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Poverty pimps fail again…

The BBC is running a stupid piece titled “Oxfam seeks ‘new deal’ on inequality from world leaders” which makes the idiotic case that:

The 100 richest people in the world earned enough last year to end extreme poverty suffered by the poorest on the planet four times over, Oxfam has said.

Really? For how long? What happens when these poor people spend all their money at the nuddie bar? The mistake made by the class warriors who so hate the rich, is that these wealth redistributionist morons think poverty is caused by a lack of money. Reality is that lack of money is symptom of poverty and a cause, not the effect/reason.

I stand by my belief that if we magically could spread all the world’s wealth equally amongst all people right now, by the end of a week we would yet again have poverty, people demanding they be given more because they are now worse off than others, and despicable scumbags taking advantage of these people that feel entitled people’s stupidity to make themselves even richer.

The poor tend to be poor because they generally are prone to making bad choices, and/or live in places where terrible behavior and denial of freedoms make it impossible for any kind of prosperity. Man is inherently evil, and the left hates that concept because it makes their Utopian view impossible to ever achieve. The best way out of poverty is education and the ability to find work. Not all will succeed, and poverty will never be eradicated. It’s a human condition that will forever be there. What the left wants to do, and frankly has spent the last 100 years doing, always results in the only possible outcome, and a disastrous one: a small group of elite hold tyrannical power over the rest, whom are all poor.

Here is Heinlein on this subject:

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.This is known as “bad luck.”

Frankly, after more than 6 decades of the “War on Poverty”, I think the leftists have given us a lot more of it than we had at any time. Then again, when your jobs is to “fight poverty” fixing that means you are out of a job. I am not saying that anyone can fix poverty, just pointing out the left has created the perfect job for themselves. Poverty will never go away, in fact they have given us more of it, and they are perpetually employed.

37 comments

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  1. CM says:

    Are there new editing rules here? I twice tried to alter my comment (e.g., removing ‘of’) but it remained the same.

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  2. InsipiD says:

    The 100 richest people in the world earned enough last year to end extreme poverty suffered by the poorest on the planet four times over, Oxfam has said.

    Would any liberal media types like to point out to everyone that Obama himself has a half brother (George) in Kenya for whom a 20 every month would be life-changing? Though most of Obama’s family is doing pretty well for Kenyans, George seems to be in the kind of perpetual tight spot that the left tells us is our fault.

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  3. Poosh says:

    And how many of those rich, became so, by creating multiple products services which the poor enjoy and can only get, because of said rich? eh!

    Remove those rich, most of them, and the wealth VANISHES.

    Great post with some harsh truths that don’t often get told.

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  4. CM says:

    Would any liberal media types like to point out to everyone that Obama himself has a half brother (George) in Kenya for whom a 20 every month would be life-changing? Though most of Obama’s family is doing pretty well for Kenyans, George seems to be in the kind of perpetual tight spot that the left tells us is our fault.

    I looked into that last year when MY brought it up. George doesn’t want assistance.

    The BBC is running a stupid piece titled “Oxfam seeks ‘new deal’ on inequality from world leaders” which makes the idiotic case that…..

    That’s not their ‘case’ at all of course, it’s simply a ‘wow fact’ , put forward to try and make people think about the issue. Non-ideological people though, which is why it’s all lost on you (and Poosh).

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  5. CM says:

    The actual report.
    http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/cost-of-inequality-oxfam-mb180113.pdf

    It makes the point that “…. whilst a certain level of inequality may benefit growth by rewarding risk takers and innovation, the levels of inequality now being seen are in fact economically damaging and inefficient. They limit the overall amount of growth, and at the same time mean that growth fails to benefit the majority. Consolidation of so much wealth and capital in so few hands is inefficient because it depresses demand, a point made famous by Henry Ford…”
    It also points out that it’s politically corrosive, socially divisive, and environmentally destructive. But those are results, which ideology is obviously immune to.

