Post scarcity conundrum - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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By Eran
#14281697
Concerning public healthcare, it is only wasteful when it is mismanaged. The US system is a great example of public funding being mismanaged and then swallowed up by profiteering private enterprise.

Of course. But free market criticism of public service-provision is precisely focused on the fact that it is inherently, inevitably wasteful and mismanaged.

The public sector lacks tools to gauge the priorities of the public, and hence avoid waste. Further, the incentive structure of public decision-makers is centred on short-term political considerations, again creating inevitable mismanagement.

Very simple, profit maximisation is bad because it promotes consumption.

And consumption is bad? Why? Isn't consumption the sole point of economic production?

The impetus becomes increasing revenue while at the same decreasing costs. This leads to necessarily greater volume of waste/product.

Who benefits from waste? In a free market economy, either consumers or producers actually have to pay for it from their own pockets. They are thus motivated to reduce waste. In contrast, when economic decisions are made by public representatives, their motivation is different. Waste no longer comes from their own pockets, and is thus secondary to whatever ideological or political considerations animate them.

It does not at any stage seek to provide revenue stopping solutions to problems.

What do you mean by "revenue stopping solutions"? Can you give an example of how government provides revenue stopping (or, more accurately, expenditure-stopping) solutions? With rare exceptions such as eradication of smallpox, it seems like government programs tend to be self-perpetuating, with the problems they are designed to solve (education, health, poverty, pollution, energy, crime, etc.) only getting worse, never better.

They seek to perpetuate waste by inventing demand. The net result is just waste.

I don't understand. "Demand" is the willingness of consumers to spend their hard-earned money on products. The total amount of demand will always equal the total amount available for spending. Producers can attempt to divert demand to their particular products, but they cannot create demand out of thin air (let alone "invent", an act inapplicable in this context). Thus more demand for Nike's latest trainers is necessarily coming at the expense of less demand for something else, be it another makers' trainers or some other consumption product.

You can create demand for just about anything, the question becomes-what is your motive? If the answer is profit, then you're engaged in a vicious free market cycle without end or long term purpose.

By "create demand" I take it you mean something along the lines of persuading consumers to pay for a product that they wouldn't otherwise want.

But if those consumers are so easy to manipulate when it comes to spending their own money, aren't those very same people, this time acting as voters, even more easy to manipulate when what's at stake is spending other people's money?

Value is a meaningless term without context. Promotes value of what?

Value is subjective. It is expressed by consumers when they make choices between alternatives. A product has value in the sense that consumers express their willingness to forgo alternative consumption options in exchange for acquiring the product.

Until society starts acting more like a coherent organism with some semblance of self-awareness, instead of a bunch of bacterial colonies in a petri dish, we are DOOMED.

Relax. We are far from doomed. In fact, things have never been better for humanity, along every scale or dimension you care to consider. Never.

But besides, society isn't an organism. In particular, society doesn't have a single mind which can prioritise goals applicable for the entire organism. Instead, decisions are always made by individuals (or, at best, a small group of representatives, whether elected or nominated). So it is never the interests of society that guide decisions, but rather the interests of individuals.

The only choice we have is whether we leave decisions in the hands of every individual on the planet, or allow a tiny minority to decide for the rest of us.
#14281735
Of course. But free market criticism of public service-provision is precisely focused on the fact that it is inherently, inevitably wasteful and mismanaged.


This is because free market capitalists seek to establish monetary value over essential services and thus anything that is providing an essential service and not turning a profit is considered wasteful. But reality begs to differ-lives are being saved irregardless of means for those in need. Per capita public spending elsewhere is much lower and yet we get much better public healthcare. Why is this possible, if public spending is invariably mismanaged and so wasteful? Why can I get a free heart transplant in Australia, and yet my government assigns less tax money to me than the US government spends on an American where such a procedure is crippling without expensive private health insurance?

The public sector lacks tools to gauge the priorities of the public, and hence avoid waste. Further, the incentive structure of public decision-makers is centred on short-term political considerations, again creating inevitable mismanagement.


