Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Comment from a Jesuit in Zimbabwe: "Even if there was more fairness in the trade between the southern and northern hemisphere, debts were largely cancelled and aid was flowing in, as long as bad governance and corruption are tolerated poverty will prevail. What is the point of cancelling debts if that merely frees funds to buy fighter planes in China? What good do better terms of trade make if we destroy our economic base for ideological reasons which makes staying in power priority number one to which all other interests are sacrificed? What good is "more and better aid" if it falls into the long fingers of bureaucratic embezzlers who refuse to be accountable as a matter of "national sovereignty"?.... Too many want a slice of the cake without asking where the cake is coming from. If production is not the focus of all our efforts, the existing wealth produced by others will disappear quickly as it is being shared with "cronies". As long as holding on to power is priority number one, overriding all other interests, the economy will continue to be raided for goodies with which to buy the support of this or that particular group of influential people. Those without influence - the sick, the poor, widows and orphans, the homeless and aliens - will continue to go without medication and treatment, starve and die.... "

Greed: "To leftists, greed is when someone else makes more money than they do. The problem with that word is that it's impossible to objectively define. Is a cab driver that chooses to work 60 hours a week instead of 40 greedy? According to whom? Suppose he wants the extra income to send his children to college? Suppose he wants to blow it in Las Vegas? A market economy doesn't ask these questions. They're irrelevant to public policy. Regardless of his motivations, a farmer who produces twice as much as his neighbor has added that much more to the nation's product. He should be suitably rewarded. The tax collector will relieve him of quite enough of the fruits of his labor. What he does with the rest is his business... Leftists have little regard for the creation of wealth. They take that for granted. Their fun comes in redistributing income and wealth. It may be difficult to define greed, but it's easy to define covetousness. That's the greed of leftists for governmental power to confiscate the property of others".

Start frugally to end up rich: "About to graduate from college? If you've been reading much, you could be forgiven for thinking you should cower under your Star Wars comforter at Mom and Dad's house after collecting your diploma. The media buzz: Becoming a financially independent adult is as tough for today's grads as Hercules' labors (which you can now safely forget) were for him.....; But here's a secret you won't hear in the rush to blame young people's woes on everyone except themselves: Society hasn't lost its ladder to financial stability. Young people have just lost interest in starting out poor. Too many 22-year-olds expect to start their adult lives at their parents' level of material satisfaction, without the 30 years of labor it took them to get there. Our world of easy credit and mysteriously glamorous TV apartments says you can have it all now. But live like you're entitled to your parents' finances, and you'll be back living with them soon enough. Live within your means, though, and you'll achieve financial independence before the naysayers say it's possible".

Thoughts on poverty: "One reads much about the poor in America, their piteous lives, their blighted hopes, and the unrelieved downtreading of them by various social ogres such as oppressive corporations who sell them greasy hamburgers. (Why does my wretched spell-checker object to 'downtreading'? You can't be downtrodden unless someone downtreads you. How obvious is that?) This I submit is goober-brained nonsense. America has precious little poverty, if by poverty you mean lack of something to eat, clothing adequate to keep you warm and cover your private parts, and a dry and comfortable place to sleep. In the 'inner cities' or, as we used to call them, slums, there is horrendous cultural emptiness, yes, and the products of the suburban high schools are catching up fast. But poverty? The kind you see in the backs streets of Port au Prince? It barely exists in the United States."


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