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  6. Hal_10000 says:

    OxFam has usually been focused on people building their own salvation, not hand-outs. So, like CM, I think this may have been a wow statement not a statement on policy.

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  7. CM says:

    Won’t matter of a jot. We’re not dealing with reality here, it’s blind ideology.

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  8. Hal_10000 says:

    There are always little changes going on — our posting interface just changed. I suspect that if I ever write something REALLY stupid, I’ll wake up to find all my posts are suddenly in Swahili. ;-)

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  9. AlexInCT says:

    OxFam has usually been focused on people building their own salvation, not hand-outs. So, like CM, I think this may have been a wow statement not a statement on policy.

    I am quite familiar with OxFarm, and it seems both you and CM seem to have failed to grasp that my point was how the BBC chose to report this nonsense and sensationalize the story. My questions and comments stand regardless, though. In your case it might just be you missed it. CM, wouldn’t get a clue even when this stuff beats him over the head into a near coma, because he is a true believer. If you ever need an Exhibit A of progressive zealotry, use CM.

    This idiotic notion that if things where just a little bit more “fair” than they are now – compared to what I ask – that all would be better is pure bullshit. It is a nothing but cover for the people that despise the existing structure and want to put themselves at the top to convince the idiot sheep to let them do more of the same.

    No amount of wealth redistribution or attempts at coercive regulation – always by government agencies that are themselves the height of inefficiency, ineffectiveness, bias, and corruption, with themselves as the only true beneficiaries – will fix poverty or inequality. The fact is that even if we where all created equally, circumstances and our own choices will still come together to have each and every one of us cross the finish line at different times and with different results. Anyone that continues to rail against this and try to force this reality to be different is a moron or a lying manipulator hoping to benefit from the stupid people’s baser drive of envy, jealousy, and greed.

    All these crusaders against poverty have given us is more of it an ungodly, costly, bloated bureaucracy that does nothing but generate more poverty. I don’t like poverty a bit, but I am bright enough to understand that what the progressive poverty pimps are doing was enver about either ending poverty or rolling it back, as they constantly tell us. It’s classic marxist revolution, only sans the violence.

    Won’t matter of a jot. We’re not dealing with reality here, it’s blind ideology.

    Coming from a blind ideological moron like you CM, this is just priceless.

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  10. AlexInCT says:

    There are always little changes going on — our posting interface just changed. I suspect that if I ever write something REALLY stupid, I’ll wake up to find all my posts are suddenly in Swahili. ;-)

    I bet jim updated some plugin recently again :)

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  11. CM says:

    There are always little changes going on — our posting interface just changed. I suspect that if I ever write something REALLY stupid, I’ll wake up to find all my posts are suddenly in Swahili. ;-)

    Where did my post go?
    Is CzarChasm back? ;-)

    CM, wouldn’t get a clue even when this stuff beats him over the head into a near coma, because he is a true believer. If you ever need an Exhibit A of progressive zealotry, use CM.

    And yet all the evidence shows exactly the opposite. You routinely fail to read your own sources, or pretend speculation is fact, and I do neither of those things.

    This idiotic notion that if things where just a little bit more “fair” than they are now – compared to what I ask – that all would be better is pure bullshit.

    More evidence that you didn’t even read the briefing. Or even my quote. Why on earth would you actively want to demonstrate that you can’t even be bothered venturing beyond a headline before making the rest up yourself?

    Coming from a blind ideological moron like you CM, this is just priceless.

    Whatever gets you to sleep at night huh.

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  12. Kimpost says:

    This idiotic notion that if things where just a little bit more “fair” than they are now – compared to what I ask – that all would be better is pure bullshit

    :)

    I see, you’ve got the perfect mix all figured out, huh? No wonder your patience is limited.

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  13. Mississippi Yankee says:

    Are there new editing rules here? I twice tried to alter my comment (e.g., removing ‘of’) but it remained the same.

    I know! I’ve tried to remove your comments before too.

