• Poverty

Will the US end its own poverty?

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βˆ™ 2011-09-13 18:23:33

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Poverty could get worseI hate to be negative but I think the answer is NO. As I write this Israel and Hezbollah are at war. The countries of the Middle East and the people of the Middle East hate us very much for supporting Israel and for being Westerners (who they consider to be Christian, immoral and wealthy).

I believe we will be brought down by Economics rather than "smart bombs". Without oil we can't produce our "Barbie Dolls" (saw this on CNN) not to mention that our entire ecomomey could come to a standstill if the Arab countries came together and decided to cut us off.

Also I don't believe our Government cares enough about the poor. Only when people are dying of starvation on the streets will they decide to "discuss the matter".

Before there can be help for poverty there must be a "cultural change". We are shamefully behind in education. We have to import Indians to do our computer work. We need Mexicans to work our fields because we don't want to do it, no matter how badly unemployed we are. Instead we prefer to have SUV's, fast computer for gaming, cellphones and Blackberry technology before we can think about the poor. Also I belive it cannot be done with our current president. Bush does not seem to be a problem solver.

Notice that we never had "street people" before Regan decided not to fund (waste money) on keeping those with mental illness in institutions. Now people sleep in gutters.

Until Americans are willing to change and perhaps give a lot of though and empathy for the poor there will be no end.

A related question is "Can anyone end poverty?". The problem here is that "poverty" is a moving target, relative to what everyone else in a society has. An American in poverty is significantly better off than much of the rest of the world, in absolute terms. Likewise, what is today "poverty" in the US would likely be considered quite well off in then 1850s USA.

In reality, the only way to "end poverty" is to have a relatively flat distribution of wealth - that is, to have all members of society have relatively (not exactly) equal amounts of wealth. Once again, how flat this distribution would have to be is debatable. In my opinion, I would say that poverty would be eliminated when no one person has less than 75% of the statistical MEAN income of the country, but that's just my arbitrary line.

Due to the design of a capitalistic system, we're unlikely to ever eliminate poverty. Even countries with significant social safety nets (those with a heavy socialism component to their society) have been unable to eliminate poverty. Until we (humanity) can come up with a functioning replacement for capitalism as an economic system, poverty will remain.

2011-09-13 18:23:33
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