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