Nobody understands the context of this shit unless they firmly understand what a critical path is and how a scheduling network works.
What good is $1/lb rice over $3/lb rice when we have to spend an extra $8/lb to cover the social welfare costs so the farmers who formally grew the rice can afford to purchase that rice to feed their family?
You're making a false dichotomy. Go back to colonial America--yes, that recent--and even England had no notable welfare system. England implemented old-age pensions and unemployment insurance before the United States, and unemployment insurance was hotly debated because of expense--with people citing old-age pensions as having worked out fine in support; now unemployment insurance is
Our social welfare systems in America cost 1.5% of taxed AGI back in 1950--including social security. Back in 1790, such social welfare systems would have bankrupt America--not required 30% of our taxable money, but required 500% of our taxable money. That 1% income tax they levied in 1820 covered some extremely minor functions of government on a small body of people, without the costs of things like communications infrastructure, space-age military, interstate highways, ICBM launch silos, nuclear submarine programs, or military satellite systems. America's navy wasn't England's; wooden ships were expensive, but we relied on militia men and a standing army rather than infinite sea power, since well-armed galleons wouldn't stop invasion from our two fucking huge borders. A standing militia is cheap.
The fact is these systems of $1/lb rice over $3/lb rice have made enough excessive wealth for us to actually implement those social welfare programs and still come out richer. We were once a nation--once a world--of blacksmiths and farmers, with the blacksmiths mostly supporting the farmers with plows and scythes; now farmers are 0.25% of our population. We're reaching a point where our current-model welfare system--the social programs system--is growing out of control in cost, while minimum wage--a good system for the 1900s--is actually threatening to undermine the economy; and, at this point, we can implement a Citizen's Dividend system which will continuously reduce its minimum operating cost (I argue, as a matter of policy, to lock the financing sources and just let the minimum standard of living grow as our nation becomes more wealthy), eliminating both problems and completely ending homelessness and hunger forever.
That's what cheaper rice gets you. It's what every step in history has been: cheaper metal products (blacksmiths go away), automatic elevators (bellhops go away), more food from less land (lots of farmers go away), advanced low-cost materials like plastic (shipping costs drop because fuel needs go down, manufacturing labor drops, and lots of people in many sectors need new jobs), and so forth have steadily cut down the price of a T-shirt from $4,000 (479 labor-hours at $8.25/hr minimum wage, a la 1820, before the power loom entered wide deployment) to $15 (8.6 hours at $1.73/hr) and moved the labor elsewhere. That labor, moved elsewhere, does other things: we still have t-shirts, but we also have rockets that go to the moon, and social programs that keep people from starving.
I'm sure you can find plenty of teams of rockstar coders who can scale in amazing ways. Unfortunately, this does not apply to teams of average programmers. An average programmer knows how to code but is typically much less intuitive about how their components impact other developers. To deal with this, you need to do all this up-front design work that it entirely serial (not scalable) and takes a substantial portion of the total development time.
HOST SYSTEM RESPONDING, PROBABLY UP...