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OfflineEightball
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On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering
    #714383 - 06/30/02 10:32 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

i turned this essay in last semester and i think ya'll might find it interesting.

Capitalism?s Integrated Poverty

All men are created equal, through the passage of time however, these men become unequal, not in the eyes of God, but rather in the eyes of their fellow man. Our monetary system creates this inequality where a man can be of lesser worth than the next, resulting in different treatment and rights. The existence of poverty proves that we are in fact not equal people and that the quality of our lives reflects this sacrilegious truth. We are subjects of an artificial system called Capitalism which controls the worth of items based on scarcity and demand for them, in turn controlling our personal worth and basing it on our possessions and profit-making-potential skills. If a person does not have abilities up to par with the rest of the competitive capitalist society then he is forced to make do with what little resources he can accumulate. Unfortunately there are many people in the U.S. who have been unsuccessful in capitalist society and they are forced to suffer without necessary resources. In order to solve the problem of poverty, our current economic system will have to change to be able to support those living below the poverty line.

Capitalism in its purest form allows there to be private ownership of property and ideas, allowing individuals to compete for economic gain by producing products or services that have demand. At first glance, capitalism appears to be the ideal system for a people based around the idea of freedom because it allows people the chance to become successful through their personal financial endeavors, but under closer inspection capitalism keeps them all bound to a system of money which they do not feasibly have the option of leaving. The people who are inevitably on the losing end of the economic gain spectrum have to rely on charity and since September 11th, much funding for not-for-profit organizations that help the poor has been cut due to the government?s reallocation of funds to pay for its war on terrorism. (Ivins 9) Besides binding people to money, capitalism runs on the fundamental concept that profit has to be accumulated in order to ensure further rights to production. This ensures that business will always try to turn a profit, no matter how great the need is to the people. This promotes the use of fellow man as springboards for profit to reach the top of some imaginary hierarchy where the dollar perhaps grants one into the first class section of heaven, or perhaps a lesser punishment in hell.

Poverty is defined as a scarcity of means of subsistence, indigence, or need. (Webster's) The basic needs for a human to survive without suffering are food, water, and shelter. In modern society, poverty is the scarcity of money which can be used to purchase all forms of subsistence. With little or no money in a society, a person cannot survive long because items such as food and shelter require money to acquire within the bounds of law. A question that needs to be asked is do these people deserve to starve or become ill from exposure to the cold because our way of life says that each person is responsible for their own survival? If suffering is considered a universally ?bad thing?, why do we promote its existence by participating in a system that directly creates this inequality? We as participants of the American way of life tend to earn our financial rewards through various strategic moves we make such as choosing a useful college major and getting a new higher paying job. For someone else to put less effort or exhibit less tact in their lives and still receive similar rewards seems unfair and unjust, but should this other person have to live in the streets or have to collect food from dumpsters because we want to have our distinguishing possessions such as cars, multiple televisions, and that marble tiling in the guest bathroom? Somewhere along the line, personal gain became more important than the survival of a stranger, causing the existence of suffering due to poverty and the overlooking of this problem by nearly all members of the populous that facilitates it.

Suffering is obviously not solely caused by poverty as shown by instances of natural disaster such as flooding, drought, spread of disease, and famine. The ability to combat these natural sources of suffering can be attained to a certain degree through proper financial channels as shown when our government issues emergency grants. The man-made disaster of poverty far outweighs the occasional natural element, but to solve the problem it requires more than just emergency grants. If poverty and the suffering that it causes are to be eliminated, an overhaul of our capitalist system is necessary to focus efforts away from turning a profit and more towards filling the needs of the population as a whole. Previously enacted solution attempts such as welfare, the Matrix program, and the various charities such as the Salvation Army have not removed a significant percentage of their users from poverty. (Welfare Pamphlet, Ivins 11, Crawford) Brown said in his global food scarcity report that, ?History judges political leaders by whether or not they respond to the great issues of their time. For today?s leaders, the challenge is to achieve a human balance between food and people on a crowded planet.? (Ziman 21) In order to achieve this balance, there will have to be many people, including these political leaders, willing to sacrifice some of their wealth to be able to pay for the less fortunate to be provided for so they can maintain at least a minimal survival level.