The private sector lacks market-wide coherence. It doesn't matter if you can gauge minute economy-wide trends if you cannot coordinate the economy in any specific long-term direction. This is why we end up with the tax payer having to bail out private enterprises that have failed spectacularly at astronomical expense. As for sightedness, the private sector is based on even shorter term considerations that never extend beyond financial year projections. This is the basis of technocratic socialism, seeking to control market forces, not to eliminate them. That comes later. It is not easy but it can be done given enough advances.

And consumption is bad? Why? Isn't consumption the sole point of economic production?


Consumption isn't bad, it is necessary. But if it is reliant on profitability then you end up with (for example) a private healthcare scheme that destroys livelyhoods every time 1 member of a family needs significant care instead of just providing something so critical at no fuss to society overall

Who benefits from waste? In a free market economy, either consumers or producers actually have to pay for it from their own pockets. They are thus motivated to reduce waste. In contrast, when economic decisions are made by public representatives, their motivation is different. Waste no longer comes from their own pockets, and is thus secondary to whatever ideological or political considerations animate them.


Firstly, when it comes to critical services and provisions such as infrastructure/schooling etc, (i.e the BASIS of society itself) it is the consumer that always pays. Either through taxes or fees. The difference being is that a public venture is not geared from the outset to be a profit generating endeavour. Thus fees always increase when a sector is privatised, ranging from banking to telecommunications to transportation. And still government subsidies are required! The peril of the mixed economy is letting private interests supplant public interests. The west is a collection of mixed economies that have lost all control of policy and long term public planning to private profit-making interests.
Here you end up with the tax payers not only subsidising themselves through taxes but also these profit-making ventures and the few individuals who control them entirely. Perfect snapshot of Australias privatised telco monopoly.

What do you mean by "revenue stopping solutions"?


Simply stop producing overlapping and thus useless junk and assigning arbitrary monetary value to it. This is wasteful, no matter how much profit it generates for those controlling the means of production. The free market always tends towards monopolisation and stagnation anyway. Promote technologies that allow people to manufacture luxury items of choice at home. Have people share their designs.

But if those consumers are so easy to manipulate when it comes to spending their own money, aren't those very same people, this time acting as voters, even more easy to manipulate when what's at stake is spending other people's money?


Ask yourself who is manipulating them, and to what end. Use the typical western neoliberal economy as your case study. Here it has been shown in plain sight that others peoples money and your money is all fair game when it comers to bailing out profit-based enterprise that got rich off consumer backs. There is no public sector anymore, there is no public government anymore in these regions.

ut besides, society isn't an organism. In particular, society doesn't have a single mind which can prioritise goals applicable for the entire organism. Instead, decisions are always made by individuals (or, at best, a small group of representatives, whether elected or nominated). So it is never the interests of society that guide decisions, but rather the interests of individuals.

The only choice we have is whether we leave decisions in the hands of every individual on the planet, or allow a tiny minority to decide for the rest of us.


You answered your last sentence with your second last paragraph:

So it is never the interests of society that guide decisions, but rather the interests of individuals.


And on the contrary, societal awareness is dependent on organisation. An organised society has ways of acting in a coordinated, organic fashion that moulds the environment and itself to a specific direction. This is the basis of civilisation. If we are to achieve full societal awareness and direct ourselves as efficiently and as beneficially as possible, we must learn to control market forces. It doesn't matter who decides or how many, as long as their decisions are;

a) able to affect positive economic policy on a broad scale and see those effects implemented irregardless of immediate cost, positive in the sense of benefiting the majority of society in the long term.
b) see them implemented in a way that is fair

Hell you could place a family run company in charge of the entire planet or a tyrannical despot...who cares. As long as those basic two goals above are met. This is not about politics or ideology, this is about controlling the economy and thus society going into the future.
User avatar
By Eran
#14282015
This is because free market capitalists seek to establish monetary value over essential services and thus anything that is providing an essential service and not turning a profit is considered wasteful.

I understand how it might seem that way. Let me try and explain. Ultimately, every service or product must be valued. Prioritising or deciding how to use resources which have alternative uses is impossible otherwise.

