2009 U.S. Deaths by Cause:
By my math, I’ve already spent far too much time discussing the death penalty. Feel free to call me a psychopath.
America is productive enough that it could probably shelter, feed, educate, and even provide health care for its entire population with just a fraction of us actually working.
It is possible to have an enjoyable life without earning and spending a whole lot of money. If health care and education are the areas where costs are growing, and if their marginal benefits are in doubt, then if you just get your basic needs met and focus on the enjoyment you get from the stuff that is not so expensive, you can do pretty well without a ton of money.
I think a lot of us would rather not work for somebody else. It’s not necessarily that we’re burgeoning entrepreneurs eager to start small businesses. It just sucks to have a boss.
A job seeker is looking for something for a well-defined job. But the trend seems to be that if a job can be defined, it can be automated or outsourced.
–Arnold Kling again
What many, maybe most, people actually want, it turns out, is the creativity and autonomy of entrepreneurship combined with the stability of a 1950s corporate drone.
These ideas are rattling around in my head. Commentary to follow…
It’s entirely consistent with capitalism to think poorly of Steve Jobs on the basis of a) the vast majority of Apple products being overpriced status symbols that provide little real value and b) his lack of charitable donation. That is, one can fully support an economic system that allows Steve Jobs to have the career he had, while simultaneously having a system of values that assigns very low esteem to Steve Jobs as a person. Which is to say, capitalism is very different than consumerism.