I think DanteAliegri has a point. Money, greed, and power are the factors causing the main problem.

If we look closely, I think we will find that while everything around us promotes this, a true "thought experiment", as a real experiment, would have to envision a world without this stuff--advertising, media saturation, children flacking for Nike, sports stars shills for sugared drinks, and child exploiters.

But why need replicators? I know many will deny it, but we don't live in an age of scarcity; it is an age of plenty. Realistic plans exist to provide things needed, not only in the first world, but also in the others.

It is our moralism, our ingrained notions telling others they must suffer--we just can't give them what they need. What are all the debates about "welfare as we know it", if not this?

You hear it all the time, "They are lazy; they are stupid; they are immoral; they are dirty." This isn't the way they are; this is the way we see them.

Who wants a space station? People want to have a decent place to live, health care, education, food, and since everybody else has one, a television, a radio, and even a computer.

Our society produces these things whether we buy them or not. Fewer and fewer are needed to do this. Is all the hype about high technology just hype, or is the time when plenty is available to all for free now--or will are morality get in the way, require "those" people always to work, and suffer.

Let's see a real thought experiment.