Minimum Wage and Gaia Brain From firstname.lastname@example.orgTue Jun 9 14:37:38 1998 Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 12:10:52 -0500 From: "John C. Champagne"
Newsgroups: alt.politics.reform, alt.politics.usa.misc Subject: Minimum wage, gaia brain, commons management, starry night sky Minimum wage laws seem to help those who have jobs at or near that wage level, and those who make machinery that replaces low-skilled workers, while it hurts those whose skills and experience make them somewhat less valuable to an employer than what it would cost to hire them. Minimum wage laws harm everyone if the rising cost of labor causes employers to choose a method of achieving their goals that causes more pollution or depletion of resources than a more labor-intensive method would. We cannot create wealth by legislation, but we can alleviate poverty by ending the current practice of theft of natural resources from the people. If we all own the air and water, that is, if we all have an equal right to use the air and water, and to say what limits we ought to place on the putting of pollution into the air and water, then we could attach fees to the putting of pollution, at a level that would result in the amount of pollution that the people deem permissible. The fee proceeds could be, should be shared among all people equally. After all, we would be measuring the economic value of something that we all own. The same principle could be applied to the management of other commons resources. The number and diversity of fish in the sea is decreasing. We could attach a fee to the taking of those species that are threatened with depletion. We could attach VERY HIGH fees to the taking or killing of any member of a species that we do not want anyone to take, so that no one will see that activity as profitable. Biodiversity is being lost at a frightening rate. Considering the pace of forest destruction and paving of wilderness areas, it is easy to wonder do we care what kind of world we will leave for our children. We could charge a fee for any land use that disturbs or decreases biodiversity, from monoculture to asphalt, with the fee greater for the more harmful impacts on the earth. With all people voting on whether the amount of paving, etc., on the earth is acceptable or should change, we would have a system where all people could share in sculpting the overall human impact on earth. We would shape the world to match what we would want it to be. The amount of money collected through fees on the putting of pollution and the taking and degrading of resources would be substantial. We may not be able to afford such a system AND the current system of taxes on income and sales. We may want to eliminate those taxes, or reduce them to negligible levels, (some sales tax would be appropriate, to cover the cost of policing the marketplace), and fund community services from fees on those things that we do that have an adverse impact on others, on the larger community and environment. The monies collected could be shared among all people equally. We could each spend an agreed-upon fraction, perhaps half, on community needs, (e.g.: libraries, schools, fire protection), and spend the remainder on our own personal needs. We would all share in creating the kind of environment that we would choose, we would share in deciding what are our community priorities, and no one would live in abject poverty. This gaia brain paradigm sees the role of government as an arbiter between the individual and community. It recognizes no authority of government to initiate the use of force against citizens. Only those actions, by individuals or corporate entities, that adversely affect others would come within the purview of government. In fact, government per se would not exist as we know it. The decisions of government would become dispersed, decentralized to all the people. I think this is an important point, because such profound change cannot occur except through the active support of the people. Many people subscribe to the libertarian view that the government ought not initiate the use of force against citizens. I would expect that libertarians would enthusiastically embrace this paradigm if they are persuaded that it appropriately draws the line between regulated or restricted actions, (those that affect others or the community), and actions which are the free choice of individuals, (private behavior). I think that the prevalence of outdoor advertising signs and billboards is too high to allow for an aesthetically pleasing visual landscape. I think that the prevalence of outdoor lighting is so high that our ability to see the stars is deminished to unacceptably low levels. (We may want to adopt a few "lights out" nights, to remind ourselves that there are stars out there.) If others share my views, our wishes can be translated to reality. I hope that someday the power to decide these questions is put into the hands of the people. It will be, if we, the people, care enough to take that power into our hands. John Champagne http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag Gaia Brain Theory http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/gaia.html Gaia Brain abstract http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/abstract.html Cronkite for President http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/cronkite.html Cronkite on nuclear war http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/nuclear.html vote on Gaia Brain at MIT http://learning.mit.edu/ide/BI/BI-031.html If you like this idea, please vote. You can help to counter-act an apparent attempt at 'ballot stuffing'. I noticed a burst of 40 votes in one day, (feb 11-12), that brought the rating down from 63% to 39%. The rating climbed back up to 60%. Then another burst came, (92 votes), and brought it down to 43%. (If you don't like the idea, please share your objections with me. Thanks!) vote on my proposed response to these 'ballot stuffing' tactics: http://learning.mit.edu/ide/BI/BI-048.html Gaia Brain, Hegel, capitalism-communism synthesis, environment From email@example.comWed Jun 10 13:20:03 1998 Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 12:29:04 -0500 From: "John C. Champagne" Newsgroups: talk.philosophy.misc, talk.politics.theory, alt.politics.radical-left, talk.politics.misc Subject: Gaia Brain, Hegel, Capitalism-Communism Synthesis, environment Hegel said that our ideas create reality. He also said that a particular time in history is defined by a particular idea or set of ideas. Over time, the contradictions or shortcomings of the dominant idea eventually show themselves. A competing idea is proposed, in opposition to the dominant idea, to address these shortcomings. It, too, has shortcomings. At some point, the two ideas are synthesized into a new way of thinking that incorporates essential elements of the original thesis and its antithesis, thus creating a new starting point, a new dominant idea of an era. Hegel called this process of thesis generating antithesis followed by synthesis the historical dialectic. Marx said that Hegel was right about the historical dialectic, but that he was wrong about ideas creating reality. Marx said that reality, or material existence creates ideas. I think it is time for a synthesis of these two. Is it not true that our ideas and our material world affect one another, that there is a dynamic interaction between the two? Is it not also time for a synthesis of capitalism and communism? Could we combine free markets and free movement of capital with ownership of natural resources, (a means of production), vested in the people? We could realize such a system by charging fees for use of natural resources, with the fees rising when most people believe that levels of resource use are too high and ought to be reduced, and falling when people believe that we can increase our use of resources without any harm to ourselves and future generations and without excessive harm to other living things on this planet. The resource user fees would act as a sensory nervous system for the planet, transimitting information about injury to the earth to society, and causing reduction of that injury. When we share the proceeds of these resource-use fees among all people equally, we will have created a system of ownership and management of natural resources by the people, in the context of free political and economic systems. I think that this practice of asking and pondering what are acceptable human impacts on earth would profoundly affect our mental and conceptual development. The gaia brain paradigm would translate our expressed wishes--what we think ought to be--into reality. Gaia Brain Summary John Champagne http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag Gaia Brain Theory http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/gaia.html Gaia Brain abstract http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/abstract.html Cronkite for President http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/cronkite.html Cronkite on nuclear war http://lonestar.utsa.edu/jchampag/nuclear.html vote on Gaia Brain at MIT http://learning.mit.edu/ide/BI/BI-031.html If you like this idea, please vote. You can help to counter-act an apparent attempt at 'ballot stuffing'. I noticed a burst of 40 votes in one day, (feb 11-12), that brought the rating down from 63% to 39%. The rating climbed back up to 60%. Then another burst, (92 votes), brought it back down to 43%. (Maybe the designers of this site will change the way the votes are displayed, so everyone will be able to see which votes came in as part of a big burst of dozens of votes all from the same source, all in the same hour.) If you do not like the idea, please share your objections with me. Thanks! vote on my proposed response to these 'ballot-stuffing' tactics: http://learning.mit.edu/ide/BI/BI-048.html © 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gaia Brain: democratic ownership and free market management of natural resources
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