Monday, June 13, 2005

Question Day on CUANAS, Part 1

Today is question day on CUANAS. My brain is pretty much empty these days. All I have are questions.

One of the subjects I have been thinking about is the American economy; specifically, our "trade deficit", and our trade relationship with China.

Tom, at the Kafir Constitutionalist is pretty sharp on this subject, so I decided to send an email over to him, which went a little bit like this:

Hey Tom,
I want to get your perspective.

Does it hurt the US economy to have the type of trade relationship we have with China? Is there any wisdom in our relationship with China? Will our current relationship necessarily help the Chinese to become more capatalist?

When we buy cheap goods from China and sell them at Wal-Mart, is that a net gain, or a net loss for the American economy?

Of course, I understand we have a trade debt with China, and I understand that that's a drag on our economy, but what I'm wondering is will that help China to become more capatalist in the long run? And, really, every crappy TV we sell at Wal-Mart helps to employ American workers, right? Would it be a better allocation of American labor for us to use our workforce to build crappy TVs?

It seems to me, only so much of the economy can go into "productive" labor as opposed to "service" labor. In order for people to be involved in "productive" labor, they need to have a brain, because what America produces now is technology.

If we look at things in this way then we can also see every secretary, payroll person, and janitor at Microsoft as a "productive" worker.

Do you see what I mean?

Basically, if America is in the business of high-tech these days rather than the steel business, or the car-manufacturing business, then there will be less "productive" laborers because it takes more brains to be "productive." But, the average "productive" laborer produces a widget which is worth more than a hundred thousand cars, in economic terms and also in terms of what it means as a building block to future progress.

In other words when all we were doing was manufacturing steel and cars, there was not much progress initiated, but when we produce the "widgets" of the high-tech world we are producting intellectual building blocks which necessarily will lead us to produce other intellectual building blocks.

When looked at this way, all the service workers are supporting the "productive" econom, and are therefore part of the productive economy.

Am I making sense?

Oh by the way, I also asked Tom for his perspective on these two questions:

1) What is the origin of evil?

2) What is the unifying, or first principle, of all evil?