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  14. CM says:

    bada bada bish! ;-)
    (that gets a thumbs up)

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  15. Nexus says:

    Take 10 self made millionairs and 10 poor persons. Strip the self mades of everything and leave them broke and naked at the side of the road. Give all of that wealth to the 10 poor persons.
    Check back in 5 years.
    I would be willing to bet that 8 of the 10 self mades would have made it all back again and 8 of the 10 poor persons would be bankrupt.

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  16. stogy says:

    No amount of wealth redistribution or attempts at coercive regulation – always by government agencies that are themselves the height of inefficiency, ineffectiveness, bias, and corruption, with themselves as the only true beneficiaries – will fix poverty or inequality.

    To some extent you are correct, but most agencies worked this out long ago. They don’t do handouts any more, and avoid programs that create dependency. Instead, they focus on developing capacities of community members to be self-sufficient. I am working with projects doing water and sanitation, early childhood education, disease prevention and conflict management. Most organizations are working in ways that try to keep costs low and maximise benefits to recipients, without creating winners and losers and avoiding handouts. The greediest people are usually not poorest, who really just want a fair go.

    Many of the agencies also try to improve government accountability and performance, often despite the best efforts of the governments concerned – the Nepali Royal Family, for example, used to skim off 10% of all foreign aid and donations from abroad – for doing absolutely nothing! But then the choice is – do you lose 10% to build safe water in a community where 20% of children die before their 5th birthday, or abandon a community’s children to their fate?.

    Having said that, from my experience, programs that are closer to government agencies are often much more likely to be wasteful and poorly managed than small struggling NGOs who have to fight for every penny.

    All these crusaders against poverty have given us is more of it an ungodly, costly, bloated bureaucracy that does nothing but generate more poverty. I don’t like poverty a bit, but I am bright enough to understand that what the progressive poverty pimps are doing was enver about either ending poverty or rolling it back, as they constantly tell us. It’s classic marxist revolution, only sans the violence.

    Are they Alex? We’ve close to halved global poverty in 15 years, infectious diseases are down, we’ve managed to get HIV meds for huge numbers of people across Africa, child and maternal deaths have been halved – in almost every region on earth, because of a binding commitment by governments everywhere to do so (the MDGs), and despite most governments having actually failed to fully fund or honor their commitments – particularly on liberalization of trade rules. It has largely been done with good partnerships between market economics and support from government programs.

    I am not going to begrudge Oxfam their headline moment – it’s more about publicity than a statement of intent.

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  17. stogy says:

    I would be willing to bet that 8 of the 10 self mades would have made it all back again and 8 of the 10 poor persons would be bankrupt.

    That’s because access to capital is only part of what makes people wealthy. Social networks, education, physical health (which begins well before birth), and self-belief all play a major part too.

    So development programs that improve these other things will logically…

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  18. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  19. CM says:

    I also love that you automatically get three thumbs-down for saying something so obvious and inarguable, but inconsistent with a particular ideological mantra. That’s awesome.

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  20. grady says:

    I love this concept that because poverty or inequality can’t be “fixed” or “solved” nobody should do anything

    I don’t think that this is what Alex was saying. There is a world of difference between teaching Haitians how to filter water and providing a check to a 3rd generation welfare recipient who has cable and a cell phone.

    programs that are closer to government agencies are often much more likely to be wasteful and poorly managed than small struggling NGOs who have to fight for every penny.

    It’s why I feel good about donating to my local homeless shelter, but I would never donate to the International Red Cross. There is no ideology in these sentiments. Just an understanding of how my donation may actually be used. I think most of the people on this site would agree with this.

    The 100 richest people in the world earned enough last year to end extreme poverty suffered by the poorest on the planet four times over

    Forcing taxes upon some and then handing out benefits to “those determined to be in need” is the ideology that is being suggested. Stogy’s comments illustrate some idealistic views on how aid can be a positive force. The problem is that you need people who care running the program and very good accountability of the money. I prefer to donate my time and money to causes I believe in.

