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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Poverty Part II: You Know What? It Could Be Your Own Damn Fault

Note to libertarians and actual conservatives: You can probably skip this piece as its written in a style that liberals and Democrats will easily understand, call it CNN-speak. You know, it's how you talk to people when you think they're having difficulty keeping up.

I got a fortune cookie once:
"You never suffer from a money problem, you always suffer from an idea problem."

Evil Corporations Cause All The Problems

We all know that now that liberals are firmly in charge of the media, the educational system, the government, and the workforce, poverty only comes from one place -- greedy corporations. To the liberal mind, this bit of logic makes perfect sense. Let's take a quick look at how corporations are solely responsible for all the evils in the world:
  1. Corporations exist to provide goods or services to people who want to trade their money for those same goods and services
  2. Corporations cease to exist when they no longer provide the goods or services the consuming public wants
  3. Just because he has a nicer hat
     than you doesn't mean he
    stole it.
  4. Corporations also cease to exist when they provide goods and services in a way that is detrimental to the consuming public
Oh wait! By that actual real-life logic, it must mean that corporations aren't solely responsible for all the evils in the world. In fact, our standard of living is exponentially higher because of corporations. Therefore, the first logical step we must take as a society is to reject the non-sense that corporate greed is responsible for our trouble.

Are there bad corporations? Yes. Corporations that put profit ahead of responsibility? Absolutely, just like there are Democrat candidates for president who cheat on their wives except when their wife's cancer is not in remission. Grow up, get real, and understand that simple comprehension of complex problems is the domain of simple people.

Let's look at some other causes of poverty:
  1. Lack of cheap energy. In countries where cheap energy is not readily available, simply fetching a few gallons of water can absorb an entire day's human energy, leaving little or no human energy for tending to crops or livestock or producing hard goods for sale.
  2. Lack of infrastructure. Without cheap energy, there is no need for power lines, roads, ports and all of the other things humans depend on to raise their standards of living above subsistence. However, infrastructure needs are the result of demand from private citizens who are engaged in trade. Without trade between humans, infrastructure becomes an economic burden that retards growth and prosperity. In a real chicken-or-egg conundrum, infrastructure and trade need to be developed simultaneously for real growth to take place. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. You can build all the highways and railroads you want, but if people have no need for them they won't use them. Either way the cost burden to society it the same.
  3. Lack of security. In nations where internal and external security isn't assured, prosperity cannot take place. A government's foremost responsibility is to provide security to an unfettered populace. This balance, as America is proving in the 21st Century, has yet to be achieved in all the history of mankind.
  4. Lack of freedom. Where human beings are not free to pursue their own selfish interests, productivity declines. If you still think collectivism is the way to go, then you are sorely lacking in cognitive skills and should refrain from political arguments until your brain begins to work correctly. Sorry to be so blunt, but this shouldn't even be a topic for discussion after what we witnessed in the 20th Century.
  5. Lack of property ownership. No better example of this exists than the beating the people of Haiti took after the earthquake in 2010 -- where home ownership is not part of the fabric of society. Raise yourself up past your racist inclinations and understand I am talking about political systems. Where homes are not owned., the soundness of our homes isn't a concern. Think about the last time you rented a car. We are social animals who demand our own personal property and place to nest. We are competitive by nature. We want to provide comfort and prosperity to our families. When we are denied these simple, inherited needs, our will to progress is destroyed.

Poverty comes about by two reasons:
  1. Choice. If a healthy person consciously makes a choice to live in poverty, then who are we to disrespect that choice? If a tribe in the Amazon chooses to live isolated from progress in the same way their ancestors have done for eons, isn't it a bit condescending to force our way of life upon them?
  2. Government. History has shown us that as governments morph away from their basic function of serving and protecting a society as the society grows. As that happens, the people served by that government become more impoverished. The government becomes infected with ruling elites or a permanent political class (sorry Royalists and Democrats) and the need for a dependent class amongst the citizenry becomes the singular focus of the ruling class. In short, government needs poverty to survive. Bureaucracy demands it.
Simply put, the private sector does not cause poverty. Without the private sector we'd all still live in poverty, or at least in some form of pre-Industrial Revolution subsistence.

Let's look at some things that are not poverty, no matter how much you whine:
  1. If you are healthy and you choose to wait for another person, group of persons, agency, or authority, to provide your means of existence to you, you are choosing to remain in poverty. However, if you choose to sell rags door-to-door to feed your family you are choosing to progress out of poverty. But if the government forces you to pay a license fee and regulates your rag business to the point that it becomes unprofitable to sell rags door-to-door, the government has stolen your freedom and forced you to remain impoverished. Understand the difference.
  2. I once knew a person who constantly found himself cash poor. He had a bigger television than me and a better car than me; he owned a business and was eating well. His poverty was a poverty of ideas and energy, yet he blamed his lot in life on others. This was a choice, but it wasn't poverty.
  3. If you have loans for school you can't pay, you need to understand you made a choice to pay for something you couldn't afford at the same time you borrowed money without a workable plan to pay the money back. You are not impoverished, you are a bad planner.
  4. Likewise if you bought a house you can't afford now. You are not the victim of an evil banker, you are a poor planner. Do bad things happen to people who plan well and live right? Unfortunately the answer is 'yes.' It's called life. Wear a helmet if you're scared because no amount of Federal social engineering is going to remove the risk from life.   
  5. If you can afford alcohol and lottery tickets but you can't afford formula for your baby, you are not financially poor, you are bereft of morals and scruples. It's a different kind of poverty.
Sure that sounds tough in this day and age. But I never drove my kid to the end of the driveway to wait for the school bus when it was raining. Neither did my parents. Metaphorically driving our children to the end of the driveway to catch the school bus only makes our children soft like veal. When veal-children grow up and lose money on an investment, or can't find a job, they have no other tool to use but to whine for someone to help them out. The government loves when you drive your kid to the end of the driveway. The government loves when you whine and demand it saves you from something.

The Professional Political class have convinced us they are a necessary protection against poverty. The intended consequence of this has been the development of a permanent class of people who think their only chance in life is to live in poverty and depend on the government. Look at the trouble spots of the world, whether Greece or Egypt or Syria or Myanmar, then look at the troubled spots in history and you will see one common denominator -- a government of ruling elites who play on the people's base needs and fears to remain in power.

Where people are free to pursue their own self-interests, and are engaged enough to properly regulate business and trade (something Americans have long since given up doing), then human beings realize prosperity from their good ideas and hard labor.

1 comment:

Joel said...

The written truth is a beautiful thing.