A common misconception about capitalism is that it is the driving force for progress. Progress is essentially the advancement of technology in society to provide new ways of solving problems and helping people live more comfortable lives. In history, the discoveries that had the biggest positive impacts came from the minds of people who dedicated their lives to their fields of physics, chemistry, and philosophy. People such as Euclid, Newton, Franklin, and Einstein were not corporately sponsored nor did they have the intention of benefiting financially on their discoveries. It was the desire to explain and harness the before unknown to satisfy a part of themselves that led them to advancing technology and being able to better explain the universe around them. In contrast to the great minds of the ages, today we have think-tanks that dream up different ways in which the average middle class consumer can spend money making their lives better by having the new diet Pepsi can, 2.5 gigahertz of processor overkill, and pills to keep them erect. It is the drive for more money that creates these minor and quite insignificant improvements in society and keeps us wanting more.

As a result of the conflict with Afghanistan, the U.S. has pledged $297 million in aid to help Afghanistan. (Pipes 1) Several million food packets were also air dropped to Afghani refugees throughout the air campaign in Afghanistan, but somehow thousands of homeless Americans were overlooked in someone?s political game to help the suffering people. Ivins puts the class division of society into perspective and the lack of public awareness of such issues when she says, ?We live in a society in which the bad stuff flows downhill, and the people on the bottom are drowning in it. This is not a story which the corporate media pay attention. Bad demographics doesn?t attract advertisers-not upbeat, no patriotism, too busy with Russell Crowe?s love life.? (8) If public attention is not brought to the fact that poverty exists and there are many people suffering as a result of it, the cycle will continue in further generations, progressively getting worse until there is little that can be done to help everyone. To change our economic system seems almost unfeasible because capitalism is the only system we?ve ever known and our limited experience in society has taught us that it is the only reasonable way to facilitate production. Another system that Americans have always known is poverty and maybe one day this will be eliminated when a large portion of the population is actively aware of the number of people it encompasses and its negative impacts on humanity as a whole.


--------------------
If you're frightened of dying and you're holding on.you'll see devils tearing your life away.
But...if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels
Freeing you from the earth.


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OfflineEllis Dee
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: Eightball]
    #714430 - 06/30/02 10:48 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact.

Balzac


--------------------
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: Eightball]
    #714760 - 07/01/02 01:58 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Pardon my being so blunt, but what a load of crap.

I quite frankly, don't give a shit for those who aren't willing to work as hard as the next.

I think most forms of government sponsored "charity" are wrong. I'll use social security as an example of a program that should have never been. It is none of my concern that people haven't had the discipline to ensure that their needs in old age were prepared for. I go way above and beyond to see that mine are, so screw those who do not. When the time comes I'll be glad to help my friends and or family in it's needed. I find it sad that I should be asked to help those I neither know nor care about. I see people everyday whose only care is getting that next pack of smokes or six pack of beer instead of putting some money away for the future. I see the test scores go down in our schools because the current philosophy is that mediocrity is the "norm". I see people that have to have designer jeans instead of a pair from Sears. They have to drive a fancy car instead of just a good quality, reliable one. And what about all those who could get a part time job to increase their odds of getting ahead but choose instead to watch TV as soon as they get home? And those who screw off in school instead of working to learn a skill that would help to ensure their future?

People make choices each and every day. I choose to work hard and save money. Why should I give any to those who chose to do the opposite?

Sadly, you probably got a good grade for that load of shit.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineEightball
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #714795 - 07/01/02 02:30 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Pardon my being so blunt, but what a load of crap.