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  21. stogy says:

    I prefer to donate my time and money to causes I believe in.

    I think that’s perfectly reasonable. I gave money to MSF after the 2004 tsunami. A few weeks later, they tried to give it back to me, saying they had raised more than they needed. They did give me an option to transfer the money to their general programs, which is what I chose to do. And from then on, I was a regular donor (until recently, that is – when I took a huge pay cut).

    The thing I like about MSF is that they generally raise hell with governments who are doing seriously fucked up things. So much so that they are often borderline getting kicked out of countries.

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  22. Iconoclast says:

    I love this concept that because poverty or inequality can’t be “fixed” or “solved” nobody should do anything.

    And I love how some people immediately jump to conclusions based on false dichotomies and indulge in straw man arguments.

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  23. CM says:

    And I love how some people immediately jump to conclusions based on false dichotomies and indulge in straw man arguments.

    Nothing false about it, and it’s not a straw man argument. When has Alex ever advocated doing anything about inequality or poverty? He ALWAYS makes the same argument – that it’s pointless. He ALWAYS claims that people want to “solve” it, but because you can’t, it’s pointless. But you love away.

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  24. stogy says:

    He ALWAYS makes the same argument – that it’s pointless.

    And that’s exactly the point – it’s not pointless – particularly when it relates to the structural rather than individual problems that keep people poor – disease, lack of education, lack of access to credit. Governments, NGOs, private companies can all help.

    And here’s a great story that shows EXACTLY what I am talking about.

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  25. AlexInCT says:

    And that’s exactly the point – it’s not pointless – particularly when it relates to the structural rather than individual problems that keep people poor – disease, lack of education, lack of access to credit.

    Oh hooey.

    This sounds like excuse making where you actually are blaming the consequences of stupid/bad choices for the condition. These people tend to suffer from disease, lack of education, and lack of credit, not because these things are not available, but because THEY MAKE THE WRONG CHOICES AND THEN END UP SUFFERINg FROM THESE PROBLEMS. They are poor because of choices, just like they end up without education, credit, or become sick.

    Let’s look at this point by point.

    Disease * simply put, when you, in general, engage in any and all practices and risky behaviors, for the quick gratification of all reasons, regardless of the risk tied to the behavior – things like smoking, eating fast food, and then in large quantities, not exercising, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and so forth – you ARE going to get sick. Not because you are poor, but because you make poor choices.

    It is not like we do not know these behaviors cause problems. And yet, these people engage in them generation after generation. And they keep doing it even though they are bombarded constantly with information of how detrimental and destructive their bad choices are. They are not poor because they are sick. They are poor because they make horrible choices that get them sick.

    Lack of education * It is not coincidental that the most poorly performing schools tend to be those attended by these poor people, and that they also are the ones with the highest per pupil costs on the tax payer, relatively speaking.

    Leftards tell us that we simply are not spending enough on these poor souls. The problem really is that no matter how great & accessible the educational opportunity is made, these people simply see zero value in it and act accordingly. Those that actually realize education is the way out of the poverty morass are harassed by their peers that just use school as a babysitting & food program. And the problem is more than just the kids in school and starts with the parents whom all feel education is uppity and a waste of time.

    They are not poor because they can’t get an education. They are poor because they make horrible choices regarding education or things that impact their ability to get educated, and then end up unable to do any real jobs that can help them move out of poverty.

    Lack of credit * Are you seriously going to pretend this would solve any fucking thing after the lessons we should have learned from the housing market collapse we just went through? You do see that they are not given credit for the same reason you do not let a child molester interact with kids?

    Again, they are poor because they make horrible financial choices that would preclude any lender from giving credit because that wouldn’t even qualify as a poor investment. That’s why the left gives these people handouts instead of credit. They know they can never be paid back, not because these people are poor, but because they are going to make poor choices with the money that never will return any value.