There are several ways to value products (goods and services):
1. Subjectively, by the consumer who directly benefits from the product
2. Subjectively, by decision-makers who substitute their judgement for that of the end user
3. Objectively, by entrepreneurs who impute value based on the anticipated valuation of the product (in their case, a producer's product, i.e. raw materials or means of production) by consumers.

When I decide to pay $2 in toll to cross a bridge, buy I use my subjective judgement to assess that the corssing is worth more to me than the $2. That is an example of #1.

When a government decision-maker decides to spend $10,000,000 to build a new bridge, he is substituting his judgement for that of the drivers who will ultimately enjoy the bridge. His economists, for example, may work out that, over the life of the bridge, 5,000,000 people will drive across it. The politician determines, using his own subjective judgement, that the the value of the crossing for each driver is greater than $2. This is an example of #2.

When an entrepreneur decides to build a toll bridge, he also uses his judgement. In his judgement too, the value of crossing the bridge will exceed $2. He pays $10,000,000 to build the bridge, and then collects $2 in toll from drivers wishing to cross it. This is an example of #3.

What is the difference between #2 & #3? There are two critical differences.
First, the entrepreneur's judgement is ultimately being tested against reality. The politician's never is.
Second, and most importantly, the entrepreneur pays with his own money if he made a mistake. If, for example, he erred in estimating the cost of construction, the number of drivers or the subjective value they assign to the crossing, he pays the price.

If the politician made a mistake, that mistake will only be revealed (if at all) well after the term of the politician is over. He isn't going to pay the cost of the mistake, either financially or, most likely, even politically.


Ok. How does that apply to "essential services"? If providing those essential services can be done profitably, there is no problem. For example, food is an essential service provided for a profit as a matter of routine by the private sector.

There are two reasons I can think of why people might think that an essential service couldn't be provided for a profit.
1. The service is essential for people who cannot afford to pay for it. There are two solutions in this case:
a. Give those people money. Pure and simple. They can then use the money to buy those services (first and foremost, of course, those they themselves consider "essential"). Those services can now be provided for a profit (in other words, an an accountable, cost-concious manner).
b. Use the judgement of the people whose resources are being used. In other words, the donors. When a government welfare program is put into place, politicians substitute their judgement either or both as to the value that the charitable contribution would have for the ultimate recipients or for the taxpayers. When a true charitable donation takes place, the donor uses his subjective judgement as to the value of helping others.

But reality begs to differ-lives are being saved irregardless of means for those in need. Per capita public spending elsewhere is much lower and yet we get much better public healthcare. Why is this possible, if public spending is invariably mismanaged and so wasteful? Why can I get a free heart transplant in Australia, and yet my government assigns less tax money to me than the US government spends on an American where such a procedure is crippling without expensive private health insurance?

Briefly, because the American health-care system is far, far, far from being a free market. Not only is government directly paying for about 50% of all expenses (through Medicare, Medicaid and VA), and not only did government introduce distortion into the market through its selective tax deductibility. Government also oppressively regulations the market at both the personal/professional level and at the corporate level (e.g. by requiring coverage as part of insurance policies).

The private sector lacks market-wide coherence. It doesn't matter if you can gauge minute economy-wide trends if you cannot coordinate the economy in any specific long-term direction.

That's where the insight of the classic economists, starting with Adam Smith, comes in. You don't need a central authority to coordinate and create "coherence". The price mechanism, when allowed to work, does that. Spontaneous order emerges, as it does in many other systems. We see that in countless markets, as well as systems such as language.

This is why we end up with the tax payer having to bail out private enterprises that have failed spectacularly at astronomical expense.

Tax payers never had to bail out private enterprises. Politicians chose to do so for the benefit of their crony Wall Street (and Detroit) friends.

As for sightedness, the private sector is based on even shorter term considerations that never extend beyond financial year projections.

Not at all. If that was the case, why would anybody invest in Google, years before it started to make profits? In the private sectors, actors always consider the long-term prospects of an enterprise.

Firstly, when it comes to critical services and provisions such as infrastructure/schooling etc, (i.e the BASIS of society itself) it is the consumer that always pays. Either through taxes or fees. The difference being is that a public venture is not geared from the outset to be a profit generating endeavour. Thus fees always increase when a sector is privatised, ranging from banking to telecommunications to transportation.