I quite frankly, don't give a shit for those who aren't willing to work as hard as the next.


hmm. and people wonder why the world is in such a sad state. people who grow up the 'tough' middle class life have no clue how bad other people have it. you think its right for people to go hungry just because they didn't gain that economic edge? yeah sure, survival of the fittest. bullshit, that ended when humans became a social species able to communicate their needs, ideas, and technologies to each other, skipping the whole living=survival and evolving to living=what-do-you-want-to-do-today? but sadly there are people who starve to death and who die from the cold and exposure. i'm not saying that its unfair because joe has a 42" tv because he saved his money while bob only has a radio. i'm talking about joe having a tv and an income well over the norm and bob picking food out of a trash can because several unfortunate events occured in his life and he's where he is regardless of what a professional money handler would have done many years back in his life. these are people stuck in situations beyond their control and they will get to experience the harsh realities of life unlike you or I (if we're lucky).


--------------------
If you're frightened of dying and you're holding on.you'll see devils tearing your life away.
But...if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels
Freeing you from the earth.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: Eightball]
    #714816 - 07/01/02 02:59 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Then you feel free to donate as much of your time and money as you see fit.

I see it another way. Short of severe physical or mental handicap..... everyone can make something out of the hand they are dealt. If they can't.... too damn bad. Let them starve.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Offlineperplexed
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: Eightball]
    #714881 - 07/01/02 04:33 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Good essay, good points. Thanks for posting it, i like to know that there are some people who can see through the BS. Survival of the strongest has changed to survival of the lucky. 9 out of 10 jobs that pay above minnimum wage are acquired through knowing the employer or an employee. Today it is more about who you know than what you know, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I agree that it would be hard if not impossible to change, we have a goverment that spends billions on drug wars and studing how ants reproduce in space, but won't put out a few thousand to ship unneeded canned food to starving children.


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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: perplexed]
    #715192 - 07/01/02 09:01 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)









he should work anyway....


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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: Eightball]
    #715549 - 07/01/02 01:02 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Someone already posted this link in another post but i thought it was most relevant as to the nature of capatilism and why it works. As such, the middle class you speak of no longer exists. Read the whole article, it may explain why taking from taxpaying citizens and giving it away will never be a sound method for ending starvation or poverty.

http://www.politicalindex.com/wrong1.htm


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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: griekenland]
    #715551 - 07/01/02 01:03 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

YOu are an idiot. what the hell does this series of pictures have to do with capatilism or working for a living?


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OfflineEightball
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: mrfreedom]
    #715572 - 07/01/02 01:15 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

you reminded me to post my works cited for this project.

Works Cited

Crawford, Lorelei Hagen, and James Whitley. Personal Interview. 21 Feb. 2002.


Ivins, Molly. ?In Total Disregard Toward The Poor.? Z Magazine 17 Jan. 2002.
http://www.zmag.org/content/Economy/Ivins_disregard.cfm.


Pipes, Daniel, and Jonathan Schanzer. ?Attack U.S. and Win Aid.? New York Post 28 Jan. 2002. 30 Jan. 2002 http://www.danielpipes.org/articles/article.php?id=115.


?Welfare Pamphlet Draft 1.? Progressive Labor Party 1 Mar. 1995. 18 Mar. 2002.

http://www.plp.org/pamphlets/wr.html.


Ziman, Jenna E. ?Criminalizing the Charitable.? Z Magazine. Jun. 1997. 20 Feb.

2002. http://www.zmag.org/ZMag/articles/june97ziman.htm.


--------------------
If you're frightened of dying and you're holding on.you'll see devils tearing your life away.
But...if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels
Freeing you from the earth.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: griekenland]
    #715689 - 07/01/02 02:10 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

He could still work. He could be a doorstop, or a paper weight.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: Eightball]
    #716263 - 07/01/02 06:20 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Whereever you are in life, you probably put yourself there or you let yourself remain there.

