Wealth, Poverty, and Morality

by SecondRateMind 226 Replies latest jw friends

  • shepherdless

    This experiment has all be tried, many times, on a small scale and on a large scale, in the past. For example, they tried it in Russia after WW1, resulting in 20 million people starved to death in the 1920s. They tried it in China in the 1950s, and 50 million people starved to death.

  • SecondRateMind
    Many, many problems still to be overcome.

    Indeed so, Xanthippe. I do not deny that. Nor do I pretend I have all the solutions. However, I am trying to present a moral overview of the state of the world, from which strategies and tactics may be derived and developed. And I think this might even be a somewhat useful contribution to make.

    Best wishes, 2RM.

  • SecondRateMind
    This experiment has all be tried, many times, on a small scale and on a large scale, in the past. For example, they tried it in Russia after WW1, resulting in 20 million people starved to death in the 1920s. They tried it in China in the 1950s, and 50 million people starved to death.

    I think you are talking about communism. If you can be bothered to read the thread, you will discover that this is not what I propose. But if we are talking deaths from starvation, according to the Borgen Project, the current count for the capitalist status quo is 36 million every year.

    Best wishes, 2RM.

  • shepherdless

    Hi 2RM, no it is essentially the same thing, except the communists had a practical approach to achieve the same ideal.

    Firstly, the communists may have focused on the means of production, whereas you seem to focus on money. The communists correctly understood that money of itself has no intrinsic value, is both created and destroyed in various activities. Your ideal suggests that you are one of those who think all the money on the planet is a finite set amount (as if it was found under a bush somewhere by cavemen, and in circulation ever since). It is the means of production that represents real wealth. And some people are far better at using it to generate wealth than others. For example, farmland can produce great wealth, if managed well, and none, if managed poorly.

    Secondly, the communists had the commune (or State, in the case of Russia, China, etc) own the assets rather than split them up evenly, amongst the people, on the theoretical understanding that the state or commune held it all on behalf of the people. This is a practical approach, given the above.

    The problem is that the great equalisation (whether money or means of production) leads to a massive loss of production, where it is put into hands of people who either don’t know how to use it, or don’t care, or both. To take the farmland example, I remember a statistic from the late 1980s that USSR had 150 million farmers, yet was the world’s biggest importer of agricultural produce, yet the USA (with 50 million farmers) was the world’s biggest exporter of agricultural produce.

    Likewise if you take all the money from the wealthy people in the world, you will deprive them of the ability to generate things that people need. If you give it to the poorest, they will not use it, or even know how to use it, to generate things that people need. Mass starvation is the likely result. You may consider communism to be different from the approach that you describe, but communism is just a practical approach to carry out your idea.

    I think you mean well, and your heart is in the right place, by the way.

  • hoser

    You’re quite the commie second rate mind.

    Sorry for the disparaging comment but I couldn’t resist.

    I feel that under your plan humanity would be worse off. Here in Canada we are debating a minimum income. A no questions asked guaranteed monthly payment of $1500.00. I have a question about it though. Who pays? Where does the money come from? The taxpayer.

    We are already experiencing a severe labour shortage in some industries. The agriculture sector is short 60000 workers now and it is projected to be 120000 in 10 years time.

    If we pay people to stay at home why would they remotely think about doing the unpleasant tasks required for food production.

    At the other end of the spectrum people like me in the ag business would have to pay more income taxes to support those who choose to take only basic income. So we would work less as well. Why bust your ass all weekend long for nothing when you can sit at the beach and drink beer?

    As some posters already commented this has been tried in the Soviet Union and China and their people have literally starved to death.

    Russia and the Ukraine have some of the most fertile land in the world but in the 1970’s and 1980’s the Canadian Government gifted them millions of tonnes of wheat so that they could feed their people. It was found out after the fact that the farm workers on the collective farms were deliberately sabotaging their production by not applying their fertilizer to the land They were digging holes and burying it in the ground so that they didn’t have to work as hard at harvest time.

