On 15 December 2013 19:06, James Tauber <jtau...@jtauber.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 5:27 PM, LizR <lizj...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I haven't had a chance to watch it, but I do know that banks are stealing
>> our wealth - as indeed are rich people generally, since "wealth breeds more
>> wealth" and that more wealth has to be extracted from you and me.
> Wealth doesn't have to be extracted from anyone. It isn't a zero-sum game.
> The 1990 to 2010 saw a *halving* in the rate of extreme poverty in the
> world. Those people didn't extract wealth from anyone.
> That's due to technological advance, which enriches everyone in the long
run. For example, mobile phones have changed agriculture in Africa almost
overnight. For another example, everyone in the west has things that almost
every king and emperor in history couldn't even dream of possessing.
However, taking money out of an economy doesn't enrich more than a few
people, quite the reverse; it reduces the money in circulation -- at least
until inflation reduces the amount removed and causes more tokens of
exchange to be created. Hence Chandra Nair's solution to the widening
rich-poor gap and its detrimental effects on the First World - print lots
more money, and give it away (print being a euphemism - you can do this
just by putting numbers into a computer's memory, nowadays, of course).

The problem is that economists pretend that wealth IS a zero sum game,
which they can do if they carefully ignore the effects of technology, which
creates wealth (in the real sense of the word) and environmental
destruction, which reduces it in a real sense. Since governments and so on
play by the rules laid down by economists, the "1%" taking money out of
circulation really *does* reduce the wealth of the 99%.

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