When a sector is truly privatised (i.e. when government gets out of the way, rather than continue to try and direct it), prices always go down. You saw that with flight prices following deregulation and with telecommunication prices. In the medical arena, prices for procedures in which government isn't involved (e.g. plastic surgery, laser eye surgery and veterinary care) are going down, even while prices for government-interfered-with services continue to go up.

Private education is much cheaper than public education, btw. Banking has been cheap and reliable before government started to intervene.

Simply stop producing overlapping and thus useless junk and assigning arbitrary monetary value to it. This is wasteful, no matter how much profit it generates for those controlling the means of production.

Who is assigning "arbitrary value"? The value is determined in the market by the willingness of people to spend their own money. If a consumer agrees to pay $100 for X, he or she values X at more than $100. This valuation is subjective (as all valuations ultimately are), but isn't arbitrary. It certainly isn't determined or assigned by the capitalist producers.

The free market always tends towards monopolisation and stagnation anyway.

Make up your mind. Is the problem having too many overlapping products, or monopolization?

In any event, the free market tends to find the most efficient enterprise size, which depends on the industry. In some cases (fine-dining, for example), enterprises tend to remain very small and localised. In other cases (microchips, say), economies of scale predominate.

In not case in history, however, has a private-sector monopoly (not assisted by government-granted special privileges) resulted in harm to consumers. Never. Ever. So much more "always tends".

Ask yourself who is manipulating them, and to what end. Use the typical western neoliberal economy as your case study. Here it has been shown in plain sight that others peoples money and your money is all fair game when it comers to bailing out profit-based enterprise that got rich off consumer backs. There is no public sector anymore, there is no public government anymore in these regions.

Other people's money is fair game when government is involved. When the private sector has to operate without crony relations with government, it has no access to "other people's money".

An organised society has ways of acting in a coordinated, organic fashion that moulds the environment and itself to a specific direction. This is the basis of civilisation. If we are to achieve full societal awareness and direct ourselves as efficiently and as beneficially as possible, we must learn to control market forces.

That's like saying we must learn to control nerve impulses to allow a human being to act as a single organism. Of course we don't - nerve impulses are precisely what allows a human to act like as single organism. Any attempts to manipulate them will tend to diminish that quality.

Similarly, market forces don't need to be controlled. They are precisely what allows society to act as a coordinated, organic whole. Society is organised, but need not be centrally-controlled.

a) able to affect positive economic policy on a broad scale and see those effects implemented irregardless of immediate cost, positive in the sense of benefiting the majority of society in the long term.

But central decision makers have neither the knowledge required to determine which policy, when implemented, will result in maximal benefit to society, nor the incentives to do so.

b) see them implemented in a way that is fair

Fairness is only in the eye of the beholder. There is no objective standard of fairness. Whenever you hear people talk about "fairness", know they mean "the way I like it".
#14282516
AFAIK wrote:That doesn't allow for a division of labour. Consumers regularly make suggestions and demands for improvements in goods and services they enjoy using, even if they are incapable of implementing them.


As it happens, the division of labor is probably a temporary phase that we're probably going to abandon soon. Advanced industrial automation (where the machines can perform as well as human workers) makes the point kind of moot. The human role becomes a matter of design and creativity, not actual physical labor. There's no real need to divide creative work since it is done only for our own enjoyment. Paint because you want to paint, not because it's more economically efficient that some people be master painters and others be master photographers. Architecture is the same way, albeit with quite a lot more training involved.

That's not what I'm thinking. I'm suggesting that people may feel dissatisfied with the lack of markets and opportunities to choose from a variety of products.


If they did, that is a demand that presumably the sequence of distribution would realize and account for.

Is the population expected to follow the dictates of experts?


I think the population would be expected to become experts doing the dictating.

When I order a car from a distribution center how many models are there to choose from?


Unknown.

My understanding is that there are no markets and limited democratic structures.
People may find this dissatisfying.


Why? People don't much like markets, and don't usually participate in democratic structures. The modern world makes it quite evident that people can be content without having real choices.

