Re: A Challenge To All Extropians

ChuckKuecker (
Sat, 16 May 1998 07:50:20 -0500

At 08:39 PM 5/15/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Paul Hughes:
>>If their conclusion is the latter, then it's a major blow to any free-market
>>principle. At this point, why would the rest of us give a damn about
>>free-markets when it means increasing numbers of people will suffer? If
>>are standing behind their principles of insisting on free-markets despite
>>large loss of human life, what does this say about them? This is the *real*
>>isssue I'm forcing.
>The flaw in all this is the assumption that the fate of the poor is deeper
>poverty. Yes, the rich get richer, and faster than the poor get richer,
>and if the rich get richer faster, the rich accumulate an increasing
>fraction of all the wealth - so eventually the top 1% may have 99% of the
>resources, but the average wealth of the bottom 1% in the future may be
>where the top 10% are now. To paraphrase George Orwell, we all get more
>prosperous, and some of us prosper more than others...

Well put. The poorest people in America now are living better than the
poorest people of 100 years ago. This is in a material sense and as relates
to healthcare, nutrition, etc.

I think that there's a different level of poverty that is growing in our
society. Spiritual or mental poverty appears to be on the rise. The worst
cases I have heard of are in the CHA's high rise slums in Chicago. These
places tend to collect the most impoverished people the world has ever
seen. They have heat, electricity, plumbing, TVs, phones, mail service,
public education, elevators (when they work), cars, public transportation,
free medical clinics, and welfare payments.

These 'new poor' do not have hope, or respect, in many cases no self
respect. They tend to become criminals and addicts at high rates.

I don't believe this rise in 'poverty' has anything to do with wealth and
its' distribution. I think it has everything to do with the way our
government has handled traditional poverty. The 'war on some drugs' is a
prime candidate for blame here, as is the welfare system.

Chuck Kuecker