No matter how many progressive platitudes that left-wingers spout, I am still dumbfounded by them. Their heads are in the clouds. They are full of nobility and compassion, but this cannot cover up their blindness. They are obsessed with unattainable utopias, and love to insult the way "things are", even though most of the time, they are heavily involved and immersed in "the way things are". They see the world in black and white. Oppressors and oppressed. Slaves and masters. Good and bad. Ideologies and philosophies block your ability to view reality accurately and clearly. Never forget that.

I know what it is like to be poor. I know what it is like to not have enough money to buy food. And because I couldn't buy food, I had no energy to do anything. I know what it is like to face being homeless because I did not have enough money to pay my bills. I know what it is like to have NOTHING.

If anybody were to offer me a handout I would spit in their face. I have been poor, but I have always had dignity and I have always taken responsibility for my life and my position. I am proud of my accomplishments and of my failures, because it is I who has done these things. And I have done them while standing on my own two feet and using my own two hands, without mooching off of anybody else.

It is very easy to express love and compassion for the "oppressed masses" when you yourself probably live in an ivory tower. It's funny how left-wingers express sympathy for the "poor and downtrodden", but they usually consider themselves seperate from them, and their attitude is usually laced with a hypocritical and poisonous condescension.

Whether I am faced with wealth or poverty, I will make my own way through this world. Anybody who has any self-respect will feel the same way. And because of this attitude of mine, I am suited for living in a capitalistic system. I am prepared to live with some inequality if I can have absolute freedom in what I do and how much and in what way I participate in the economy. If you don't like it then move to Cuba. *snicker* Have fun!

Long live structured and monitored capitalism!

Down with controlled economies and so-called utopias that quickly devolve into dictatorships!

RandalFlagg


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #717070 - 07/02/02 02:55 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Bravo!


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #717367 - 07/02/02 07:42 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Randall,

Although your statement is very well stated and thought out, I find your type of thinking dangerous.
Whereever you are in life, you probably put yourself there or you let yourself remain there.
How is it a starving childs fault that he is hungry?...what is he supposed to do to remedy this?...

They see the world in black and white. Oppressors and oppressed. Slaves and masters. Good and bad. Ideologies and philosophies block your ability to view reality accurately and clearly. Never forget that.
If anything, it's the right wing factions that have the "black and white" attitude..from your quote "Whereever you are in life, you probably put yourself there or you let yourself remain there"...I do however agree that everything is not black and white, and that each situation calls for a different response.

If anybody were to offer me a handout I would spit in their face
Why?...What is wrong with accepting help when you need it? If you decide to not accept help that is your perogative, but lashing out at those that are trying to help is just foolish pride.

It is very easy to express love and compassion for the "oppressed masses" when you yourself probably live in an ivory tower. It's funny how left-wingers express sympathy for the "poor and downtrodden", but they usually consider themselves seperate from them, and their attitude is usually laced with a hypocritical and poisonous condescension
Actually...nothing could be furhter form the truth, the vast majority of the time is other people that don't have much themselves are the ones that tend to help out in any way they can. Those that live in the "Ivory Towers" may help out financially, but only as a tax write off...in reality, very view give a shit.

Whether I am faced with wealth or poverty, I will make my own way through this world. Anybody who has any self-respect will feel the same way.
Although these are brave words, "No man is an Island"...in other words we ALL rely on others directly or indirectly wether we want to admit it or not.

Long live structured and monitored capitalism
This I DO agree with...but who is doing the monitoring?..the people?..yeah right...99% percent obey their government blindly without question.

Down with controlled economies and so-called utopias that quickly devolve into dictatorships!
Don't kid yourself...the U.S. is not as free as you would like to believe, it is dangerously close to becoming a big brother state...have you ever seen / read "Animal Farm"?...the similarites are frightening...









--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: Rono]
    #718021 - 07/02/02 02:06 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

How is it a starving childs fault that he is hungry?...what is he supposed to do to remedy this?...

It is unfortunate when children suffer. In any capitalistic system, there will always be poor people. And these poor people have kids(I don't think you should have kids if you can't afford them...but I digress). It is the child's guardian who is responsible for that child. Not me.