If nothing else, I suspect that the sequence of distribution in a technocracy probably wouldn't spend much effort on creating fleeting demands through marketing.

mikema63 wrote:The way I see it technocracy seems to be more about post-scarcity of neccesities to a certain level rather than any and all possible wants and desires.


Right, post-scarcity can be partial and done in fits and starts. For example, the United States could almost certainly reach post-scarcity in agricultural goods right now. We've got the agricultural output necessary to make that happen. We literally produce more food than the citizens could possibly eat with a bare fraction of the labor force.

Undifferentiated industries would probably be the first to accede to post-scarcity. Industries where branding has created differentiated demand for similar goods will be a tougher nut to crack.

AFAIK wrote:If a centrally planned retailer runs out of bread I can purchase a loaf in one of dozens of competitors.
If a centrally planned Technate ran out of bread I'm left high and dry.


Not an equivalent concern. Effectively the Technate running out of bread would be like every competitor also running out of bread under capitalism.
User avatar
By Eran
#14282566
Someone5 wrote:As it happens, the division of labor is probably a temporary phase that we're probably going to abandon soon. Advanced industrial automation (where the machines can perform as well as human workers) makes the point kind of moot. The human role becomes a matter of design and creativity, not actual physical labor. There's no real need to divide creative work since it is done only for our own enjoyment. Paint because you want to paint, not because it's more economically efficient that some people be master painters and others be master photographers. Architecture is the same way, albeit with quite a lot more training involved.

That would be a remarkable reversal in trend.

With technology, we have more, not less division of labour. Conceiving of, designing, building, maintaining and operating advanced automated technology, not to mention educating others to do that, identifying shifting consumer demands and millions of others highly-specialised jobs will continue to require more and more specialised skills.

If they did, that is a demand that presumably the sequence of distribution would realize and account for.

How? What would motivate them to do so?

I think the population would be expected to become experts doing the dictating.

So without specialising or spending particularly long doing anything in particular, we are all going to become experts on everything?

People don't much like markets, and don't usually participate in democratic structures. The modern world makes it quite evident that people can be content without having real choices.

It seems to me, based on casual observation, that people love markets. They frequent them whenever they can. Shopping, browsing, comparing, choosing, are all intensely satisfying. Voting is also clearly enjoyable. After all, nobody is paid to vote, yet millions do every few years. Why else would they?

Finally, in what possible way is the modern world making it evident that people can be content without having real choices? In fact, without being given the choice to have choices, how could you even tell?
#14282588
Eran wrote:That would be a remarkable reversal in trend.


Not really, postindustrial society is all about pushing people into unskilled service jobs--things that do not lead to any meaningful specialization. It's not much of a jump for that to lead to a breakdown of the division of labor. Not to mention the increasing segments of the population that aren't doing any labor at all.

With technology, we have more, not less division of labour. Conceiving of, designing, building, maintaining and operating advanced automated technology, not to mention educating others to do that, identifying shifting consumer demands and millions of others highly-specialised jobs will continue to require more and more specialised skills.


Possibly, for the few people left doing it. It could well be that there will always be some group of less than 10% of the population that needs to be hyper-specialized, but they will be so enabled by expert systems and automation that they'll be able to do the work it once took the vast majority of the population to perform. And even then it wouldn't be a forced division of labor, it would simply be people doing what they really genuinly enjoy doing (as opposed to people doing the job they find least intolerable).

How? What would motivate them to do so?


Meritocracies promote people on the basis of performance. If you mean from a macroeconomic perspective, their entire purpose would be optimizing for these sorts of changes.

So without specialising or spending particularly long doing anything in particular, we are all going to become experts on everything?


Sure, people become experts in what they most enjoy doing; when given the option of doing anything they like, they'll do only a few things and become experts in them. This is quite different from the current situation, where people become experts in doing what other people want.

It seems to me, based on casual observation, that people love markets. They frequent them whenever they can. Shopping, browsing, comparing, choosing, are all intensely satisfying.


I know lots of people who hate shopping. And I have my doubts that it's genuinely satisfying for even most people. But sure, such choices would be made under a sequence of distribution anyway. If you consider it real choice to react to marketing, then I guess that sort of choice would still exist.

Voting is also clearly enjoyable. After all, nobody is paid to vote, yet millions do every few years. Why else would they?


