August 15, 2006

Let's Take it Back A Step

We all hate poverty. We all hate crime. We all disagree on how to fix it. Let's try this one. What do we think caused it? What is the root of all the bad things in the world? Perhaps then we can ponder a solution?


matt said...

I don't believe it has much to do with oppression. People screw up, get addicted, lose control of their lives. It's probably their own fault, or there parents fault. I'm not saying those well off shouldn't help them. I'm just saying its not the rich people's fault.

Why it happens: Evil abounds

Sabai said...

There's two more answers I'm waiting for. One contradicts that, the other stems from a different source.

Jeff said...
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Jeff said...

To talk about the causes of poverty, I think it's necessary first to clarify what kind of poverty we're talking about. Are we talking about isolated pockets of extreme poverty? Are we talking about people that live below the artificial line in the US? Are we talking global poverty?

The reasons are equally numerous: political, social, and/or individual. Poverty results from war, tyranny, drought, sanctions, drug addiction, mental illness, etc. etc. etc. To narrow down a root cause requires more clearly defined parameters.

The root of all bad things in the world, not to be circular in logic, is corruptible human nature. People are born capable of behaving badly; societies are capable of corrupting; parents and communities are capable of raising their children poorly.

Since we are born fallible, we behave fallible. Whether or not you believe this is the result of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden or from the evolutioon of a species behaving in its best, selfish interest for survival is, of course, forever open to debate.

Steve said...

Ummmm, yah, what Jeff said. Not much I can add on that train of thought. Well said.

I've been trying to come up with what two answers Eric was looking for. I'm guessing one is more of a socialist bent. While I won't supply that, I'll try to give something at least in the same ballpark.

I will say that some poverty seems inherent to capitalism. Is that to say capitalism is bad? No. Just that it isn't perfect. (Kind of like democracy, the worst form of government except for all of the other ones). It has become the most predominant economic system not because it is the most fair but because it is the most effective (yes, in an idealized state, a pure market system could be considered unbiased, but that is not the same as fair).

That's also part of the reason why we, and most other nations, have some form of a mixed economy, not pure Invisible Hand capitalism. We're looking for the point at which wealth accumulation (as a hole, not for the individual) can be best achieved while reducing or eliminating as many of the social ills (such as poverty) that might stem from economic activity in general. Does that magic point exist where both can coincide? Especially on a worldwide level? I have no clue.

Sabai said...


I love the idea of searching for that "magic point". I hope that's what we're all trying to do. The answers I was expecting were, "Sin" and "Oppression". We kind of hinted at both those, but until we can agree on which one this is, there's no real way to try to solve the problem.