21st Century Champagne socialists favour a world in which everyone has equal access to the resources they require in order to flourish, rather than one of equal distribution.

Meanwhile, 21st Century conservatives (with a small c) favour a world in which everyone has equal opportunity to build the resources they require.

What’s the difference? Incentive. Building resources in an efficient way requires it. Having resources to share, skips over the incentive problem of creating them in the first place.

What’s the problem with both views? One problem is resource sustainability. In a World that wasn’t over-populated, Adam Smith and Karl Marx could conveniently ignore the environmental impacts of their theories.

Then there’s the policy confusion problem (too many targets). Having equal access to all of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is arguably a redundant problem, if too many people are grasping just for the first need (basic food and shelter) and the nation’s too poor at governance to provide them all with that first need, let alone the others (high quality healthcare, crime prevention, free access to museums, foreign aid etc). Does that mean 21st Century socialists should concentrate on the basics first, or continue concentrating on securing equal access at all Maslow levels? Meanwhile, building resources requires skill, energy and materials. If the government policies aren’t smart or cohesive enough to encourage people build just the first of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, that’s a problem also.

What to do? If good government requires the governors to do the greatest good for the greatest number, use the Maslow model as a foundation for your policy priorities and skip the vanity projects!

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/apr/16/what-problem-champagne-socialism-francois-hollande

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