Re: One humanity, all in the same boat

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 02:45:06 MST

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

>>Are you denying that people today, even quite a few right here
>>in the US of A, have insufficient clothing, housing and
>>nutrition to even be healthy, much less participate fully?
>>What you say may be true but it does not automatically work out
>>that everyone gets what they need or the means to earn what they
>>need either. That is my point. What do you think should be
>>done in such cases? Are our theories of how it should work out
>>to be clung to even while people, some of them children in our
>>own country, are in this shape?
> Certainly, there are poor. It is also an undeniable fact that
> the freest economies in the world have the fewest poor and the
> richest poor. There is so much surplus food here that the poor
> in America are more likely to suffer from obesity than starvation;
> housing and health care are the biggest problems. It's no
> accident that food is almost a free market but housing and
> health care are heavily regulated.

So are you agreeing or denying than even in the free-market
(relatively) of food that there are shortfalls suffered by even
some American citizens including children?

Also, how do you account for the incredible amount of public and
private debt in this country and its deleterious effects (around
$6 trillion in federal debt alone, nearly 40% of the
non-stolen-from-trust funds part held by foreign interests).
Some urls about the debt and about the not so rosy sides of life
in supposed the most capitalist and free-market of countries
follow. They are simply a currentl reading list and not at all
giving coverage of the downside or even the all of those I have

We have deeply mortgaged our own future and chained ourselves
more than a little. And the above does not take into account
the trillions of additional indebtedness at the state and local
level. Note the first of these links showing the stagnation of
median income and the overall economic weakness of the middle
class. Clearly something is not so rosy in this supposed best
of economies.

>>I see the arguments for the
>>goodness of the theory and I see the suffering ones at the same
>>time. I do not know if I have the best answer but I think I
>>have a very valid question that cannot be easily swept aside by
>>mere theory.
> Dammit, I'm not the one offering empty theories, you are.
> I'm talking about the actual evidence available to anyone
> who will just open their eyes: look at the conditions
> of /everyone/ on the planet and reason from that evidence.
> Sure, there is suffering; but a rational human being has to
> compare what suffering exists under our present system to that
> under other systems, draw inferences about what makes them
> different, and then extrapolate to what we can improve. The
> facts--not theory, facts--are that free markets feed people,
> and to the extent that we still have failures, there are
> clearly regulatory obstacles to real solutions.

See the links above before you start cursing. The evidence is
not overwhelmingly in favor of what you claim. Your blanket
assertions are not "facts".

> Crying "something must be done" doesn't even rise to the
> level of coherent theory--it's just an emotional reaction.
> There's nothing wrong with compassion, but compassion feeds
> the same number of people as "theory"--i.e., none. But at
> least the theory has a historical record leading to more
> people being fed than at anytime in history. I don't
> support the free market because it's a pretty theory. I
> support it because it is /proven/ to work in /reality/.

I am pointing out that your theory is very nice but it does not
actually lead to the results you seem to believe it should or in
any event it is not reasonably uniformly doing so at this time.
And besides, the subject is not free-market theory but what you
propose to do when people, real people, fall through the cracks.
  There are many possible answers and many more I would find
reasonable with some justification than you might suppose from
your apparent opinion of where I am coming from, but I will not
just quietly allow not even acknowledging there are real
problems not yet addressed and not necessarily covered by the

>>Go look at the homeless and then claim this. Go look at the
>>projects a bit more closely. Look into the some of the
>>one-parent homes that now do not qualify for welfare and can
>>find no work or source of income equal to what they once had.
>>Are you ignoring them or claiming they don't exist or that they
>>are not relevant?
> You're not listening: what I'm claiming is that the best way
> to help them is to remove the /cause/ oftheir poverty by making
> the economy more free, and to trust in compassionate humans
> like youand me to fill the gaps where needed. Voluntary
> compassion works, I only oppose compassion at gunpoint, like
> welfare programs and housing projects and other proven failures.

A more free economy doesn't really say much unless you say in
what ways you will do this and also in what ways you will keep
these people from very dire consequences while the changes to
the economy take effect and hopefully help. It might be that
public programs are a bust universally but I don't think the
case is airtight against them at this point. It might be that
we are as yet too poor to insure that no one strarves, at least
not in America, or is homeless. But the issue needs to be faced
and we need to know what we are about including its consequences
to real people.

>>Sorry. The real world does not work like your ideals. Not even
>>here. Certainly not in less developed countries. So what
>>happens to these people while we wait for your theory to work?
>>What happens if your theory is wrong?
> The "real world" has /proven/ to work more by my "ideals" than
> by what I'm assuming are yours--and I'm assuming because you
> haven't actually offered any solutions yourself. Certainly now,

I don't claim to have solutions but I point out that you haven't
offered any either except theories you already believe have
everything covered and where they don't it is just because the
theory is not applied consistently and universally enough.
Which of course is the same thing the communists used to say
about their theories. I am asking that you say what you believe
should be done about the people who are falling through the
cracks and especially what should be done if the number of
people who do not find "service" jobs and do not have
competitive technological skills increases as I believe it
inevitably will. I haven't seen you even acknowledge the
problem yet.

> and in the period during which we create a more free economy,
> compassionate people will have to help those in need--I've never
> said anything different. But it is a moral imperative to fight
> the /cause/ of poverty, and to improve the condition of the
> future, and I am doing that--by fighting government regulation
> and restrictions on free trade--because my conscience demands
> it. To do anything less would be an empty, false pretense of
> compassion, not the real thing.

All of that sounds fine in principle. But what will you do
about the huge debts we are under? They are eating away at our
properity. What will you do when/if the number of people
working and with the means to help those not working goes below
the amount that by any stretch of the imagination can cover
thsoe without jobs? What will you do when the federal debt is
so high that even the interest on it swamps taxes collected and
all the boomers retire and expect the money that has been
siphoned off into the debt?

It would be nice if there are clean, easy, straight-forward
answers. But I do not know of them if there are such.

- samantha

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