    Understanding poverty is not a question of ideology. But I understand perfectly why you want us to believe that the problem is caused by the actual consequences of bad behavior, instead of admitting these are symptoms of something else. You can then pretend that if you offer the usual leftist canards as fixes – free healthcare, even more money for education, and more socio-engineering and wealth redistribution schemes – you can solve the problem. But if you admit the problem is that these people are prone to bad decisions and that in general few of them will ever overcome that shortcoming, there is no cure. And then the leftist government/nanny state machine basically is dead in the water and a giant waste of resources.

    The only true cure for poverty, no matter how cruel it makes me sound, is to identify the people that actually do the right things to avoid or rise out of poverty and help them out, while accepting that some people will never, ever, be able to escape poverty because of their own shortcomings and choices. And nothing, absolfuckinglotelynothing, we do, can help those people that refuse to change their ways. Ever. Of course, that revelation would be the end of the nanny state and the left’s lucrative poverty pimping machine, so forget about it ever happening.

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  26. CM says:

    Alex you appear to believe that the “extreme poverty” Oxfam is talking about is in the US, not Africa etc (unless you honestly believe that people in Kenya’s slums simply make bad decisions which lead to them having no decent toilets).
    This is how far away from comprehension you are.

    Understanding poverty is not a question of ideology.

    Exactly. Which is why you’re always getting it so badly wrong. As with everything, you can only view it from a deeply-ideological position. You’re trapped, just as many in poverty are.

    Don’t worry though, I’m sure Iconoclast will swoop in again to pick up my spelling errors ;-)

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  27. Argive says:

    Alex you appear to believe that the “extreme poverty” Oxfam is talking about is in the US, not Africa etc (unless you honestly believe that people in Kenya’s slums simply make bad decisions which lead to them having no decent toilets).

    They sold all their toilets for plasma TVs just as their countryman Barack instructed. I mean, DUH.

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  28. AlexInCT says:

    Alex you appear to believe that the “extreme poverty” Oxfam is talking about is in the US, not Africa etc (unless you honestly believe that people in Kenya’s slums simply make bad decisions which lead to them having no decent toilets).

    Actually CM, I absolutely believe the people living in Kenyan slums make bad decisions. The places where you have the most extreme poverty tend to be the very ones with the most corrupt and evil rulerships and the most idiotic and poverty inducing societal norms possible. In these places governments play western liberal idiots like the fools they are. From the idiotic lie that these countries are in bad shape because of colonialism, to the guilt trips that result in westerners giving huge sums of money that then end up stolen by these crooks. Clannish behavior sets group against group, in ways that guarantee progress is all but unattainable, thus continually destroying any potential to grow wealth. Nothing has been more destructive than the handouts to these third world countries.

    The worst mistake ever perpetuated on these people was the idiotic moral cultural relativism imposed by the left. Some systems are frankly miles beyond others, and as long as we keep pretending that these backward ones are just as good as the things that brought prosperity to the west we do nothing but encourage these people to stay poor. Heinlein got it right: poverty is the human condition, because humans tend to be idiots.

    Understanding poverty is not a question of ideology.

    Exactly. Which is why you’re always getting it so badly wrong. As with everything, you can only view it from a deeply-ideological position. You’re trapped, just as many in poverty are.

    You are a fucking moron. Poverty is caused by people doing or choosing bad things, usually in the pursuit of instant gratification, and then being hosed by the consequences of those choices. I understand some people are born into it, usually because of the mistakes of others, and they will never find an escape, but that is because they repeat the same mistakes as those that caused them to be born to it. No amount of wealth redistribution or other nonsensical leftist big government projects will EVER make fucking dent in poverty, either the one in Kenya or the one in Detroit, but then again, that was never the intention anyway. Most of these government programs do more to perpetuate poverty, but tha is by design. youa re not going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

    The best way to address poverty is to leave the stupid people to their own devices and help the few that want to get out of it. It might sound like cruel darwinism, but nothing cures stupid like it costing you your life.

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  29. Section8 says:

    Holy Jesus Alex seriously?

