Capitalism Makes Us More Humane

Discussion in 'Present & Current Events' started by nivek, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

    Interesting piece, the video is actually an audio of the article below if you'd like to listen instead of read...

    Capitalism makes us more Humane

    In the midst of high winds and flooding as a result of Hurricane Florence, we hear of a truck driverwho saved 53 dogs and 11 cats from flood waters. And then there is the case of a woman who saved 18 dogs from a flooded house and its fenced in pen.

    This, mind you, was occurring in the midst of a natural disaster. On an ordinary day, animal shelters in the United States are widespread and animal adoption is common. But even as floods rage, residents of North Carolina are taking time to rescue someone else's pets.

    In contrast, just a few months ago, we heard about how dogs were being eaten by famished Venezuelans. In that unfortunate country, there are also reports of zoo animals being stolen for their meat. The zoo animals that aren't eaten are reportedly starving.

    Even worse, the conditions in Venezuela have become a daily reality. They're not even the temporary result of a natural disaster.

    I don't mention these animal-related anecdotes because I think they are equal in importance to the human tragedies involved in each case. After all, the most important fact in a statement about starving people eating dogs is that people are starving. And as of Monday morning, the death count in the wake of Hurricane Florence was 23 human beings — a far greater tragedy than the deaths of ten times as many dogs.

    I mention these cases because they illustrate how creatures without legal rights fare better in market-oriented societies. Even a hurricane-ravaged community in moderately-capitalist North America treats its dogs better than the residents of socialist Venezuela.

    Why Animals Fare Better Under Capitalism

    At the core of this difference between conditions for domestic animals in the US and Venezuela is this: market-oriented (i.e., capitalist) societies can afford to treat their animals better: they can affordto build animal shelters, to package food expressly made for pets, and to put stray animals down humanely.

    As Catherine Grier writes in her book Pets in America: A History, the spread of the idea that pets are companions that merit "kindness" only began to gain widespread currency in the nineteenth century. It was in 1838, for example, that Lydia Sigourney published a book of parenting advice called Letters to Mothers which established a "moral code of infancy" in which children ought to be taught to not "strike the dog" or roughly handle a kitten.

    These were not the writings of a mere eccentric. According to Grier, Siguorney's writings were a look into "what respectable folk — the new American middle classes ... were thinking and worrying about at the time."

    And what led to middle-class families putting more emphasis on kindness toward animals? Grier focuses on ideological and cultural factors. She concludes that a general rise in a "domestic ethic of kindness ... evolved from ideas that defined middle-class or 'Victorian,' culture in America: gentility, liberal evangelical Protestant religion, and domesticity."

    Grier is only partly right. There is no denying that these factors are important. But without the enormous gains in worker productivity, wealth-building, and economic progress that occurred with the rise of industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century, there would have been no "new middle class" of Victorians who worried themselves with such things. Those social currents were closely tied to the new wealth that had been made possible by the new economic currents in North America and Western Europe.

    It's Not Just Pets

    And fortunately, these new economic realities led to improvement for human beings as well — including those who also have often lacked full legal rights. With the rise of industrialized capitalism, women and children began for the first time to gain access to education, to leisure time, and to freedoms that had previously been unknown to those who were not politically favored or physically strong.

    For example, in her re-assessment of the Industrial Revolution, Wendy McElroy writes:

    Noting that urban factory jobs offered an escape from the rural lives that offered few choices, women voluntarily fled to cities where choices were more abundant, and where even prosperity could even be had for a single women without dependency on men or family. McElroy continues:
    But it wasn't just the workers who gained from these changes. Consumers reaped the rewards as well. In her essay "The Liberation of Women," Bettina Bien Greaves notes how leisure time for women was largely a creation of market-based mass production:
    The social consequences of these advancements in worker productivity and wealth accumulation — even by the late nineteenth century — had profound effects. The new surplus in both savings and leisure provided women with the opportunity to obtain an education, either formally or informally. It is not a coincidence that a middle-class women like Maria Montessori, for example, managed to receive a formal education in medicine in the 1880s and 1890s.

    Nor was education something pursued for its own sake. Literacy was of increasing importance since, as household finances became more varied and complex, "it was the wife who generally determined how the family's money was spent. ... Women ruled at home partly because running the urban household was a complicated, demanding, and valuable task."

