Capital in the 22nd Century
Sam Bowman
113

Lots of people worry about the rise of smart robots… but nobody ever worries about brain gain…

Since the Germans drove the Jews out and lowered their technical standards, our science is definitely ahead of theirs. — Winston Churchill, The Few

“Oh no… brain gain! We’ll all be unemployed! Basic income!!” Nobody ever says that. Do they? Maybe I missed it.

Personally, I’m pretty sure that better opportunities come from society’s limited resources being used in smarter ways. More smarter. I always say efficiently allocating resources. I never say smarterly allocating resources. Hmmm… or smartly allocating resources. Maybe I’ve said intelligently allocating resources. Do I ever say stupidly allocating resources?

Hitler stupidly allocated resources. There I officially said it. And it’s certainly true. Superficially it might seem like Hitler created a lot of opportunities. Therein lies the challenge.

The great Napoleon, it is said, thought he was doing philanthropic work when he had ditches dug and then filled in. He also said: “What difference does the result make? All we need is to see wealth spread among the laboring classes.” — Frédéric Bastiat, What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen

Yeah… if only the opportunity cost concept wasn’t so inadequate. One time I got so fed up I asked whether crucifying liberals would stimulate the economy…

The point being to pump the intuition that there might be more valuable uses for liberals. Sure, we could use liberals for speed bumps… but perhaps there are more valuable uses for liberals.

As long as people can’t choose where their taxes go (pragmatarianism)… then liberals won’t be put to their most valuable uses. We can’t drain the public sector of nearly all the country’s brains and expect that public funds will be intelligently allocated.

People only shout “basic income!” because they can’t see the brain drain in the public sector. People don’t understand that a command economy is the epitome of brain drain.