Even though I am not responsible for these poor children, I do feel enough compassion for them to want to help them. I do believe in a system of welfare. But, I think it should be a leg-up and not a hand-out. If you have kids and you are not able to financially support them, you do deserve help. But, this help should not come free. You should be made to work and pay back every cent of aid that you get.

To alleviate the problems of overpopulation and starving kids, I think that there should be an abortion clinic in every town in America. Instead of people having to pay to get an abortion, the government should pay the pregnant mother to get an abortion. We would be doing these kids a favor. We would be sparing them the pain of having to deal with a shitty life. And we would be sparing ourselves the pain of these kids turning into criminals, as most of them invariably do. Hell, I wish I had been aborted, as this world sucks.

If anything, it's the right wing factions that have the "black and white" attitude..from your quote "Whereever you are in life, you probably put yourself there or you let yourself remain there"...I do however agree that everything is not black and white, and that each situation calls for a different response

I hate the left wing and the right wing. They are both misguided.


If anybody were to offer me a handout I would spit in their face

Why?...What is wrong with accepting help when you need it? If you decide to not accept help that is your perogative, but lashing out at those that are trying to help is just foolish pride

When a person needs help, there is nothing wrong with receiving it. Everybody is down and out at some points in their life. The thing that irks me is that there are a lot of people out there who are in perpetual need of help. They never stand on their own two feet. They are lazy, incompetent, or both. I should not be forced to support these people who have no respect for themselves or for anyone else.


Long live structured and monitored capitalism

This I DO agree with...but who is doing the monitoring?..the people?..yeah right...99% percent obey their government blindly without question.

People in this country don't blindly obey the government. They elect it.


Down with controlled economies and so-called utopias that quickly devolve into dictatorships!

Don't kid yourself...the U.S. is not as free as you would like to believe, it is dangerously close to becoming a big brother state...have you ever seen / read "Animal Farm"?...the similarites are frightening...

Actually Animal Farm was written as a scathing satire of the Soviet Union. A "utopia" gone bad.

"The US isn't as free as you would like it to be." I disagree. I can say whatever I want. I can go whereever I want to. I can participate in the economy in any capacity that I wish. And if I don't like how things are I can elect people who will initiate changes more to my liking. I am free, and so are you. You just don't realize it.

RandalFlagg



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Offlinehongomon
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #718282 - 07/02/02 04:55 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

"Instead of people having to pay to get an abortion, the government should pay the pregnant mother to get an abortion."

The entrepeneur in me has woken up!


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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: Eightball]
    #728668 - 07/07/02 10:07 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Eightball writes:

i turned this essay in last semester and i think ya'll might find it interesting.

It was indeed interesting. So interesting, in fact, that I won't brush it off with a dismissive "typical leftist gibberish" comment that some other proponents of Capitalism who are regular posters in this forum might be prone to utter. Instead I will give it a line-by-line critique. You obviously put a lot of thought into its creation -- you deserve a thoughtful critique.

You start by stating:

All men are created equal...

Not so. Some are born with inherent advantages, either mental or physical.

Our monetary system creates this inequality where a man can be of lesser worth than the next...

It is not the monetary system that is at fault. It is genetics. A blind man will never become a neurosurgeon, for example. It's not the fault of the blind man, of course, but neither is it the fault of Adam Smith.

...resulting in different treatment and rights.

Every citizen in a free country such as the US has the same rights as any other citizen.

The existence of poverty proves that we are in fact not equal people...

Correct.

...and that the quality of our lives reflects this sacrilegious truth.

"Sacrilegious"? I need a clarification here.

We are subjects of an artificial system called Capitalism which controls the worth of items based on scarcity and demand for them...

How is this "artificial"? Even in primitive societies an object which is abundant has less value than one which is rare, and objects which are highly-prized have more value than objects which are useless. Only in Marxist societies is an object worth other than what one is willing to trade for it.

