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Would you be willing to start over with a blank slate in the socio-economic system of your choice?

The world stands ready to adopt your favorite socio-economic system and through some miraculous intervention each person would be offered to first receive an education of their choice, after which all wealth is equally spread among all people (to get rid of inequalities that exist because of past injustices and deviations from your preferred system), so as to start over with a blank slate and equal opportunities for everyone when the new system goes into effect, but after that your system rules the world and the lives of everyone in it. The decision is yours, mankind awaits your word: if you go along with the proposition your preferred system will immediately be instated globally.

Would you do it?

State your preferred system (e.g. communism, libertarianism, etc...) and tell us why or why not you would accept the deal.

  • Jan 4 2013: No, I don't have a favorite system, and really don't think the system matters very much.

    I think people will game any system to their own advantage. No system will remove the negative affects of selfishness and greed. All people are selfish, and the few that are greedy cause problems on a scale that far exceeds their numbers. Our problems might be partially due to our systems, but that is a minor affect compared to the problems caused by human nature.

    Surveys indicate that almost everyone, whatever their income, believes they would live very comfortably if they could increase their income by about one third. This widespread attitude is a human tragedy.

    Rather than impose a system, I would have every family and every teacher teach every child the difference between needing more and being satisfied with enough.
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    Jan 3 2013: Let me put forward a couple of scenarios and ask how you would respond from these positions to your proposal.

    You are perhaps sixty years old, the child of immigrants who started with little in your country of residence. You took advantage of universally available public education and, metaphorically speaking, began to plant your yard with little saplings. While you had little of a material nature to start you out, you did have a serious work ethic and nurtured those saplings, sacrificing as needed until you see a little orchard of fruit bearing trees. You can now harvest fruit for your family as you continue to tend your plot, give some fruit away as well, and make pies for those you love or for those you think would appreciate them. Your grandchildren help in this, as do the neighbor children.

    Would you like now to have this taken from you at age sixty in the circumstance that others around you do not have such an orchard and start with a bare yard at sixty and the chance to start over?

    Second scenario. Same person but in mid-forties. That orchard is not mature, but the nurturing, hard work, and sacrifices appear to be paying off. You are asked now whether you would give up those little trees that are just beginning to show their potential and start afresh or would you rather see your project out?

    Or are you asking the Rawls-type question of which economic system you would choose if you did not know where along the spectrum of initial resource endowments you would start?
    • Jan 3 2013: I'm not asking the Rawls-type question. I really mean giving up part of what you had (or not, if you are currently below the average) to make everyone start with a blank slate. This should not be a problem if you really believe in your preferred system because if it works as advertised you should quickly recover (besides, since you and your ancestors acquired your wealth in a system that's not your preferred system it you should find it illegitimate wealth if you are entirely consistent in your views) and the next generation will live entirely according to your preferred system, as well as countless generations after them and who are you to deny them that for your own selfish reasons?

      I ask this because I hope it will make people think about just how much they believe in their preferred system: it's easy to be a communist when you are professionally unemployed, and it's easy to be a libertarian when you are rich, but would you still be a communist if you had something to lose, would you still be a libertarian if you lost all your privileges and had to work your way up?
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        Jan 3 2013: Why do you say "you should quickly recover?" What do you mean by "works as advertised- as advertsised by whom?" Are you assuming that a preferred system, or any particular one, guarantees quick growth/recoveries? Of knees and backs, the sharpness and reaction time of youth also?
        • Jan 3 2013: If the system is all you've cracked it up to be then it should make young people quickly ascend or descend to their "rightful" position and it should take care of elderly people with average wealth, if you believe otherwise then why are you so in love with your preferred system? What's good for the goose should be good for the gander, right?
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        Jan 3 2013: Just to be clear, I have not put forward a preferred system and neither, as far as I have seen, have you. But I have also not seen anyone claim his preferred system guarantees that everyone will quickly ascend or descend to a "rightful position."

        Unless someone comes in to make that claim, I would say you have produced a straw man.

        People can prefer one system over another without any system's guaranteeing quick payoffs of any kind. Why should a system not involve people's taking time to educate themselves, to become proficient, to work hard, and then ultimately (rather than instantly) see those investments of time and effort bear fruit?

        But do feel free to put forward a system of your preference that does what you demand in the way of speedy payoffs.
        • Jan 3 2013: By "quickly" I don't mean overnight, I mean within one generation. But hey, since you keep droning on about this let's suppose the miraculous intervention also gives people their youth back.
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        Jan 3 2013: I will leave this conversation, then, rather than drone further and hope you attract comment you find of more value.
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    Jan 4 2013: Yes and it would have to be something like this: for the simple reason that I don't believe anything else will work long term for human beings.
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    Jan 3 2013: John, I really believe this is already the best of all possible worlds, so I don't want to start over. I believe it is the best of all possible worlds because the tens of billions of people who came before me made the smartest, lovingest, creative-est decisions they could; and the billions of people who now exist do the same.
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    Gail .

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    Jan 3 2013: If the world was poised and ready to go, I'd jump at the chance! To taste real freedom? In a heartbeat!!!

    Me: Libertarian with LIMITED government that works through consensus. No such thing as money (including barter). Basically, a society where each contributed his/her talents for the benefit of self and community.

    I would probably have to move though, unless people were already educated enough to learn how to think for themselves, and in this way see how bizarre their religion is. (People here are so mean in the name of Jesus/God and I could be of more help in a place where there is less hate. I moved to South Carolina last year. If you are used to being around kind and interesting people, don't move here!)

    I understand that I'm older (in response to Fritzie's comment), but I don't see as many sacrifices as I see investments (i.e. benefits for humanity). My husband (who is nearly 20 years older than me) would disagree vehemently.