    As households moved away from subsistence living, and as daily life became less of a struggle for mere survival, things changed emotionally as well. Married couples "also developed stronger emotional ties to each other ... affection and eroticism became more central to the couple after marriage ... [and] many French marriage manuals of the late 1800s stressed that women had legitimate sexual needs."

    Children Benefited, Too

    Thanks to improvements in wealth — the advantages of which included improvements in sanitation — child mortality began to decline, and parents began to view their children differently. As one history textbook affirms, "[a]lthough it may seem hard to believe today, the typical mother of preindustrial Western society was frequently indifferent toward her baby." These changes began with the well-to-do, but spread to the working and middle classes as the nineteenth century wore on. For middle-class households in the late nineteenth century, the "loving care lavished on infants was matched by the greater concern for older children and adolescents.

    The mothers — who were now themselves educated — could also provide their children with an education, as this was yet another critical component of the new domestic life. In the new industrial era, a new baby did not necessarily mean an increase in the grave hardships faced by a family. It might be possible for parents to actually spend time and money "pampering" a child in a way never before imagined.

    Moreover, older children no longer had to be viewed as having value primarily as workers. Parents have long sought to remove their children from the labor force when economically feasible. In his research on child labor, for example, Benjamin Powell observes how the decline of child labor is closely tied to rises in incomes enjoyed in market economies. Historically, it's not the passage of child labor laws that eliminates child labor. It's increasing wealth. As parents are able to make ends meet using the incomes of just the parents, children withdraw from the workforce. Powell concludes"child labor virtually disappears in all countries when incomes reach a little over $10,000. The laws were largely redundant."

    Markets and Industrialization Don't De-Humanize Us — They Allow Us to be More Human

    It's not difficult to see how, in the mid-nineteenth century, families were already beginning to read books telling them to adopt a "domestic ethic of kindness" in which even kittens and dogs were thought to be deserving of the benefits of the new domestic life. The same economic trends that make it possible — in market economies — to spend time and energy savings dogs from floods have also enabled us to benefit countless human beings as well.

    Yet in spite of all of this, we still continue to hear about how capitalism and industrialization de-humanize us, or distract us from the important things in life. Or that they somehow "commodify" our lives. In reality, the historical record shows that it was industrialization and capitalism that propagated the conditions under which we can afford to treat each other more humanely.

    Unfortunately, where the capitalist economic order breaks down — or had never been established in the first place — we see these trends in reverse. We see increased human trafficking and prostitution. We see dangerous child labor. We see starving people eating zoo animals.

    All of this should be seen as a warning against growing complacent about the benefits of a market economy.

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  2. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

    The author says "Unfortunately, where the capitalist economic order breaks down — or had never been established in the first place — we see these trends in reverse. We see increased human trafficking and prostitution. We see dangerous child labor. We see starving people eating zoo animals." Some free market fundamentalists argue, regretfully, that the US is not a truly capitalist state. If we are to infer what he means by capitalism from the article, it seems to be the accumulation of wealth. Indeed, where a society is suddenly thrust into poverty, there is a collapse of order and life becomes much harder for the inhabitants.

    The label 'capitalism' is an invention of Karl Marx and his contemporary socialist theorists to describe what does not really exist: the way people and states have done business throughout history is not an -ism, it is just how things are. In contrast to Marx's proposals, which outlined a planned society radically different from anything that had come before. These are not two opposing ideologies, but one ideology opposed to a natural disposition. On the other hand, there is a modern religion of free market fundamentalists who have misguided ideas about the societal benefits of leaving all endeavours to the free market.

    'Capitalism' existed for millenia, but the wealth of nations rose and fell in that time. What lead to the spectacular increase in our wealth was industrialization. The author mentions industrialization, but he introduces it rather stealthily, seemingly hoping you won't notice, by referring first to the rise of 'industrial capitalism'. Soon he has switched from extolling the benefits of capitalism, to extolling the benefits of industrialization, creating a false equivalence between the two things. No one would argue that industrialization has not lead to increases in wealth*.

    What caused famished people in Venezuela to eat dogs and the American truck driver to save dogs was not that one group was in a socialist society and one in a 'capitalist' society, per se, but rather the relative wealth of their societies. I would hazard a guess that the truck driver was not, and is not, in danger of starving. I would bet also that there are countries where animals generally fare better than in the US, and that not all of them are as 'capitalist' as the US is.

    What the author should instead have written was an argument for why only what he calls capitalism leads to wealth, and all other systems of political economy cannot bring this about. Not by appealing to the benefits of industrialization, which can exist in different forms of economy. Or pointing out that people in wealthier nations can afford to be more humane than people in poorer nations.

