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Jul 25, 2012

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D Walton

Who will support the masses of unemployed? Distribution of production would be a much worthier goal for governments than GDP.

Michael W. Kruse

For the production of most (not all) physical goods there are economies of scale. Mass production usually leads to less waste of resources, less CO2 emissions, more efficient use of energy, and lower cost for of the final product for the consumer. Manufacturing is on the same trajectory as agricultural work was 100 years ago. Be eliminating the need for individuals to be directly involved in the production of their own food and from manual fabrication of their basic material needs, labor and resources are made available for other pursuits. Living standards improve when either our wages go up or the cost of things we buy go down. Mass production improves living standards lowering the cost of the things we buy.

I don't see distribution of production, in itself, as a goal. Some industries will be highly distributed (say, bakeries) and others highly concentrated (say, jumbo jet manufacturers.) Distribution of production, assuming a relatively free market, is simply an affectation of the characteristics of a given industry. I see nothing commendable, either economically or sociologically, about greater production distribution. But artificially imposing it would have grave consequences for human flourishing.

D Walton

Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Virginia Constitution of 1776 included that "every person of full age neither owning or having owned 50 acres of land shall be entitled to an appropriation of 50 acres."  Land is the basis of all production. Jefferson rightly understood widespread liberty to be dependent on the widespread independent means of making a living.  Ownership of land was to be in the hands of the people, not the government.  Now government claims to be the owner of all land (try missing a property tax payment!).  The goal for Jefferson was widespread liberty, not cheaper plastic forks.  Explain to all the increasing unemployed world-wide, how mass manufacturing benefits them.  Where is the proof?

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