It must be quite different in the UK, because in the US hardly anyone enjoys it. People hardly ever even vote in local elections (seriously, turnout is always less than 10% in my city), and often don't vote in national or state elections. Presidential election years have the highest turnout, and even when people are really fired up we're lucky to bring a simple majority of eligible voters to the polls. It's obviously not very enjoyable when people can't even be bothered to get off their couch and go vote. That indicates that it's even less enjoyable than daytime television. And, to their minds, less important.

Finally, in what possible way is the modern world making it evident that people can be content without having real choices? In fact, without being given the choice to have choices, how could you even tell?


Antidepressants.
User avatar
By Eran
#14283654
Meritocracies promote people on the basis of performance. If you mean from a macroeconomic perspective, their entire purpose would be optimizing for these sorts of changes.

Change is often painful or expensive. It requires that people change what they do, re-think old processes, try new things that may or may not work. Take risk. Change doesn't happen by itself.

I am still at a loss as to what motivates people to implement change that may be unpopular with the immediate production unit, but ultimately increase the satisfaction of end-consumers.

Meritocracies promote people on the basis of standards of success (or performance) that are important to those in charge of promotions. In a political meritocracy, people are promoted based on their perceived contribution to the political success of the party. In a commercial meritocracy, people are promoted based on their perceived contribution to the "bottom line".

What motivates the people in charge of your meritocracy to promote people, and what is the standard of performance to be used?

Sure, people become experts in what they most enjoy doing; when given the option of doing anything they like, they'll do only a few things and become experts in them. This is quite different from the current situation, where people become experts in doing what other people want.

So each person becomes an expert in the few things that interest them. And when you need qualified advice on an issue you haven't happened to be an expert in? You just hope somebody around has happened to take a liking to the subject. And the supply and demand for expertise in each of thousands of different areas is just going to magically work out...

It must be quite different in the UK, because in the US hardly anyone enjoys it.

Yet many millions do vote, for no personal gain whatsoever. Why?
#14413788
"You can't educate the human being easily. The conditioned reflexes have to be reckoned with. Most individuals have that proverbial "hamburger sandwich psychology." The moment they get enough to eat for the day, they are satisfied. Why, if the average fellow should happen to get a $15.00 a week job tending a gasoline station, the poor fool would go out and get married. He has gotten his hamburger sandwich."

- TECHNOLOGY AND LABOR HOWARD SCOTT -- FEDERATION NEWS 5-20-36

"I am everyone everywhere with a hamburger sandwich psychology of living standards in the richest continent on earth."

- I AM THE PRICE SYSTEM
https://archive.org/details/iampricesystemne00unse

"Housing

So great is the effect of habit on the human animal that it becomes almost impossible for one to detach himself sufficiently to take an objective view of the subject of housing. Our houses and our buildings and structures generally resemble our clothing in that they attain a certain convention and thereafter we tend to accept them without further question. It never occurs to us to ask whether the prevailing convention is better or worse than other possible styles. The training of our architects is such as to tend to perpetuate this state of affairs. Aside from draftsmanship and a small amount of elementary training in strength of materials and other structural details, our students of architecture spend most of their time studying the architectural details of the ceremonial buildings of the past—temples, cathedrals, palaces and the like. This accounts for the fact that power plants are seen with Corinthian columns, banks with Gothic windows, and libraries resembling Greek temples.

The problem of designing buildings in accordance with the functions they are to perform seems rarely to have occurred to architects. The successful architect of today is either one who has developed an architectural firm that receives commissions for designing large and expensive buildings, such as skyscrapers, hospitals, courthouses, and the like, or else an individual practitioner who knows sufficiently well the pecuniary canons of good taste to receive commissions for the design of residences in the expensive residential sections of our cities and their suburbs.

If an architect wishes to be really ‘modern,’ he then proceeds to do something ‘different.’ He designs houses made completely of glass or metal, and hung from a post. The two basic questions that seem never to occur in connection with these endeavors are: ‘What is the building for’? and ‘Would it be practicable to house the inhabitants of an entire continent in such structures’? This brings us to the technological foundation of the whole subject of housing, namely, what are the buildings for? What do we have to build them with? What does it cost physically to maintain them? And how long will they last?