    It would seem to me that some state involvement in the economy, and even some nationalized industry, can be a good thing. Much of my own country's abandonment of its nationalized industry was a waste that has left nobody satisfied except those people who are paid to run those industries. Large gains in wealth were made during the post-war period when there was a much greater state involvement in the economy. The rise of free market fundamentalism since the 1980s has not really lead us to do better.

    *However, we might point out that the scars of industrialization are great. Many people working in early industry had their lives blighted by the experience. The Industrial Revolution lead to an explosion in the employment of child labour, under frequently terrible conditions, before it was eventually outlawed, which the article author glosses over.
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  3. Spearchucker

    Spearchucker Novice

    First up, is it reasonable to describe a foundation of theft, pillage, abuse and plunder, as capitalism??? If not, when did capitalism begin?
    Is slavery a legitimate part of capitalism or a free market?

    Thou shall not steal, remember.

    "Thanks to improvements in wealth — the advantages of which included improvements in sanitation — child mortality began to decline,..."
    What a pile.
    That is actually science and epidemiology, things that are somewhat separate from wealth, and certainly capitalism. Communists have science and epidemiology.

    " Why animals fare better under capitalism " splutter
    Did I read that correctly?
    Are the taking the piss? Have they not seen industrial farming for profit in capitalism ( usually so subsidised I wouldn't even call it capitalism really )
    I think they are taking the piss. Having a larf.
    "The social consequences of these advancements in worker productivity and wealth accumulation —..."
    Ah yes, the social consequences of squattocracy, the gentleman farmers in the Congo and Malaya or Ireland.

    The author is taking the piss and/or on drugs and it's the most unacademic crap I've read for at least half an hour.

    The perspective is so skewed and exceptionalist and narrow as to be nearly extremist. It's has no place as reasonable considered analysis, or as an account of history. Desperately flawed.
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  4. Thomas R. Morrison

    Thomas R. Morrison Administrator

    Here’s first part of the RationalWiki page about the Mises Institute that published the OP:

    “The Ludwig von Mises Institute is an American think tank (tax-exempt!) specializing in Austrian school economics and political philosophy. It was established in 1982 with the approval of Margit von Mises, the widow of the Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises. They have published many journals on political economy, economics, and philosophy, working from multiple angles to combine racism with wealth worship and empirical science denial.

    Econ majors will be pleased to know that LvMI offers fellowships, plus awards to those who have made (in their opinion) exceptional contributions in the field of economics. They offer an array of summer camp-style "seminars" where the future leaders of tomorrow can learn how to get laughed out of the boardroom take advantage of other suckers by saying "prax" a lot.

    Hail Hydra

    “”Nothing, however, is as ill founded as the assertion of the alleged equality of all members of the human race.”
    —Ludwig Von Mises, Liberalism, p. 28

    Baron Von Mises (Austrian economist who invented praxxing), Baron Von Hayek (Nobel-winning economist), and Kaiser Von Habsburg (would-be emperor) all knew each other and were Austrian Nobility at one point or another. They all hated FDR for refusing their requests to use American power to reinstate the Austrian nobility/monarchy after WWII.[2][3][4] They put this institute to work combating his ideas,[5] placing it in the deep south to win over disillusioned racists to libertarianism, but also to inspire a new right-libertarianism.[6]

    How do you get southerners, who have a long-standing rebellious streak, few wealthy areas, and strong opposition to banking and trading floors, to help deregulate Wall Street? These things are not in their best interests. To that end, the Mises Institute was physically attached to Auburn University in Alabama, which probably isn't an accident. Nor is it a coincidence that one of their senior scholars, Gary North, married R.J. Rushdoony's daughter. (Rushdoony is the founder of "christian reconstructionism", which seeks to take the finer points of Calvinism and insert those into Southern Baptism.)[7] Nor is it a coincidence that the white-secessionist League of the South is located right up the road, or that they cross-recruit.[8]Add to that the fact that they're pandering to Neo-Confederates on purpose (especially DiLorenzo), and we begin to understand the type of propaganda they're pushing. Get the church to re-enforce that message, and bam, you've got the Republican South for the first time ever.

    You know that cast of white nationalist characters who swirl around Trump? Check out how many familiar names are visiting Triple H in Turkey.[9] These men have a satellite organization (the Property and Freedom Society) they run out of Europe to promote the cause of monarachism abroad.”

