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I'd assume you apply the same policy to the fact that the cost/productivity of machinery, process development, software means that for the same input share holders should be getting the value of a similar business of equivalent market share back in the day as well. If the money is not staying in the business you have a few choices if productivity increases, spread it around, funnel it up, or funnel it down. Since I buy into the idea that extreme wealth inequality negatively impacts society I pick spreading it around.

Funneling it up and funneling it down rewards the people who created the productivity increases.

Spreading it around rewards an orthogonal group that did nothing to create the productive output and will siphon off it like a parasite.

Spreading it around is inherently a worse way to decide where value should flow through a society; especially one as culturally diverse (ie, filled with many self-interested constituencies) as here in the US.

[edit: So sad that on a site dedicated to the entrepreneur, arguments that promote entrepreneurship and rewarding good choices and hard work are moderated into the dirt..]

I guess I mainly think it produces worse societies that are worse to live in, without correspondingly incentivizing innovation appreciably. I've lived in both the US and Scandinavia, and the US feels barely teetering on the edge of "advanced first-world country" in comparison: poor infrastructure, bureaucratic healthcare that causes angst when switching jobs, large numbers of homeless people, huge prison systems, swathes of poverty-stricken ghettoes, visible class demarcations, etc., etc. It felt like such a weird place after I'd spent a few years away and went back, and I realized how it just didn't seem like a nice place to live, but I never realized it could be better than that (I had previously only compared the U.S. to clearly worse-off countries, like Mexico or India). Not just that I thought it was unethical that there were so many poorer people (which I did), but that it was also worse for me, as a middle-class professional, because of the existence of all these social problems. I guess I could've retreated to a gated community and attempted to create my own bubble, but I've had enough of the suburbs.

And I don't think you have to give up business or innovation to get it. If your Scandinavian startup becomes the next Mojang, you're still going to be fabulously wealthy, so I don't feel at all disincentivized by the distant possibility that I'll have to fork over a percentage of my hypothetical future millions (I'm certainly not going to move back to Texas just for that). There are more successful companies per capita than you'd expect (certainly more than most American states), and the economy generally still runs on a market basis, there's just a little more sharing of the wealth.

US and Scandinavia

Notice that I mentioned cultural diversity. There is a reason that Scandanavia can manage with a more socialistic government. The gene/meme pool is far less diverse and evolutionarily created reinforcement of good communal practices are already present. A thousand years ago and beyond, if you didn't grok cooperation and thoughtful planning, you starved and died come winter.

Scandanavia is like a petri dish with a thriving germ culture that has had very little exposure to many other competing germ cultures. It's easy to point to that little petri dish and say, "See how well this culture thrives?"

We don't have that luxury in the USA. Here, we deal with many self-interested gene/meme contributors who are more self-interested than community-interested. If we implemented the government and laws of Norway here in the US tomorrow, we would collapse. Too many here would take the free government support as a right and live off of it until the whole system failed.

> Here, we deal with many self-interested gene/meme contributors who are more self-interested than community-interested.

And you Sir are a prime example. In fact, you do everything you can to spread such memes in the society. The irony of that sentence amuses me.

Sure, I do well in an environment where individuality, motivation, and creativity are rewarded. Then again, I'm also a rule follower who would enjoy living in Scandanavia in communities with a strong social conscience, even though it does lead to "lowest common denominator" solutions to problems it faces. In Scandanavia, the lowest common denominator isn't far below the mean, since the society is so homogenous. In the USA, the standard deviation is much greater.

In the end, though, those little petri dish cultures are not where the action is in the world. One merely needs to look at the last 200 years of innovation and invention to have the overwhelming impression that the USA method for technological and economic progress is to be admired and pursued. It's a damned shame that so many people here are hell bent on taking us backward to a one-size-fits-all European style socialistic government.

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