    While I do agree forced wealth redistribution will not solve the problem, denying there is a problem is crazy. How is some kid in some rundown village supposed to instantly figure out how to be prosperous? I mean maybe if things were that simple we could just drop leaflets from some planes, and assuming they can read them we could have this whole problem wrapped up in no time, and damn near for free. Now as far as the poor here in the States, yeah I think a lot of it has to do with bad policies, and given there are far more resources here, there are quite a few that have either made their own hell or have been convinced that’s the best they can do. After decades of pure leftist influence in the inner cities here, maybe some on the right should seriously start asking these folks what have the liberal power brokers really accomplished for them. Instead they are just blown off by the right, and the left with their unchallenged propaganda just get a free ride with a loyal voting base.

    Man is inherently evil, and the left hates that concept because it makes their Utopian view impossible to ever achieve.

    Also, I disagree that man is inherently evil. It would make no sense to believe there should be as few laws as possible and minimal government if people genetically lack the ability to behave themselves. I would think the thought that man is inherently evil would fit more with the nanny state, or let’s vote in an all knowing all caring genius to rule us kind of ideology. To me the man is evil belief fits more with the leftist Utopian view as well as the social conservative right. If only we were just smart enough just elect god-like men….

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  30. CM says:

    Holy Jesus Alex seriously?

    Seriously. Ideology leads down no-exit roads where you inevitably end up making no sense whatsoever.

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  31. Mississippi Yankee says:

    How is some kid in some rundown village supposed to instantly figure out how to be prosperous?

    How about survival? Higher brain function?
    Do you believe the “out of Africa” theory? If so then ‘some kid in some rundown village’, millions of years ago, made the decision to get out of Dodge. And he along with equally intelligent peers flourished. Some of them even came together and eventually made YOU!

    So why, after millions of years, are some folks STILL living in grass huts and pissin’ and poopin’ in their own cheerios?
    I think that most of the cute little quips of the day that are in the right-hand column answers this question.

    Isn’t doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome a sign of insanity.

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  32. Iconoclast says:

    Nothing false about it, and it’s not a straw man argument.

    Utterly predictable knee-jerk denial noted and dismissed.

    When has Alex ever advocated doing anything about inequality or poverty? He ALWAYS makes the same argument – that it’s pointless.

    What Alex allegedly ALWAYS does is irrelevant. I was responding to your response to Nexus’ observation. Nexus may or may not be in 100% agreement with Alex, which is why bringing up Alex when the discussion is about Nexus’ comments is a straw man. Also, since Nexus may or may not agree with Alex 100%, the notion that the only alternative to doing the liberal redistribution shuffle is “doing nothing” is likewise a false dichotomy.

    In addition, Alex did write the following:

    The best way out of poverty is education and the ability to find work.

    This sounds like Alex is advocating education as part of the ticket out of poverty. Agree or disagree with the assertion all you want, it is still a far cry from “ALWAYS” advocating “doing nothing”.

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  33. stogy says:

    I don’t even know where to start with this, but start I shall:

    Disease * simply put, when you, in general, engage in any and all practices and risky behaviors, for the quick gratification of all reasons, regardless of the risk tied to the behavior – things like smoking, eating fast food, and then in large quantities, not exercising, sexual promiscuity, drug use, and so forth – you ARE going to get sick. Not because you are poor, but because you make poor choices.

    A child born to a mother who dies in childbirth infected with HIV caught vertically from his mother who had NO CHOICE about catching the disease because she was married off by her father at a young age because he didn’t have the money to support two daughters, to a man who engaged in transactional sex with other hungry women in return for food . Who’s to blame here? How do you say that is the child’s fault? The mother’s fault? Her father’s fault? Her dipshit husband’s fault?

    Are you seriously going to deny the child access to immunization because it doesn’t fit your theory?

    Marriage is THE BIGGEST RISK FACTOR for HIV for women in sub-Saharan Africa, but they are locked into an economic and social system that offers them no way out without help from abroad.