    Ludwig von Mises Institute - RationalWiki
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  5. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

    Good information, I would have never known their political background or affiliations since I never heard of them before today lol...

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  6. Sheltie

    Sheltie Celestial

    Do liberals have anything else going on politically other than the race card?

    I believe the Dems could easily retake both houses of Congress if they would focus positively on real issues but identity politics seems to be their only game plan.
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  7. pepe

    pepe Celestial

    Gave me a smile to read the word spearchucker. Nice to know the fire still burns as bright.
  8. nivek

    nivek As Above So Below

    They will turn anything into a political argument these days, we see it prevalent everywhere and the other side are deeply entrenched as well...The third party as I call it, the libertarians have no voice but then neither do the true independents like myself...The moment we speak of anything the socialists are putting red or blue filters on those words and slicing us according to their whim or will gather mobs to try to shut us up if their labeling and mocking doesn't work...Meanwhile the corporate crimelords are taking control of everything right in front of us all...

    This thread for instance is an economic topic not political, but we see how easily it turns into a political one when some can't take off those red and blue filters...

    Some like diversity only when it's convenient for them, if someone is looking for enemies he will find many because it's easier to make enemies than it is to make friends these days...That's what people are doing these days, finding political enemies instead of accepting that there are people with other opines and views, and working together...

  9. Dejan Corovic

    Dejan Corovic Noble

    I would like to say that capitalism is misnomer. Industrialization is not a consequence of capitalism, but consequence of the rise of science. One can say that with great confidence, because capitalists existed in antiquity, in old China, Greece and Babylon etc. (there are clay plates with commercial contracts from Babylon) and yet they never reached today's living standard. In capitalism of antiquity missing ingredient for accelerated wealth creation was science. Simply put, once society became rich enough, by whatever means, to pay for scientific experiments industrialiasation kicked in spontaneously.

    We don't live in capitalism at all. It is simply an extension of feudalism, that should be properly called SWINDLERISAM. I can offer few strong arguments to prove that:

    1) Spare with me here, this one needs a deeper digg:

    200+ years ago, during the time of beginning of the end of agrarian society, the first government after the French Revolution (aka. modern 'enlightened' government in a today's developed country) made, a first in history of world, nation-wide survey of French citizens and found that 95% of population was earning living from food production and 5% from everything else.

    200+ years later, or nowadays if you want, situation is totally reversed, (in US) 5% of population is involved in food production and 95% is earning living from everything else. What is that telling us? What is the only difference between advanced agrarian society and industrial age?

    There is only one difference: the steady stream of scientific discoveries, which were gradually converted into commercial enterprises, that created financial wealth for both rich and poor. That means, that over the last 200+ years all the financial wealth, the very and the last penny of it, WAS CREATED BY SCIENCE, not by capitalists etc.

    Now, for one to be a businessman one doesn't need to be particularly smart. Business is based on "rinse & repeat" and everything that is based on repetition is fundamentally a mediocrity. In business, it's far more important to be in a right place at a right time. Here in UK many business people are either dyslexic and fairly uneducated. The famous Richard Branson can barely read and write and has criminal record. The second richest man in UK, after the queen, left school at age of 16 to become a scrap metal dealer and simply become billionaire, when without any influence coming from his actions, commodity prices rose many times over. I can go on like that and give hundreds of examples from all the countries around the world, where lackluster quick fixers become millionaires.

    How's that possible, that lackluster people outperform super smart and talented people? It's very simple: SECRECY. Scientist has to publish the best of his life's work (and practically give it away) for peer review process and after that everybody else is free to make money from it. Quite the opposite, a shrewd (but dumb and uneducated) dealer wheeler can keep all of his, scientifically speaking 'trivial', business secrets and perpetually accumulate wealth through semi-mechanical "rinse & repeat" process (as business people like to call it).

    In a scientist vs bimbo businessman battle, scientist has no chance by the design of the legal system. Both a businessman and scientist work hard, but businessman can keep his, fairly trivial secrets (methods of acquiring customers, sources of goods etc.), but scientist has to give away, in return for paltry salary, his golden nuggets worth billions of dollars. The very reason that business has secrets is that they are trivial and if they went public anybody with can reproduce them. The same is quite opposite with science, which requires long training and knowledge accumulation and many times only few experts can understand it.

