2. That the US has been doing something similar for years.
These two combined and led me to this prediction of the future: That all the companies from some foreign countries are going to be taking root in the US for cheap labor while the US companies are all in other countries for *their* cheap labor, and the companies taking root here are going to leave their home countries' citizens in a situation where they're out of jobs, so then who's gonna be able to afford to buy their cheap crap? It's a different form of Mutually Assured Destruction.
Whether things get that bad or not, there's gonna come a point where the developing nations are gonna get sick of being taken advantage of, they're gonna rebel and have worker's rights rallies and laws passed, then the US companies are gonna come crawling back home on their knees.
Of course, that's all assuming that 3D printers don't evolve into something like a Star Trek replicator before that can happen. Which, if technology continues going the way it is, it WILL produce fabricator machines eventually, and then the smart thing to do would be to replace Capitalism with something different and new. But since people rarely do the smart thing, there's gonna be all kinds of chaos and probably some government oppression like never before while the corporations hang on desperately to the dying carcass of Capitalism. Which they have to do, from their point of view, because whatever new economic system comes in the wake of fabricator machines, it will render money useless. There's no doubt about that; how could money possibly keep its value when anything can be scanned and copied with the same ease as we now scan and reprint photos? BTW, copyright will be effectively pointless in the fabricator-machine future. It's hard enough finding a way to prevent piracy without pissing off legit customers NOW, and it's just gonna get worse.
Hell, I don't even know what we'd base our economy on in that world. We may have to abandon the idea of economics altogether. For instance... on Traipah, there is no scarcity of anything, and everyone knows it. Their money is so easy to counterfeit that it might as well be Monopoly money. And they just don't give a shit. It's all an amusing game to them. Communities grow their food locally, and there's a network of sharing for extra stuff. Even before they got fabricator technology, they wanted for nothing. Now they don't even have to worry about famines; if they have a shortage, they can fire up the food fabricators. About the closest the Traipahni people get to a real economy is on the local scale, where they use a barter system trading products like fresh produce and hand-made items.
But yeah, the corporations are gonna use every ounce of power to prevent the fabricator revolution, because it's gonna mean the end of money, and possibly the end of any kind of serious economy. When the fabricator revolution comes, our best bet will be to do like the people of Traipah did and treat the economy like an amusing game. Or not even bother with that much.
Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org