My printer died this week, so I went down to Darty today at the place de la
Republique to get a new one. Since I will be leaving to teach in New York on
Aug 31 I didn't want to spend a lot of money on something I was only going
to be using for less than two weeks. I was very tempted by the 199 Euro HP
with all the bells and whistles, but decided to go down market. I had
choices between Canon, Epson, and HP mostly, but have bought HP for years so
decided to stick with them. Down market choices were a
printer/scanner/copier for 49 Euros that only used two cartridges, one black
and white and one color, but that was out of stock; next was 55 Euro machine
with 4 cartridges, but didn't want that because I don't do much color
printing and don't want to have to buy all those cartridges; and a 56 Euro
machine that uses only two cartridges but has WiFi. So I went with that.

Now, I don't know if Michael G. thinks that one day we won't print anything
on paper, just as we won't have DVDs, but as a consumer I hope we do because
I hate reading things online. So will I get all these choices under
socialism, will there be just one brand of printer (The People's Printer,
perhaps?), will all these choices of models still exist or be considered
bourgeois luxuries, and how will I express my choice if there is no
money--will I simply get the printer I want no matter how many bells and
whistles, and not constrained to choose between a really good printer and a
really good computer or iPhone?

Just wondering. And remember, these questions are being posed by someone who
believes in socialism.


Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is
no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
                                                  --John Kenneth Galbraith