    Lack of education * It is not coincidental that the most poorly performing schools tend to be those attended by these poor people, and that they also are the ones with the highest per pupil costs on the tax payer, relatively speaking.

    In India, salaries for teachers are so low that teachers take on other work in order to survive. Many teachers, in fact, don’t turn up for school at all. So the kids don’t either. Hungry kids don’t learn anything anyway – particularly if they have illnesses caused by malnutrition and lack of basic medicines. Aboriginal children in Australia often don’t learn because they contract otitis media, and are functionally deaf before they ever enter the classroom. Their parents don’t have the skills to identify the disease at an early enough point that they can get treatment.

    But let’s blame the kids and their parents as well. They need to get jobs and an education.

    Lack of credit * Are you seriously going to pretend this would solve any fucking thing after the lessons we should have learned from the housing market collapse we just went through? You do see that they are not given credit for the same reason you do not let a child molester interact with kids?

    New non-profit institutions like the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh are giving people access to small loans for business expansion, schooling, to carry people through bad times such as harvest failures and family illnesses. Most of the research on developing countries shows that the poor are often very sophisticated users of micro-credit, and that until recently their have been no banks that were willing to lend to them.

    Actually, Padders (who used to frequent these parts) put me onto a micro-lending site called KIVA a couple of years back, and since then I have been loaning money to poor communities all around the world ever since. I have never lost a penny to the groups or individuals that I loan to. Loans are often given to women rather than men (raising their status in the household) because repayment rates are far higher – and because the political groups that the women join challenge traditional power relationships in the communities, giving women more decision-making roles. Women were also much more likely to spend proceeds on their families, rather than alcohol or gambling.

    Microloans are exactly the kind of thing that has enabled the building of local economies without creating dependency. They give communities a chance to accumulate capital without crippling interest rates that decimate profits. They are not a perfect solution – you still need access to healthcare, education and a politically stable environment for them to work.

    Poverty is caused by people doing or choosing bad things, usually in the pursuit of instant gratification, and then being hosed by the consequences of those choices. I understand some people are born into it, usually because of the mistakes of others, and they will never find an escape, but that is because they repeat the same mistakes as those that caused them to be born to it.

    Poverty is caused BOTH by individual decisions and structural deficiencies in society – you can’t blame women who have been bought and sold as commodities for their situations, you can’t blame children who never had a chance because their father dies from malaria leaving the family destitute, having spent everything they have on his medical bills, you can’t blame farmers who have been thrown off their land due to ethnic conflicts, you can’t blame children for not going to school when the only way their family eats is for them all to sit by the side of the road cracking rocks into gravel.

    I am sorry that this doesn’t fit in with your ideological standpoint. But the reality and the evidence is all saying that good government policies working with NGOs and private businesses together can and do have a huge impact on poverty.

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  34. Argive says:

    Excellent post, stogy. This reminds me of a joke about Mobutu Sese Seko. One day some other tinpot kleptocrat called Mobutu, pleading with him for help:

    “The rebels have routed my army! They’re on their way to the capital and will be here tomorrow! You have to do something!”

    Mobutu chuckled and replied, “I told you not to build roads.”

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  35. AlexInCT says:

    While I do agree forced wealth redistribution will not solve the problem, denying there is a problem is crazy.

    S8,

    Are you saying I said poverty was not a problem? I thought I came across very clear that the fact is poverty can never be done away with, and that anyone pretending otherwise is not being honest or has an ulterior motive. Our focus should be to help the people that want out of it and will work to do so, instead of growing the numbers through handouts and other such schemes that pretend social justice is what will magically fix things.

    How is some kid in some rundown village supposed to instantly figure out how to be prosperous?

    I guess you missed me pointing out that I empathized with these disadvantaged people, but firmly believed we where doing them far more harm than good with our current bullshit policies that supposedly are in place to help? All these wealth redistribution schemes serve to make some people rich and do very little for the poor other than make them dependant.

