A Facebook Friend, Edward Baxter, posted the following, an interesting take on [[entropy]] and [[economics]].
It’s the tendency of systems to run down. It holds rule over all systems, from galaxies to the family budget. It certainly has become evident in National survival. It’s the great struggle to have more coming in than is going out.
While we realize that perpetual motion is not possible in physical mechanics, we foolishly think that we CAN have perpetual motion in a national economy. We dream that there’s switch that can be flipped, and everything will run on automatic pilot…forever. For most, that ‘switch’ is big government. Looking historically, all national economies have been subject to entropy — they have ‘run down’, costing more than is available in resources.
Look at your life — you constantly work to bring in more money than you spend. You struggle to have enough to survive when you’re older. National economies have to do the same thing. Only once in human history has an economic system actually managed to produce more than enough to take care of itself. That system is (was) [[Free Market]] [[Capitalism]], operating under the reasonable regulation of a representative Republic. That system created the most prosperous country and economy in human history.
But, like an engine, there is a cost. That cost is individual drive and individual responsibility. It is risk. You have to work hard. You may fail. But, the upside is the possibility that many individuals, working for themselves, together, can produce a national economy that is as beautiful as it is miraculous.
Today’s politics have divided people into two groups: One that expects to craft a National government capable of taking care of everyone; and the other that knows that everyone must take the risk of creating their own secure universe, and then, standing on that base, gather together with others to insure that entropy does not bring down their system.
None of this is new. The [[Founding Fathers of the United States|founders]] of the United States knew all of this … and more. They tried to institute that economy based on “Free Market Capitalism, operating under the reasonable regulation of a representative Republic.” We are now seeing Socialists (yes) attempting to undo what has been the only successful management of entropy in history. They are trying to ‘totally transform the United States of America.”
I don’t want it transformed. I want it restored.
This is a fallacious piece for a number of reasons:
1. What is the rationale for comparing movement in nature with economic activity – unless explained, this is a spurious analogy?
2. As soon as human society moved into the Neolithic phase of settlement and or pastoralism rather than hunting/gathering, surpluses were generated (long before free-market capitalism).
3. There are particular factors associated with the current crisis, which go unmentioned in the article, such as as an ageing population in the West, the exposure of capital post-2007 as the casino game it really is, etc, all of which are germane.
If the State has no ‘duty of care’ in the classic social-democratic sense, then it exposes itself as what it is and is becoming ever more so, namely an administrator of national and international capital pure and simple. Other than in Scandinavia, and to a reasonable extent, Germany (and possibly the Netherlands), the ‘Socialists’ (if by that we mean social democrats) are not close enough to the reins of power to do anything much at all, let alone manage an economy.
Certain free-market economies treasure particular state-run/owned institutions (eg, the UK and a national health system free at the point of delivery). However, other than in the forementioned countries, the notion that those who are working should pay more tax in the interests of a wider equity is a mixture of a joke and something to be undermined by the free marketeers. Is that entropy?
“From each according to their ability, to each according to their need” (only with use substituted exclusively for exchange, and money abolished).