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armyowalgreens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 11:12 PM
Original message
Poverty is synthetic...
Edited on Mon Sep-21-09 11:13 PM by armyowalgreens
It does not need to be. It is not a natural process of the human event. It is not unavoidable.

It has been constructed by a faulty system and is maintained by men. Poverty must exist so that the bourgeoisie may maintain exceptionalism.

What is the root cause of poverty (lack of resources)? It is the lack of wealth.

In a system constructed around the idea that everything has a price, those who cannot pay do not live well. They remain ignorant and dependent. Their ignorance masks the real nature of their oppression. Their dependence on the perceived charitable system leaves them in a perpetual state of poverty.

And so the cycle continues. Poverty breeds ignorance and illness. Ignorance and illness breed poverty.

The solution seems so simple. If lack of wealth is the root cause, we must examine the properties of wealth in order to figure out a way to bring it to the impoverished.

What is wealth?

Wealth is a measure of perceived value. We manifest wealth physically through capital. Capital can be things like property or money. Wealth is a subjective term. Therefore, the value of money is completely dependent on perception.

Most importantly, wealth is an infinite resource. It is a concept and is therefore not constrained to the physical world. We can define wealth at any measure that we please.

This is why I find it so both absurd and sad when I see the contraction of industry (aka recession or depression).

Resources have not necessarily shrunk in availability. That simply could not explain such a drastic contraction.

No, what we are being told is that the recession is being caused by the loss of wealth.

We have workers. We have factories. The workers are willing to work in the factories. But the employers cannot afford to pay. They do not have the wealth required.

Does that not seem absurd? If wealth is an infinite resource, how could anyone be lacking in it?

And so is revealed the absurdity of capitalism. Adequate resources are left unavailable because of a technicality. The bourgeoisie feed on this absurdity while the poor and ignorant suffer.

We have successfully constructed an economic system that necessitates poverty. It must exist in order to maintain the status quo.

This is why I am so enraged by those who boast the "benefits" of free-market capitalism. They are wrong. They love a system that breeds vast amounts of pain and death.

I am not afraid to say that I am a marxist. I am not ashamed to say that I am a socialist. We are falsely labeled as "tyrannous" when our current system is tyrannical and malevolent.

It seems that humanity has always maintained a slow march towards liberation. I hope that we never stop the movement foward. I do hope that we stop marching and start running.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 11:18 PM
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1. Yeah. Question all assumptions about what constitutes 'normal'
Just because we live in this broken and sick system doesn't mean it has to be like that.

I'm a Capitalist Socialist Progressive. I believe that there are fundamental rights that everyone has. And not having the things that mean poverty is something we can do away with by providing the essential human rights to everyone. Equal education, food, shelter and health. No one can be poor if they have all these basic things.
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The Traveler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 11:43 PM
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2. Nay, amyowalgreens
The concept of Wealth is, like most abstractions, an attempt to present a model of reality. And what was that reality for the average human being 6000 years ago, when this notion first emerged in its most rudimentary forms? Lions and tigers and bears and mean motherfuckers who charged forth from the prototypes of walled cities to secure the resources and labor they demanded. It was knowing that getting enough (and not too much) rain would determine if your children would live or die. It was ... damn ... have we made any progress ... really ... at all?

Sometimes I think not ... but we have, in some fundamental ways. Of course, it is an engineer's axiom ... and it applies far beyond the scope of integrated circuit chips and gears ... it is a cliche' expressed as a rueful jest ... that the solution to any problem creates the next set of problems to be solved. It keeps us engineering types in business, I suppose. I love my machines, all the ones I helped to create. Weapons of war, instruments of science, tools for communicating between one another ... I've worked on all that kind of stuff over the years. But in certain fundmental ways, I perceive they do not address the root problem. And in some ways, they have even fed the beast the root problem has manifested.

Wealth, then, is an idea that was based on the notion of scarcity of what was needed to survive, and an appreciation for how fragile our ability to secure those needs really is. I do not think it is wealth as an abstraction of available resources that is that root problem per se.

It is the willingness of one human being to abuse or abandon another human being in order to achieve their increase that is at fault.

I ramble, amyowalgreens. I am tired, and have had a glass of wine. My wife and I have spent the day fighting floods, to save my own house and the house of my neighbor. We worked hard together and shared resources, the four of us. He likes Glen Beck. Ungh. It took a bit of a moral stretch ... but at the end of the day even those vast divisions meant nothing. My place was saved from any serious jeopardy, an accident of topography. His ... remains in jeopardy. We did all we could. At the end of the day, handshakes were firm, and embraces warm against the wet and cold. This day, at least, people who did not even like each other could face the rising waters together and at least buy some time through ingenuity and effort.

I find hope in such things. Not answers to the deep questions you raise ... but I do find hope. Maudlin of me, I suppose.

Peace, and bright blessings.

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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:03 AM
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3. poverty, in fact, is a testament to the efficiency of the unregulated market.
most markets are at their least efficient when they try to serve the most challenging customer. companies lose money chasing after every last consumer. they are more efficient concentrating on the bulk of the potential market and ignoring the rest.

in a similar fashion, the economy as a whole tries to work efficiently for most of us in no small part by only really trying to serve the bulk of us, rather than all of us. if unemployment is around 10%, no big deal, the vast majority of us still have jobs.

the government could make poverty go away with the stroke of a pen, at least in this country quite a long time. but golly gee, that would not be efficient, would it? the rest of us might have to cut back on frivolity and luxury.

in the long run, we can't prevent poverty and hunger universally without serious population control, and that requires a whole different culture, government, and mindset. it'll be really ugly when we get to that point, and i imagine many aspects of our present culture will seem quite quaint and privileged by comparison.
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:03 AM
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4. Poverty is how you enter and leave this world.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. so what? our lives are between birth & death.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
5. Perfection is beyond our reach but not beyond our grasp...
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 12:31 AM by Ozymanithrax
I envision a moneyless society built around this concept, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs)" championed by Carl Marx.

