Over at Alternet, Robert Reich attempts to make the case for a redistributive tax based upon technology. There are a number of flaws within this text, but the biggest is he accidently undoes his case.
Mr. Reich states:
Imagine a small box – let’s call it an “iEverything” – capable of producing everything you could possibly desire, a modern day Aladdin’s lamp.
You simply tell it what you want, and – presto – the object of your desire arrives at your feet.
The iEverything also does whatever you want. It gives you a massage, fetches you your slippers, does your laundry and folds and irons it.
The iEverything will be the best machine ever invented.
The only problem is no one will be able to buy it. That’s because no one will have any means of earning money, since the iEverything will do it all.
If, indeed, a machine (or machines) are invented that can provide us with everything we want, and the profits go only to a select few, then Mr. Reich has unwittingly provided evidence that income inequality doesn’t, in fact, matter. Such a world would gave incredible inequality, but it wouldn’t matter.