    I was totally pissed off when I heard somewhere that there is a family in UK that was in possession of their large land estate, including a village, since 13th century. Why should not scientist have a right to hold onto intellectual property for 8 centuries? Legally, mediocre businessman's material property is protected indefinitely, while brilliant scientist only has about 17 years of ownership on patents (plus, insultingly enough, scientific discoveries can not be patented). That is how stupid rule the smart. As I've shown in the beginning, with French revolution example, ownership of material assets is economically irrelevant in an economy that is 95% knowledge based. Through legal system that protects mediocrity, all the wealth goes to dumb small-time swindlers and quick-fixers.

    A good illustration that we live in swindlerisam comes from attempt to answer a question who should be a billionaire, Albert Einstein or Donald Trump? Who took a real risk and who reaped the reward?

    Donald Trump is superficially educated and openly dumb salesman, who's, like all salesman, highly emotionally intelligent (which is trivial once you muster the basics). Mr. Trump is an exemplary swindler who constantly has to protect himself by employment of small army of lawyers. At the least, he's known for his tax swindles. By the way, I have nothing against Trump, I quite like him for the way he's manipulating the system in the plain sight. He's just a good example for what I am talking about. It's only that I like scientists more.

    On the other hand, Albert Einstein and other scientists made discoveries that are worth bilions of dollars, and additionally changed the world more than any revolution or political idea ever had. Einstein's theories lead to nukes and nukes lead to Cold War (its human nature, not Einstein fault) and Cold War defined a whole generation. Modern GPS wouldn't work without General Relativity etc, not to mention conquest of Solar system that is going on right now. Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley changed the world by inventing transistor and got exactly $1.0 from businessman (not counting Nobel Prize, which was external). Watson Watts invented radar and saved hundreds of thousands of lives during WWII in his country (UK) and didn't even get a pat on a shoulder. John Randall and Harry Boot invented short wave radar and saved UK from starvation during submarine war in Atlantic, but how many schoolkids can even name them. Etc. etc. Each one of these discoveries would make these scientists into billionaires, if their commercial rights were not 'legally' stolen from them.

    What I am trying to illustrate here, is that material property had been a second rate asset since the end of agrarian society, that is for at least two centuries in the West. It is knowledge as the modern asset that creates 95% of the economy. We should reward and protect intellectual property on an equal footing as we reward material property. I am not suggesting some leftist idea here, like businessman are bad. All I am saying businessman are dumb and below average, but not implicitly bad. In comparison, with science, business is intellectually trivial second rate activity. Intellectually, businessman is no more than a housewife keeping eye on expenses and predicting wishes of her customers, husband and children.

    One can be super smart as businessman, but that is not needed, dumb is OK as well. Businessman excel because of the right to secrecy, that is undeserved privilege. If scientist have to work without secrecy, businessman should as well work in full public view. For example, if secrecy was taken away from a businessman his market value would immediately drop to market value of street cleaner. If secrecy was taken away from Albert Einstein or Richard Feynman their market value would stay unchanged. Secrecy enables second rate people (sometimes conspicuously dumb and illiterate) to gain influence that they don't deserve.

    Economic financial wealth is not created by businessman, but by scientists (which is pretty self-explanaory) and it is scientists who should be financially rewarded and become famous billionaires. It is scientists who should never have to beg government and big business for research money, but the other way around the mediocrities that businessman are should beg scientists for money and simply become money managers for scientists. All this libertarian bullshit about businessman's individualism driving progress is just a demagogy. That is only true if it is conveniently hidden that first 'initial effort' and risk taking comes from scientists, not business people. And then the welfare state for businessman steals from scientists and gives businessman stolen intellectual property for free.

    A good example is Elon Musk, who is well prized by libertarians for boldly introducing private sector into space enterprise. Only small thing libertarians conveniently forget is that US gov. Had spent billions over the last 50 years perfecting rocket technology and all that Elon had to do, is pull the technology off the shelf scot-free, with spending only pennies on research, and cash in other people's work without paying anybody a penny. In a proper capitalism, Elon Musk should be no more than estate manager for Robert Goddard and other American rocket scientists.

    2) Olympic games are true model of capitalism.

    Capitalism is not survival of the fittest by far, like popular sentiment would want it. In Olympic games every contestant is in a full view of judges and public. No dirty secrets. Second thing, no contestant can add to his score gold medals won by his parents. What we call capitalism is not even meritocracy.

    3) What we wrongly call capitalism is just repackaged feudalism. The proof in a proverbial pudding is that approximately 50% of US presidents in the last 60 years are simply members of American aristocracy who inherited money from their parents.