    BTW, I have seen kids in many of these hell holes in Asia, South or Central America, and even in the Middle East figure out the way out of their horrible condition was hard work and education. Unfortunately, the majority never will understand this or be able to do it. That’s because the lure of instant gratification is incredibly hard to overcome. These people end up corrupted by baser instincts and become dependant on handouts, always needing more while propagating more poverty.

    I mean maybe if things were that simple we could just drop leaflets from some planes, and assuming they can read them we could have this whole problem wrapped up in no time, and damn near for free.

    My point is precisely that while understanding the underlying reasons for poverty is incredibly simple exercise in logic, there is no solution any external agent can ever apply to affect it. The only people that can get out of poverty will be those that resist most of human nature’s need for instant gratification, and work their way out. Can you give them some help? Sure. Build them schools, get them some clean water, and help their countries abandon everything liberals believe in. But the fact remains, and I stand by my point, that the most destructive thing ever in the battle to get out of poverty that these poor people are hobbled by are the wealth redistribution schemes the left swears by. It’s the whole “teach a person to fish versus give them a fish to eat” paradigm.

    Also, I disagree that man is inherently evil.

    I guess you have lived a relatively sheltered life then if you missed this. My experience dissuaded me from the belief man was not evil by the age of 13.

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  36. AlexInCT says:

    This sounds like Alex is advocating education as part of the ticket out of poverty. Agree or disagree with the assertion all you want, it is still a far cry from “ALWAYS” advocating “doing nothing”.

    Icononclast,

    You are correct. Education is key. Not he left’s bullshit indoctrination. We have cursed 3 or 4 generations of people in the less developed country with the bullshit the left has bandied about as education for the last 8 or so decades. Multiculturalism, relativism all forms of collectivism, starting with the hard core communist and fascist systems, all the way to the soft fascism of the liberal west, anti-capitalism, and many other such nonsense special interest schemes like global cooling or warming, combined with faux concern, all have combined to devastate these poor people.

    What these poor third world countries need are freedom, capitalism, less corrupt and all powerful leftist governments, security, the understanding that the west got prosperous and modern because it abandoned the stupid clannish and backward practices that our modern day leftards tell us are all the equivalent of our system – back in the day, not today, mind you, since we are about as dysfunctional as these other cultures – and no tolerance on our part for those that want to drag these places back to the middle ages.

    All the wealth redistribution schemes in the world will do NOTHING to fix poverty. That is a fact. After more than a century of these schemes and scams we have more poverty than ever. The mountain of evidence is just overwhelming. But the left keeps pretending that the cure is more of the same, becase this time it will solve it, just like the idiots that tell us communism has never been given a far shake because the right people where not in charge of it. It is just stupid. The things that would seriously dampen poiverty – notice I say dampen, because I do not believe it can ever be done away with – are anathema to the left.

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  37. AlexInCT says:

    Are you seriously going to deny the child access to immunization because it doesn’t fit your theory?

    Last I saw it was their own people that denied them the immunization, not me Stogy. But you can try to pretend that because I say giving people handouts, after taking money from others, will do nothing to stop poverty, that I want to deny them everything. In fact, I want to torture them and kill them all. I eat babies! YEAAARGH! (the Dean scream). It’s the same fucking stupid tactic that I have to want nothing if I point out most of what we are doing is broke.

    Also, who invented that HIV vaccine your example speaks off? Maybe I missed that. And what gave you the impression that I blame the child for the mistakes of the parents? That’s how liberals think. Your side is the one that is all for punishing unborn babies, not me. So spare me the attempt to paint yourself like fucking mother Theresa and me like the evil ogre. Your side has killed more kids than the fucking backward idiots that go to great lengths denying their own people vaccines because of some conspiracy theory.

    And there is a HUGE difference between providing immunizations, building schools that teach these kids things of value, providing infrastructure and clean water, and so on, practically always done by some religious organization, and the wealth redistribution schemes run by governments that the left wants more of. But I am the bad guy because I point out wealth redistribution schemes only serve to make more poverty.

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