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Post scarcity economics fiction and non fiction
We already exist in a post-scarcity economy with respect to one commodity (and one commodity only, unless anyone can think of another). We have free access to molecular oxygen. Bear in mind that on every other world in the Solar System, and almost every other world in the universe, oxygen will have to be manufactured artificially. Bear in mind as well that molecular oxygen was once scarce, even on our world.

On Earth there is an abundance of oxygen, manufactured by self-replicating devices (plants) most of which existed in the past history of our planet and no longer exist. In order to have free access to oxygen on other worlds we would need to devise some sort of self-replicating manufactory that could do the job as cheaply as plants have done on Earth.

Once we have self-replicating manufactories of this sort we could conceivably have free access to a range of other commodities. The difference between commodities that can become free because of this sort of self-replicating manufacture, and other commodities which remain scarce, is the difference between goods that we will have to pay for, and those we won't.

Note that even in a post-scarcity society there are limits to growth; when a resource starts to become rare, because of excessive demand, then the economy transits back into a scarcity mode once again.

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RE: Post scarcity economics fiction and non fiction - by stevebowers - 06-11-2013, 09:27 AM

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