... in turn controlling our personal worth and basing it on our possessions and profit-making-potential skills.

Personal worth? No. Economic worth? Yes.

If a person does not have abilities up to par with the rest of the competitive capitalist society then he is forced to make do with what little resources he can accumulate.

As is the case in ALL societies other than Marxist ones. However, please note exactly how few possessions the average Russian was able to accumulate in the ex-USSR.

Unfortunately there are many people in the U.S. who have been unsuccessful in capitalist society and they are forced to suffer without necessary resources.

Define "necessary". Who "forces" them to do without?

In order to solve the problem of poverty, our current economic system will have to change to be able to support those living below the poverty line.

True. The government will have to get out of people's lives and let them do what they already know they need to do to be successful at existing.

Capitalism in its purest form...

Note that the US (or any country on the planet, for that matter) is FAR from being pure Capitalist.

... allows there to be private ownership of property and ideas...

How interesting you choose the word "allows". Why shouldn't I be allowed to keep that which I labor honestly to attain? And I must point out that Capitalism does NOT allow private ownership of ideas. One cannot patent an idea, only a product.

...allowing individuals to compete for economic gain by producing products or services that have demand.

As opposed to producing either nothing at all or things that are not wanted, I suppose. Sounds like the USSR to me.

At first glance, capitalism appears to be the ideal system for a people based around the idea of freedom because it allows people the chance to become successful through their personal financial endeavors...

As opposed to becoming successful through extorting things from others through the government?

... but under closer inspection capitalism keeps them all bound to a system of money which they do not feasibly have the option of leaving.

Currency is nothing more than a medium of exchange. Capitalism does not require currency in order to operate. It is perfectly feasible (though patently absurd) to run a Capitalist society on the barter system.

The people who are inevitably on the losing end of the economic gain spectrum have to rely on charity...

And this is wrong because... ?

... and since September 11th, much funding for not-for-profit organizations that help the poor has been cut due to the government?s reallocation of funds to pay for its war on terrorism.

Where does the government get these funds? From taxpayers. Is it not more efficient for people to hand over this money directly to those in need rather than have 80% of it stick to the fingers of those administering the cumbersome programs?

Besides binding people to money, capitalism runs on the fundamental concept that profit has to be accumulated in order to ensure further rights to production.

If you mean one must accumulate a certain amount of resources before embarking on a profitable enterprise (a factory, for example), you are correct.

This ensures that business will always try to turn a profit...

ALL human existence depends on profit. Profit is defined as that excess of goods not immediately consumed. No excess, no growth. No excess food in the granary, no way to feed the next baby born.

...no matter how great the need is to the people.

Sorry, you lost me there.

This promotes the use of fellow man as springboards for profit...

In pre-industrial societies, this is true. In modern society it makes more sense to buy a machine than to hire another human, at least in the field of actually producing hard goods.

...to reach the top of some imaginary hierarchy where the dollar perhaps grants one into the first class section of heaven, or perhaps a lesser punishment in hell.

Or to simply assure one has enough stashed to ensure one's survival at the point where further labor becomes impossible (retirement) and to assure one's offspring a fighting chance at survival.

Poverty is defined as a scarcity of means of subsistence, indigence, or need. (Webster's) The basic needs for a human to survive without suffering are food, water, and shelter. In modern society, poverty is the scarcity of money which can be used to purchase all forms of subsistence.

This is true of ALL societies who have discovered the advantages of currency, not just modern societies. Plains Indians had wampum, Aztecs had chocolatl, Yaps had big stone disks. Currency existed long before Capitalism was invented.

With little or no money in a society, a person cannot survive long because items such as food and shelter require money to acquire within the bounds of law.

Or goods and/or services with which to barter.

A question that needs to be asked is do these people deserve to starve or become ill from exposure to the cold because our way of life says that each person is responsible for their own survival?

