according to their needs, the struggle won't be over.

Its going to be around for a long long time then Nikhil - because peoples actual behaviour and wants drive what you call 'injustice'. Do you imagine that if the $30 were transfered to the mother in your example that there would be some virtue about her poverty which would make her any more generous than Gates?

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