The physical cost in this field is arrived at in the same manner as in the physical cost in any other field. The physical cost of housing 150,000,000 people is the physical cost of constructing, operating and maintaining the habitations for 150,000,000 people. The cost per inhabitant per year is the total cost per year divided by the number of inhabitants.

If housing is to be adequate for 150,000,000 people, and at the same time physical cost of housing is to be kept at a minimum, there necessitates a complete revision of design, construction, and maintenance in the whole field of housing. It requires that the construction of houses be kept at a minimum cost, that the life of each house be a maximum, and that the cost of maintaining each house, including heating and lighting, be a minimum. It requires, furthermore, that the materials used be those of which there is an ample supply for the construction and maintenance of approximately 50,000,000 dwellings. This immediately rules out the whole array of ‘modern’ designs of metal houses, where the metal involved is chromium and other similar rare metals, which are indispensable as alloys of steel and other metals for industrial uses.

The requirements of low cost construction would necessitate that the housing be of factory fabricated types, where the individual units can be turned out on a quantity production schedule ready for assembly, just as automobiles are now turned out by automobile factories. There would be a limited number of models, depending upon the type of locality in which they were to be used, their size and the type of climate. Any of these different models, however, could be assembled from the same units—wall units, doors, windows, bathroom, kitchen equipment—as any other model; the difference being that these standard units are merely assembled in different combinations.

Instead of thousands of separate individual architects designing houses, there would be only a few basic designs, and these designs would be made by the best technical brains that could be had for the purpose. The building would be designed for use, for long life, and for minimum cost of construction and maintenance. Incorporated into the design of the house would be the design of the furniture as an integral part. The houses would not only be heated in winter, but cooled in summer, and air-conditioned throughout the year. The lighting would be indirect, and with intensity control for the best physiological effects.

While there is a wide variety of possible materials, the fundamental conditions that must be fulfilled are abundance, low energy cost of fabrication, and high degree of heat proofing and soundproofing qualities, as well as a structural framework rendering it vibration-proof against such impacts as occur in the ordinary activities taking place inside a dwelling. In other words, one should be able to make all the noise he pleased, or do acrobatic flip-flops, in such a house without a person in the next room being able to detect it. The building should be proof against not only the leakage of heat from the inside out, or vice versa, but also completely fireproof.

The method of heating in such a structure also would be radically different from those now employed. It is quite likely that a thermodynamic type of heating, based on essentially the same principle as our present gas flame refrigerators would prove to be the most efficient. In this case, however, when the house is to be heated instead of cooled, the cold end of the mechanism would be placed outside the house—probably buried in the ground—and the warm end placed inside the house. The fuel, instead of being used to heat the house directly as is done now, would merely be used to operate the refrigerating mechanism which would pump heat into the house from the outside. By such a method, theoretical considerations indicate that a house can be heated at only a small fraction of the energy cost of the most efficient of the direct heating methods obtainable.

This method of heating has the additional advantage that by changing only a few valves the system could be made to run backwards, that is, to pump heat from inside to outside of buildings, and thus act as a cooling device during warm weather, which would be analogous to our present refrigerator, only on a larger scale."

https://archive.org/details/Technocracy ... Unabridged
User avatar
By mum
#14414287
It sounds like Technocracy is just a cool sounding word for communism.
#14414363
mum wrote:It sounds like Technocracy is just a cool sounding word for communism.


"Is Total Conscription Similar to Communism?

The communists of America themselves have provided the answer to this question. Technocracy is indebted to the communists of America for having attacked the Total Conscription program with unexampled viciousness. In page-one articles in their newspapers they have denounced Total Conscription and all its works. They want no part of it. Total Conscription has no points of similarity to the communist party line in America. Technocracy thanks them.

This denunciation of Total Conscription by the communists was particularly pleasing to Technocracy for it immediately followed a campaign of attack and abuse launched by the so-called 'capitalistic fascist press' of America. As Technocracy had predicted, big business and the communists would eventually roll in the mud of the last ditch together!"

https://archive.org/details/TotalConscr ... nsAnswered

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