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World Association of International Studies

Post Hoarding vs Sharing, Continued
Created by John Eipper on 07/11/17 5:14 AM

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Hoarding vs Sharing, Continued (Cameron Sawyer, Russia, 07/11/17 5:14 am)

In my opinion, this is a very good comment from Tor Guimaraes (10 July).

I think it is a gross, and potentially misleading simplification, to refer to all saving and investment as "hoarding." It is the essence of human economy, much more than the division of labor, to create wealth which can be saved over for winter, then another season, or invested to multiply and allow prosperity which does not have to be produced every day. Only this makes it possible for humans to extend the effect of their labor (and other economic activity) to future periods, and thus to provide for themselves even when they are sick or too old to work.

I agree with Tor that this is primary economic activity; sharing comes after. Saving and investment is characteristic of more advanced economies where economic actors think and plan further than just for today. It is an activity which is essential to economic progress, and which brings a multitude of benefits to everyone, and not just to the savers and investors, so should not be taxed or otherwise discouraged into unattractiveness, lest economic progress be stopped altogether--lest there be nothing to share.

JE comments: Let's call it "savings vs sharing," as "hoarding" is such a loaded term. And yes, you cannot share at all until you accumulate stuff above a subsistence level.

I'm still waiting for responses on "hoarding" in different languages. Specifically, what other languages have a single word for the pathological accumulation of things? I would think "hoarding" enters the public consciousness especially in times of war, when it is often codified as a crime.

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