    If Trump was somehow made to start from nothing, like most Americans do, only level that he would reach would be as a car or insurance salesman. Possibly even a small business owner. Nobody would ever know that he existed.

    This writup is partially inspired by few bussines people that I heard off boasting how their stuff members are much smarter than themselves, yet they as business owners make much more money. I was gasping in a disbelief, but such is life, you live and learn new things every day.

    My 2 cents:

    1) Businesses should have no right of business secrets, so that they are on even field with science,

    2) Business should be taxed according to stage of civilisation they appeared in. For example, property developers should pay double tax than normal rate because first such business was established back in bronze age. Lawyers are the next for double tax rate, since they don't ad any new value to GDP. Contrary to that high-tech businesses, like Boston Dynamics, Google, Lockheed Martin etc. should pay zero tax. Practically any business that doesn't have research & developement department should be on double tax, like 'stone age' tax.

    3) Intelectual property should be forever and it should include scientific discoveries. Any kind of any business infrigement on IP should be criminalized, same as for material property. So directors go streight to jail, in handcuffs.

    4) In Congress or Parlament, all politicians should be replaced by scientists who should present competing mathematical models before discussing any new legislation. Not less than 60% of congresmen must be economists (so that they keep economy in black), laweyrs should be capped at 5% (because they professionaly have licence to lie and are adicted to abusing that licence) but we still need them to give proper advice to other congresmen/MPs.

    5) And last but not least, Speaker of the congress/parlament should become a leader of fact & context checking team. Any politicians found not using verified facts or taking facts out of cotext should be baned from giving any public statements for few days. They should accumulate negative points based on manipulating wrong facts, as well, and when score reaches certain level they should be cast for re-election.

    As well, Speker should have authority to punish any congresmen/MP crossing the line of civility in political discussions. Even if congresmen spoke outside of congress, on TV etc.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
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  10. AD1184

    AD1184 Honorable

    I do not think it is so simple as being due to the birth of science. Most of the early industrialists who invented important machinery which brought about the Industrial Revolution were not themselves scientists. Furthermore, science was practised across the continent of Europe, but industrialization got its birth in Britain and thanks to this headstart, Britain became the pre-eminent global power until the early twentieth century.

    Except that the early industrialists were businessmen (or 'capitalists') who used the patents on their machinery to earn large amounts of money and not, in general, scientists.

    Olympians might have dirty secrets of drug-taking in contravention of the rules that they do not wish the public to know about. Many such Olympians have been exposed. There are likely many more who have not been exposed.

    But do you not want credit to be passed down through the generations? You said that intellectual property should last forever. Seeing as people do not live forever, do you not want intellectual property to be transferred to a deceased person's estate?

    Science and business are not competing endeavours. Scientists have no legal obligation to share their research. Only their personal system of values provides them such an obligation, or it exists as part of their chosen work arrangements. Any scientist is free to start a private company and keep their discoveries hidden while exploiting them for personal financial benefit.

    Scientists in the university research system are under pressure to share their discoveries to remain in a job. In the present day, refusing to publish within that system is a route out of a job. However, this system is one created by scientists themselves. If it does them all out of a greater financial remuneration, then they are collectively to blame for it. To many it does not matter, because they are not driven by money, but by the pursuit of science, or at least the pursuit of recognition among scientists. Many endure great privation to get into the field of science, when they could have much better paid jobs in the private sector.

    Intellectual property cannot rationally extend to scientific discoveries, only practical methods for utilizing them (i.e. a novel type of physical device). If intellectual property was forever and extended to discoveries as well as inventions then the results of that seem quite obvious: innovation would cease, because there would be no incentive to extend the work of others. Each new device would have a longer and longer list of dependent intellectual property that would have to be licenced such that the associated fees would very quickly exceed any likely financial return.

    Or, all innovation would occur in China, a nation whose economic growth is largely founded on intellectual property theft and which is largely immune to any demands for reform from western countries.

    First of all you are saying that all politicians should be replaced by scientists but also you want 60% of them to be economists? Unless you want legislatures to grow by an additional 65% (100% of the current amount as scientists, +60% as economists plus +5% lawyers) I do not see how your maths works out. But why waste scientific talent in politics?

    Any scientist knows that making sweeping changes to a complex system are likely to have catastrophic results for any existing state of order, thus is the likely outcome of enacting all of your desires on our civilization.
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