All human existence depends on productive human labor. The only question to be answered is WHOSE labor supports WHOSE existence. A Socialist says my needs should be satisfied by the labor of others. A Capitalist says my needs should be satisfied by my own labor, and possibly supplemented by the VOLUNTARY largesse of others.

If suffering is considered a universally ?bad thing?, why do we promote its existence by participating in a system that directly creates this inequality?

How is inequality of productivity DIRECTLY CREATED by Capitalism?

We as participants of the American way of life tend to earn our financial rewards through various strategic moves we make such as choosing a useful college major and getting a new higher paying job. For someone else to put less effort or exhibit less tact in their lives and still receive similar rewards seems unfair and unjust, but should this other person have to live in the streets or have to collect food from dumpsters because we want to have our distinguishing possessions such as cars, multiple televisions, and that marble tiling in the guest bathroom?

Please explain how my neighbor working twelve hour days so he can buy a car and three TVs forces me to collect food from dumpsters. By what precise mechanism does his success CAUSE my failure?

Somewhere along the line, personal gain became more important than the survival of a stranger...

One must first ensure one's own survival (and attain a modicum of excess disposable goods, i.e. "profit") before one is in a position to be able to aid others. This is why the flight attendants tell you to put on your OWN oxygen mask before helping another less capable individual to do so.

... causing the existence of suffering due to poverty...

I repeat, please explain how some rich yuppie trust-funder who chows down on champagne and caviar prevents me from supporting myself.

... and the overlooking of this problem by nearly all members of the populous that facilitates it.

"Nearly all?" You have proof of that assertion? Statistics show that despite the usurious levels of current taxation in North America, the majority of the employed contribute to charities.

Suffering is obviously not solely caused by poverty as shown by instances of natural disaster such as flooding, drought, spread of disease, and famine. The ability to combat these natural sources of suffering can be attained to a certain degree through proper financial channels as shown when our government issues emergency grants.

Observe that the societies most effective at combatting natural disasters are those with the highest vestiges of Capitalism remaining in their socioeconomic system.

The man-made disaster of poverty far outweighs the occasional natural element...

Poverty is not man-made. Prosperity is man-made. Poverty is the natural state of man in nature. This is easily demonstrated by dropping an individual on a desert island. It takes productive human effort to create the means of survival. The longer one has been at it and the more individuals are involved in it (division of labor) the more successful the climb from poverty becomes.

... but to solve the problem it requires more than just emergency grants. If poverty and the suffering that it causes are to be eliminated, an overhaul of our capitalist system is necessary to focus efforts away from turning a profit and more towards filling the needs of the population as a whole.

Which is impossible without profit.

Previously enacted solution attempts such as welfare, the Matrix program, and the various charities such as the Salvation Army have not removed a significant percentage of their users from poverty.

Which should tell you something. News flash... Marxism doesn't eliminate it either.

Brown said in his global food scarcity report that, ?History judges political leaders by whether or not they respond to the great issues of their time. For today?s leaders, the challenge is to achieve a human balance between food and people on a crowded planet.?

I submit that Capitalism provides the essential environment for those "leaders" to achieve said balance.

In order to achieve this balance, there will have to be many people, including these political leaders, willing to sacrifice some of their wealth to be able to pay for the less fortunate to be provided for so they can maintain at least a minimal survival level.

Perhaps. Let's start with the Statist "leaders" and work our way back from there.

A common misconception about capitalism is that it is the driving force for progress.

Clearly Capitalism per se doesn't provide progress. Freedom does.

Progress is essentially the advancement of technology in society to provide new ways of solving problems and helping people live more comfortable lives. In history, the discoveries that had the biggest positive impacts came from the minds of people who dedicated their lives to their fields of physics, chemistry, and philosophy.

Philosophy? Philosophers such as Thomas Paine and Adam Smith, or such as Karl Marx and Mao Tse Tung?

People such as Euclid, Newton, Franklin, and Einstein were not corporately sponsored nor did they have the intention of benefiting financially on their discoveries.