    Most people are inherently lazy and need some form of economic incentive to be productive

  • SecondRateMind

    Ha Ha! I have to be brief, as I am due to go out shortly. But I am reminded of the famous saying by the Catholic Archbishop Helder Camara: "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."

    More later. Meanwhile, feel free to discuss amongst yourselves!

    Best wishes, 2RM.

  • Vanderhoven7

    The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money. M. Thatcher

    But that's not the only problem. Forced equalization of wealth does not fit human nature. It would not only stifle creativity but also motivation to work and study hard to get ahead.

    The early church practiced a form of communal socialism but ended up needing charity from other churches. Capitalism is hoarding the wealth while socialism is sharing the poverty.

    Great ideal perhaps, but forced sharing is not compatible with human nature.

  • pale.emperor

    I think many in public service would be thoroughly insulted by your assumption that the only incentive that matters is a selfish, financial one. On the contrary, such as soldiers, nurses and politicians develop their careers, say from sergeant to colour sergeant, or nurse to specialist nurse, or back-bench MP to junior minister, out of a sense of vocation. Given their skills and aptitudes, experience and contacts, there is no doubt that all these types could take home a bigger pay-packet each month in the private sector. Yet they stay. How do you account for that, in the tawdry, self-centred, money-grubbing little world you propose?

    Im not suggesting for one moment that these people got into their vocation simply for the money. In fact, you raise the point of:

    there is no doubt that all these types could take home a bigger pay-packet each month in the private sector

    You're right, the doctors and nurses should indeed be earning more (certainly more than $33,000!!). Don't you agree? But they're not. Because, again, the system is set up to benefit the top 1% who are brokers/bankers.

    The reason they're not in the private sector is that it's very competitive to get hired in private healthcare. You have to be the best. And the best in the public sector do indeed go over to the private sector.

    You say that capitalism works. I agree that it works reasonably well for some. And for a few it works extremely well indeed. But it does not work at all for those in vulnerable penury, who are liable to die from entirely preventable starvation and hunger related disease. And we should not leave them out of the calculus, when congratulating ourselves on how well the system works, just because they do not have the currency to express economic demand.

    The problem with poverty in lack of healthcare is simply a matter of their government not treating this as a problem. We know it is a problem, but some countries would rather spend their money on nuclear weapons or furnishing their lavish private residences while they're in power. There's absolutely no need for any African nation to be in poverty. As we know, the world has enough resources to feed everyone many times over. But giving everyone $33,000 would just make the people selling water and medicine bump their prices up.

    I hope you understand, i dont wish the world to be like that, but it is like that.

  • dubstepped

    What you see as an ad hominem, I see as questioning you the way you are questioning others. It is easy to get on your high horse, to determine what you think is moral (seemingly from a book that features a God that goes against his own morality), and then to hold others to arbitrary standards of your own. It doesn't feel good to have others question your motives and priorities, right?

    You're operating here under a utopian image that does not and can not exist. Humans aren't wired that way. People here have shown you that over and over. Is this post just a hope and a wish? You say that you aren't judging but are you not labeling those with different views than you, or perhaps the wealthy, as immoral? Is that not a judgment?

  • WTWizard

    There are extremely few that control all the wealth of the planet. They are nothing but parasites--thinking they are entitled to it all because they are supposedly "God's chosen". If the government were to confiscate all the wealth from this parasite class (especially the Rothschilds and George Scumbag Soros), they could distribute this wealth in the form of welfare to all the world's citizens. From fixing all the problems they created in Africa to advancing society in the Middle East (instead of exporting all the people to Europe where they act like jungle and sand apes and thugs 'n scum), to helping the poor right here in America and Europe.

    And those pigs need to be pulled out of power. Your income taxes would plummet (or be used to fix the infrastructure, and then be unnecessary and stopped). Without the Rockefellers, we would advance science beyond Einstein (seems that science stopped advancing in meaningful ways once that scumbag tangled up physics) and advance. And, without helping religious parasites (and I am thinking as much of the vatican as I am about a certain nation that the LIE-ble ballyhoos throughout), spiritual knowledge would advance. All the while, the money would stay to help those that really need it. No more homeless people while the churches and big banks hold 99% of the money.

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