In this moneyless society Physicians or Movie Stars are esteemed neither more nor less than Gardeners or a Fry cooks. Our industrial complexes are built around providing what we all need rather than creating what we all want.

It is a crock, of course. Humans evolved with a hierarchical system from the time the younger and weaker members of a tribe ate the fleas off the asses of the stronger and older members.

We are not alike and can not be alike. Some of us are more beautiful than others. The standard of beauty is in our genes and universal. Those who have it will always be considered worth more than those who don't. Some foods are more desired than others. Those who have or can get those foods will be worth more.

In our system, we should work to remove the inequalities where we can but recognize that there will always be inequalities. A reform rabbi named Jesus Ben Joseph once said "The poor are with you always." What he did not say was that requires that the rich are with us always.

It often sucks to be poor. I've been there, living most of my life below the poverty line. It is good to be middle class. I'm there now and working like crazy to stay there. But happines is a state of mind and I can be happy either way. So I would not have it any other way.
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Kitty Herder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. Armyowalgreens, have I ever told you how brilliant I think you are?
If not, I'm telling you now. :yourock:
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:42 AM
Response to Original message
7. I don't see a slow march towards liberation. I see the exact opposite.
Since civilization we seem to be on a long slow march to self destruction. Looking at it from the viewpoint of all non-human life it has been a complete disaster. When we get to the point that we need an additional half dozen planets and their resources to support our "way of life" and that doesn't slow us down a bit, we will hit the wall.

Poverty is just a symptom of the larger problem which is the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. We don't seem to have the capacity collectively to responsibly handle civilization. We would need to restrain ourselves from the top down. We need to be a planet of non-hoarders.
Try and suggest to someone they don't have the right to have as many children as they want and it will be pretty clear how delusional we are.

Human societies existed as hunter gatherers for 2 million years, it took just 12,000 with the introduction of agriculture and civilization to trash the planet.

I think we will proceed to the logical conclusion.
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Johonny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
8. not to disagree in a mean way but
I not sure it's constructed by faulty systems. Well it appears to have existed in every society ever observed or recorded. It's also seen in other animals. I mean species tend to produce more offspring than can survive. Some are going to get less. I'm going to assume poverty is a natural process of human events, because it's a very likely outcome of the natural world. If it weren', we would not need strict regulations to try to prevent it. There I guess I agree with you. Humans could constructed better societal systems to help prevent poverty. But it's possible no social system can totally prevent it. Disordered unevenness is very natural, ordered evenness very unnatural and hard to maintain.
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:16 AM
Response to Original message
9. Fuck Wealth!! And this is only part of why Marxism has died:
"We have successfully constructed an economic system that necessitates poverty. It must exist in order to maintain the status quo"

What hogwash that? I've seen the entrails of Marxism you had your choices brown or black shoes. You had your choices grey or blue tunic. You had your choices come by Mon-Wed-Thurs for prime cuts of Black Forest Ham by appointment only mit der commissar Sat get off it - there's a reason why Little Nikkita *&* Stalingrad are already here, it's easier to hide amongst the loft and the poetry

The problem with this shit is not 'capitalism' per se so much as the entirety of it, even the oligarchs of woebegone Marxism; has been predicted upon Wall Street and an investor class that sits on it's fucking, effete, all-to-fat-ass on a couch somewhere watching colored graphs go up & down ala Bloomberg & Fox-bid'ness-news and even though *that* is not capitalism not yet...

...That still does not preclude you & me, not yet, from baking a shrieking apple pie, schlepping it off to the fair and selling (or bartering) it for whatever the market will bear so this shit is fucking serious so you better have a better recipe than this one cause *our* future is resting on top of what appears to be a dead shark and tons of piteous woe for what has already been culled from the pride by way of insufficiency and the tainted ore of backyard Chinas that think all 'the people' need do is smelt their own steel home-skillet-style

The 'problem' is humanity, the problem is us, the problem is Karl Marx *and* Adam Smith *and* Gandhi cause the allure of false hope is more powerful than if god him/herself suggested the very same; and 'the invisible hand' is only *invisible* to the blind...yeah sure why not,

We aren't here to piffle the blood of Nicky's kids either yes?

It's not the minimum wage, certainly not a living wage but there is an 'avg' wage that perpetuates the semblance of democracy and it works out to round little under $9 an hour - worldwide avg - that's Halliburton making buckets of duckets for fucking shit up and Laotian women shelling clams in the forest making *shit wages* 2-bits 4-bits a-fucking-day yanked into slavery falling exhausted into their machinery just to stock Trader Joe's et al it is all figured in believe it = too high a wage and the oligarchs get pissed cause their precious little doe-eyed princesses are less likely to get that special little blood diamond tennis bracelet on Rodeo Dr; too small a wage and the people bring "unscheduled" chaos into the market place in the forms of pitch forks and lit torches with their talk of cannabis & revolution, so...

You, we, us, we all get maybe a new pair of Levi's, some band-aids, a dinner out, some high-speed broadband, and the gas to get us where we think they need us and the deal is done, here...

Go buy some wine from Napa Valley, drink it; go'head, but then fill the bottle with gasoline (you can go ethanol here that is still your choice), stuff a strip of an unappreciated t-shirt into the bottle, light it the toss it through an important window wherever...

When we see the flames we will know that it is in fact the case: revolution will not be televised
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