Euclid was a member of the Greek noble class. Newton and Franklin were quite well-off; they didn't need to benefit financially. Einstein had tenure at a University and was in no danger of starving.

It was the desire to explain and harness the before unknown to satisfy a part of themselves that led them to advancing technology and being able to better explain the universe around them. In contrast to the great minds of the ages, today we have think-tanks that dream up different ways in which the average middle class consumer can spend money making their lives better by having the new diet Pepsi can, 2.5 gigahertz of processor overkill, and pills to keep them erect.

The same thinktanks you disparage produced the transistor, the laser, and most modern pharmaceuticals. Let's not forget that Einstein's discoveries led to the H-bomb, and Euclid's mathematics and Newton's theory of gravity led to the calculations required to accurately target those H-bombs.

It is the drive for more money that creates these minor and quite insignificant improvements in society and keeps us wanting more.

So what? If you don't want a 2.5 gigahertz processor or a bottle of viagra, you are free not to purchase (or even desire) them.

As a result of the conflict with Afghanistan, the U.S. has pledged $297 million in aid to help Afghanistan.

This is an insignificant fraction of what is spent on the poor in the US.

Several million food packets were also air dropped to Afghani refugees throughout the air campaign in Afghanistan, but somehow thousands of homeless Americans were overlooked in someone?s political game to help the suffering people.

The homeless are hardly overlooked. There is probably more spent on the homeless in a day in the US than the price of theose several million food packets.

Ivins puts the class division of society into perspective and the lack of public awareness of such issues when she says, ?We live in a society in which the bad stuff flows downhill, and the people on the bottom are drowning in it.

As is the case in ALL societies throughout history. It is hardly a problem unique to so-called "Capitalist" societies. Note once again that America is FAR from Capitalist.

This is not a story which the corporate media pay attention. Bad demographics doesn?t attract advertisers-not upbeat, no patriotism, too busy with Russell Crowe?s love life.

If this is true, how have I managed to read endless articles about the plight of the homeless in such corporate magazines as Time and Newsweek?

If public attention is not brought to the fact that poverty exists...

I doubt there is a person on the planet who is unaware poverty exists.

...and there are many people suffering as a result of it, the cycle will continue in further generations, progressively getting worse until there is little that can be done to help everyone.

What evidence do you have that the number of poor will increase more rapidly under Capitalism than under any other socioeconomic system?

To change our economic system seems almost unfeasible because capitalism is the only system we?ve ever known...

Again, the US gets increasingly less Capitalist every year. As for the only system we have ever known, that may be true for some Americans, but it's certainly not true of immigrants to America. It's very instructive to read what THEY have to say, such as the article recently posted by Luvdemshrooms titled "I didn't write it but I like it".

...and our limited experience in society has taught us that it is the only reasonable way to facilitate production.

Pure Capitalism is undeniably the most efficient system under which to produce. The fact that some free people choose to produce useless items and others choose to produce nothing at all doesn't alter that fact. That's what freedom means, after all.

Another system that Americans have always known is poverty and maybe one day this will be eliminated when a large portion of the population is actively aware of the number of people it encompasses and its negative impacts on humanity as a whole.

Maybe. At least in a relatively Capitalist society there is a chance of that occurring. In a society dedicated to equal distribution of wealth (i.e the entire Soviet Bloc) there is no chance whatsoever.

pinky



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OfflinePhred
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Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #728686 - 07/07/02 10:12 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

luvdemshrooms writes:

I find it sad that I should be asked to help those I neither know nor care about.

I have no problem with being ASKED. My problem is with being FORCED.

pinky



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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,740
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: On Capitolism, Poverty, and Suffering [Re: Phred]
    #728933 - 07/07/02 12:07 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Pinky, while my response of ?what a load of crap? was shorter and quicker, yours was by far more eloquent and detailed. I admire your patience and well thought out replies. I wish I had your skills.

And you're right.... forced is the correct choice of words and is what I intended, but failed, to write.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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