Wealth Distribution vs. Redistribution vs. Pre-Distribution?


This post was inspired by several comments in the Will ADA Whales Ever Give Up Their Power? debate. (NB: If you don’t think the ADA concentration issue is a problem, view the evidence.)

The Job Apocalypse. I’ve seen the “destroying jobs is good” argument many times, but like virtually all pure libertarian theories, they substantially ignore human nature and politics in the real world; and human nature and politics overwhelmingly dictate the pre-distribution and distribution of income, wealth, and bargaining power in the real world, not supply and demand. In the past, there were new industries for jobless people to migrate to; that’s no longer the case in today’s “Gig Economy,” which is a polite euphemism for “Job Apocalypse.” Thus, the wealth/power concentration problems will become amplified in a world dominated by A.I. because A.I. amplifies the status quo if the A.I. is controlled by those who already benefit from the status quo.

Distribution vs. Redistribution vs. Pre-Distribution. By definition, the status quo in every country is dominated by creatures who already control the flow of wealth in an economy because of their lucky birth and/or their influence/control over the political system and the laws and regulations that determine how income, taxes, and wealth are distributed throughout the economy. These are all “pre-distributional” dynamics that directly distort and concentrate the downstream distribution of income, wealth, and political power. The ideology of Libertarianism substantially ignores all these pre-distribution affects and narrowly focuses on avoiding redistribution, regardless of the costs to society and the impact on the stability and sustainability of the ecosystem. That narrow, fundamentalist perspective ignores all the real-world political and socioeconomic realities that influence the entire continuum of pre-distribution, distribution, and post-distribution of wealth and political power in every fiat/crypto economy.

Whales Have Incentives to Destroy Jobs. The 10 largest corporations on Earth today own/control more wealth than over 90% of all the countries on Earth combined. The top-50 largest banks own/control more wealth than our planet’s entire GDP. This is not the inevitable consequence of a free market; it’s the inevitable consequence of an economic system that is not structurally designed to resist the pre-distributional affects that dictate how wealth and power are distributed downstream in the value creation and distribution process. A.I. is amplifying these wealth/power concentration trends, which is what gives “whales” in every fiat/crypto economy the power to substantially control the political systems in many countries on Earth today. That’s what gives them the ability to rip the job creation heart out of the global economy and then redirect the global river of wealth to themselves, while causing the income/wealth of everybody else to perpetually decline or stagnate.

A Recipe for Feudalism & Slavery. Ignoring the problems associated with wealth concentration in any crypto/fiat economy is a guaranteed recipe for feudalism and modern slavery, not free market capitalism. To believe that somehow the “free market” (which is never free due to politics, human nature, and predistributional affects) is going to magically give gigantic corporations and governments the incentive to share their pre-distributionally entrenched political and economic power with the general population ignores human nature, common sense, and the history of political and economic oppression on Earth.

Emphasizing Ecosystem Stability is Not Communism. No puritanical, fundamentalist economic theory will ever result in the decentralization of economic and political power in fiat/crypto economies because pre-distributional affects create a structural tendency for every economy to concentrate wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands. The only way to achieve true decentralization of wealth/power is to structurally, systemically, and continuously recycle wealth/power back into the general population with strict mechanisms that resist unhealthy concentrations of wealth/power. By definition, this is “redistribution,” but it’s not communism or socialism; it’s simply a structural mechanism to offset the pre-distributional distortions that inevitably produce unsustainable wealth/power concentration in the first place. Without a full commitment to structurally offsetting those pre-distributional distortions, we are on a guaranteed path to feudalism, economic imperialism, fascism, corporate slavery, and political oppression.

Humans Don’t Need “Stuff”; They Need Sustenance and Purpose. Many studies have demonstrated that humans must feel a sense of purpose to maintain their mental and physical health. “Work” gives the vast majority of humanity a sense of purpose. Without jobs, the vast majority of humanity does not have an economic purpose. This creates endless adverse consequences on human societies and it destroys the balance of power between capital, labor, corporations, governments, and every strata of every human society.

Libertarianism Has No Meaningful Solution to Any of These Problems. The “destroying jobs is good” argument is a form of intoxication caused by an unconscious impulse for ideological purity. The “destroying jobs is good” argument substantially ignores the reality of human nature, the needs of human health and welfare, ecosystem stability, and political system domination by whales in the real fiat/crypto world. Cardano has the potential to fix many of these problems, but it never will if it’s guided by puritanical Libertarianism.

To My Libertarian Friends: As I’ve said several times in other threads, I was a libertarian most of my life so I always feel an emotional bias for Libertarianism. However, after I understood the problems above and how impotent the ideology of Libertarianism is in a world dominated by A.I. and the collusion between gigantic corporations and governments, I did not hesitate to re-calibrate my mind with real-world realities. In fact, that’s what rational, truth-seeking humans do when they encounter new facts and realities.

To the Nasty Troll: The solutions to all these problems have nothing to do with communism or socialism or any other ism. Regardless, it’s clear that the status quo in Cardano Land is here to stay. I love Cardano, but I don’t have any expectations that the team will ever resolve any of these ADA concentration problems because they’re already trapped in the status quo. Even if CH wanted to fix the problem, he can’t because he must answer to the whales who would probably sue him into oblivion if he tried to impose a more sustainable distribution. So, there’s no need for you to pollute this thread with your nasty, ideologically-driven commentary. In fact, feel free to ignore this thread completely.

Will ADA Whales Ever Give Up Their Power?

I am going to reserve a top spot here and come back to edit my comment later.