Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ethical Consumerism, Ethical Producerism and Ethical Builderism

Consumers choosing between producers improves the quality of products. Producers choosing between consumers achieves ... what? - Ailiailia, Oklahoma Restaurant: Not white, straight & rich? Screw you 
Eh, Lincolnocracy kinda did a funny thing. He gave my "ethical producerism" a somewhat different spin..."arms companies not sell to regimes which routinely violate human rights". His use kinda makes sense though.

My intended meaning for ethical producerism was when you...

A. identify a business engaging in unethical practices
B. build a business to provide workers/consumers with a more ethical alternative

So ethical consumerism is the first step. You're going to boycott the racist restaurant in Oklahoma. Ethical producerism is the next step. You're going to build an ethical restaurant across the street from the unethical restaurant.

Uh, maybe I should use "ethical builderism" instead? "Builderism" is a really awkward word though.

Let me try again.

Ethical consumerism is the first step. You're going to boycott a sweatshop factory in India. Ethical builderism is the next step. You're going to build an air-conditioned factory across the street from the sweatshop factory.

When producers choose between consumers...and they aren't engaging in ethical producerism...then they are simply making a mistake. The question is...how big of a mistake are they making?

Let's say that I start a restaurant and I choose not to serve martians. Am I making a mistake? Maybe I'm being racist. Rayshist? Alienist? Martiast? In any case, it could be argued that I'm being unethical. But it's not a huge mistake because there aren't any martians around. So my financial loss is $0.

What happens though if martians start arriving on the planet? As each martian arrives on the planet...the size of my mistake increases. But as the size of my mistake increases...so does the financial incentive for somebody to engage in ethical builderism.

Of course, just because an Easter Egg exists...doesn't necessarily mean that it will be found or picked up any time soon.

Markets work because the kids aren't all tied together. As a result they cover more ground...which results in more Easter Eggs being found. This is why decentralized systems (markets) create more value than centralized systems (socialism). But even though more ground is covered in market-systems...it's still an imperfect system.

As a pragmatarian...I have absolutely no problem with the public sector also searching for Easter Eggs...as long as its up to taxpayers to decide for themselves whether what was found was truly an Easter Egg.

The more kids searching for Easter Eggs...the more Easter Eggs that will be found. And the more valuable the Easter Eggs are...the greater the incentive to find them.

Going back to my martian scenario...assuming martians need to eat...and assuming they have different food preferences...and assuming we can make food that matches their preferences...and assuming they have something of value that we want...then the larger the Easter Egg is...the less likely that it will be overlooked. But if the private sector overlooks it or doesn't pick it up...then I have no problem with the public sector supplying martian food...as long as taxpayers can choose where their taxes go.

So ethical consumerism/builderism in conjunction with pragmatarianism would allow the maximum freedom and create the maximum value.

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