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Luke Hutchison

TED Fellow,


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Is capitalism sustainable?

Bono stated in his TED2013 talk that the numbers show that we can eradicate all poverty worldwide by 2030. While I really hope that is true, it begs the question: Is capitalism sustainable? Is it possible to have a rich and middle class without a poor class? The sad reality of capitalism is that if there is an exponentially small number of people with exponentially large wealth, there has to be an exponentially long tail of much poorer people who are each contributing to that wealth. Not that we necessarily need an exponentially small number of people with exponentially large wealth, but would the world keep running without capitalistic incentives that increase the separation between rich and poor? Can we eradicate all poverty without the rich sharing their riches? What happens to civilization when nobody is willing to work in the factories and orchards, or build roads?

(Please don't take this question the wrong way! Personally I wish that nobody had to work menial jobs. I just don't understand how we can eradicate poverty when so many jobs will always translate into low-paid labor.)


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  • Mar 22 2013: I am confused at why members respond to people's submissions without "liking" them. I am new to TED, but I'm not here practicing my typing. I am realistic that all my submissions will not be "hits", but if you are responding to me, try hitting the like button, as I do every time I respond to another. I even told my responder to like , but he didn't and he even replied again, without liking. I am also venting against the host of the question; Reward those who respond to your question, within reason. As a principle, I have "unliked" my responder and the host.
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      Mar 22 2013: Thomas, you make a good point, and I have found myself guilty of this. Now that you have brought it to my attention I will try to do better. I think that in some cases people don't "like" a comment, because they don't really like the comment! They don't want to like something with which they do not agree. Still, point well taken.
      • Mar 22 2013: I don't "like" every thing I respond to if I disagree. I reward those who took time to be profound, for no other gain but advancement. This should be a topical question all its own, I am unable to directly post questions, but if anyone can, they should.
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      Mar 22 2013: Thomas,
      James makes the point better the I could.
      Maybe when I read comments of people that I can agree with to some point, I comment and I will give acknowledgment to those points.

      But, I tend to give likes to those comments that "really blow my socks off"
      Those words that make me say, "Why didn't I write that?"
      So, if I am one of those that didn't give you a " like" for an agreeable comment, don't take it personally and I won't feel bad if I didn't " blow your socks off" for you to give me a "like"

      My "rewards" from TED members are comments that challenge my comments and give me something more to think about.
      • Mar 22 2013: I saw you saying things like "I agree with" and such and assumed this was equivalent to like. Reward only what is profound to you. The host on the other hand can be generous, within reason, to those who have taken the time to answer. Time is more valuable than Money.
    • Mar 22 2013: Is this kindergarten?
      • Mar 22 2013: No. Kindergarten gives little stars and you get a recess. Plus it is only a half day.

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