Site Meter Ogre's Politics & Views: Homespun Blogger Symposium XXXIII

Time again for the weekly Homespun Blogger Symposium. Each week the Homespun Bloggers ask a question of the members of that group and those who desire to can respond on their own blog to the question.

Links are posted to others' answers to the questions. Feel free to join in!

This week's question:

How do "we" eliminate the "deep, persistent poverty having roots in racial discrimination" such as we've seen in the Gulf Coast region over the past three weeks?

I question the question. The premise of the question is simply wrong. The question assumes that "we" CAN eliminate poverty, and it claims that poverty is caused by racial discrimination. I'm sorry, but both of those positions are simply wrong.

Poverty is a result of personal choices.

This is America, 2005. There is NOT institutional racism that keeps people from getting ahead simply because they are black. If that were true, there would be NO blacks in any positions of power. If there is rampant, institutional racism that causes poverty, someone explain to me how

oneal_merrilllynch.jpgStanley O'Neal became Chief Operating Officer of Merrill Lynch;

Ken Chenault become Chief Executive Officer of American Express;

Richard Parsons became Chief Executive Officer of AOL Time Warner;

Franklin Raines became Chief Executive Officer of Fannie Mae;

Thomas Jones became Chief Executive Officer of Global Investments for Citigroup;

Bruce Gordon became the President of Retail Markets for Verizon;

Adebayo Ogunlesi became the Head of Investment Banking for First Boston;

Calvin Darden became Senior Vice President of Operations for UPS;

Vernon Jordon became Senior Managing Director for Lazard LLC;

Oprah Winfrey became Chairman and CEO of Harpo, Inc;

Lloyd Trotter became President and CEO of General Electric;

John Thompson became CEO of Symantec;

William Lewis became Head of Banking for Morgan Stanley;

Ray Wilkins became Group President for SBC Communications;

Alfred Zollar became General Manager of Lotus Software for IBM;

Eula Adams became Senior Executive Vice President for First Data Corp;

Arnold Donald became CEO for Merisant;

Myrtle Potter became the Chief Operating Officer for Genenetech;

Rod Adkins became General Manager of Pervasive Computing for IBM;

Brenda Gaines became President of the Diners Club of North America?

Every single one of those listed above are blacks. If being black causes poverty, then how is this possible? Simple -- it's not. Your race has nothing to do with whether you live in poverty -- your personal choices do.

However, if you choose to drink alcohol, do drugs, have unprotected sex, drop out of high school, have sex before marriage, raise children without a father, collect welfare instead of working, then you are going to live in poverty, no matter your race!

Poverty is caused by personal choices, not by race or racial discrimination.

The question also presumes that "we" can eliminate poverty. Poverty cannot be eliminated on this world. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply wrong, and has not looked at attempts throughout the history of man to do so. No one has ever come close.

There have been attempts to eliminate poverty. All of them have been horrible, horrible experiments ending in the deaths of millions of innocent people. When one attempts to eliminate poverty, it is always done without the basic understanding of the source of poverty as outlined above.

This is a basic misunderstanding of people that has been around since various philosophers confused people and rejected God. Once philosophers set up man as God and defined the world around man, these same philosophers decided that man was inherently good. If man was good then evil and bad could only come from environment.

Therefore, if there is evil in the world, it is society that is creating that evil, not individuals. If society has created the evil, then government can right the evil using force and everyone will be good once again. This is the basis of all liberal, socialist, and communist governments -- that man is good and society causes all evil.

Under this belief system, no one can be held responsible for their own actions, because they didn't do anything wrong -- they only did wrong because society and those around him forced him to do wrong.

This is completely backwards thinking. Instead, man is inherently lazy and evil. People have to work hard to defeat that evil and do good. People have the entire responsibility of their own actions. People can choose to be good and do right, or people can choose to be evil and do wrong. People can choose the options that will lead them to poverty, or they can choose options that lead them out of poverty.

Once you understand that poverty is the result of personal, individual choices and decisions, you realize there is only one way to eliminate it: take away those choices.

Socialist and communist ideas often focus on the elimination of poverty. Unfortunately, a large majority of America today apparently also believes that it is possible to eliminate poverty. It has been tried, and it has failed. To truly eliminate poverty, a government, through the application of force, would have to eliminate the choices that lead to poverty.

To attempt to eliminate poverty, government would have to ban alcohol. They'd have to interdict all commerce across the border to ensure no drugs would enter the country. They would have to scan and analyze every square inch of the surface area of the country constantly to ensure no drugs were grown or created.

Government would have to force everyone to attend school for 16 or more years and ensure that every single student learned. Those who were not capable of learning would have to be eliminated or given large amounts of cash for their entire life.

Government would have to regulate not only families, but sex between adults. Government would be required to ensure that sex only occurred from completely disease-free adults that were having sex to procreate in the bounds of a marriage.

If something happened to one of the adults in the marriage, the government would have to intervene and force another adult to join the marriage. The government would have to ensure all the marriages were between two people who cared about themselves, each other, the family, and were happy.

Of course, to do all this would take HUGE amounts of money. Since government does not have any money, government would have to take that money from people who produce. Those who did not produce would get larger and larger amounts of cash from the producers. If a person stopped producing, they would simply get cash anyway.

With government severely punishing those who produce, the number of non-producers would continue to grow. At some point, the system would collapse, as the producers reached a point where they could not support the non-producers.

This has been tried before by governments around the world and throughout history. In fact, America has tried this in one way or another with Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty." How's that working out? There are more people in poverty now than there ever have been.

No one on this earth can stop poverty.

Most of the current attempts to "end poverty" by government actually does the opposite and encourages and increases poverty. Giving people money for not working only acts as incentive to continue to not work. It doesn't matter how little money it is -- when a person is provided with housing for free and cash for free, they would rather do nothing than work -- especially when most of the entry-level jobs are hard work.

When people are shown that there are no consequences to their actions, they have no incentive to stop doing that action -- giving drug addicts free counseling, free housing, free medical care, and even free needles only encourages them to continue their habits and choices which continue to hold them in the grip of poverty.

Trying to stop poverty is impossible. To attempt to try and stop it is wrong because any attempt will take away freedom from those not in poverty and freedom of choice for those in poverty.

(This post linked to: GM's Birthday Party, Euphoric Reality's drop zone, Basil's Lunch, and Outside the Beltway.

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