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Here I go again — here’s the text of something like what I said on my tour of Poland in December.
Whatever religious differences you have with me, please denounce me via email rather than in the comment section.
The free-market cannot 100% guarantee the poor a living wage.
Minimal redistribution can. The last 200 years of economic growth empirically prove that even much higher levels of redistribution than are required to achieve a living wage for the poor, are still able to produce good levels of economic growth and improvements in living standards.
That is the difference and it is huge. It is what makes it absolutely clear that as a Catholic, the redistribution option wins out every time.
BTW “Do unto others…” is kinda broken if you choose the free-market option if you sit yourself in the position of the starving street kid. Did you hear him say “yeh let me die”, or do you think it is more likely that he said “Please I want some food”. I think it was the latter. Don’t kid us that you would choose the first option if you were in his/her position. So based on this logic you must chose an option that guarantees EVERYONE a living wage (i.e. minimal redistribution).
You very conveniently missed the point that you have to force people through violence in order to redistribute their goods. Stealing at the point of a gun is not a part of catholic doctrine.
“Do unto others…” is very different from “Have others do unto their neighbors…”
“Stealing at the point of a gun is not a part of catholic doctrine.”
Neither is letting poor people starve. I guess we are stuck then?
in response to Owen……….
The problem with redistribution (as policy) is that it is generally done through the forced extraction of other peoples money. And there is no objective basis for comparing the benefit to the redistributees, against the the harm done to the extractees. This makes any moral justification for any redistribution policy forever moot.
At a moral level, compassion and charity are indeed virtues. But the virtue therein lies in the willing sacrifice on the part of the giver. Compelled charity through any redistribution policy effected by force confers no virtue on the unwilling giver, and it certainly confers no virtue on the redistributor, who had made no sacrifice himself. INdeed, its quite the opposite: he garners no virtue on the giving side, but he engages ion theft on the extraction side. ergo, compelled redistribution is inherently wrong.
Those whose ( entirely laudable) sense of moral outrage drives them to seek to alleviate poverty have only one legitimate and morally robust route to follow: fund it yourself, and/or raise, through advocacy, voluntary funding from those who share your compassionate ideals, and distribute the proceeds according to your own estimation of where the charity is needed most. There is no other option compatible with true liberty, no other option that will not do more harm than good on balance.
Of course, the other problem with redistribution is that it generates perverse incentives, giving a free ride to those who are perfectly capable of working to support themselves but who choose not to. I hasten to add that not all of the destitute are in this category, but in a redistributive milieu, there is no consistent way of identifying the difference between free riders and genuine charity cases. Which inevitably introduces an arbitary element into the identification of redistributees.
Furthermore, there are many cases (by no means all) of poor people people being the architects of their own poverty, as their current position is the cumulative result of all their choices to date. Consider 2 people with identical jobs and incomes: ONe lives frugally and diligently saves a portion ( say 10% of his current income, the other spends the lot on wine, women and song. Fast forward 30 years until both retire. The first is comfortably rich, the second is destitute. By any moral standard, Why should the first one be compelled to support the second? And again, while many cases of poverty may well result from tragic circumstances, perhaps political oppression or physical or mental disability, there is no consistent way to sort the ‘deserving’ cases from the self-inflicted poverty resulting from an accumulation of rash choices, without a minute examination of the entire lives of each member of th destitute population.
Far from alleviating poverty, redistribution breeds it, just as Foreign Aid consigns African nations to endless poverty traps. It does so by disincentivising work on the part of the able, and the knowledge of a redistribution-funded safety net disincentivises the prudence of saving for the future on th epart of all income-earning individuals.
IN the absence of redistribution (and a general tax drain on citizens’ earnings), we would see far more productivity, and prosperity, and a more future-oriented approach to savings among more people than we ever see in a fiscus-funded welfare state. And what poverty remains (it will probably never be eliminated entirely) would be well covered by willing charity funded by those who feel compassion most strongly, if not those closest to the poverty-stricken.
Oh, and as for the concept of a ‘living wage’: There is no such thing as a ‘non-living’ wage. the only valid standard by which the fairness of a wage can be judged is a subjective one: ‘Am I better off working for this offered wage, than I would be not working?’ If the answer is yes, it’s a living wage by definition. If the answer is no, its not. But it might be in the eyes of someone else applying for the same job.
Response to Owen take 2:
You said: ‘Minimal redistribution can. The last 200 years of economic growth empirically prove that even much higher levels of redistribution than are required to achieve a living wage for the poor, are still able to produce good levels of economic growth and improvements in living standards.’
Neither is letting poor people starve. I guess we are stuck then?’.
On the first point: Im afraid this does not empirically prove anything. On the same data, I could just as easily say that the last 200 years empirically proves that the (partially) free markets that emerged after the Industrial revolution achieved amazing improvements in human prosperity, DESPITE the redistributive efforts of the governments concerned*. Imagine what more could have been achieved had these markets been properly and completely free!
* I havent undertaken the research at this level, but I would venture to suggest that the advances in prosperity in different nations over this period would show a strongly negative correlation with the degree of redistributive activity in each nation.
On the second point, returning to my previous response, the crucial point is that virtue cannot be compelled without becoming vice in the hands of the enforcer, and charity is no exception.
As an institution, Catholicism learnt this the hard way, having taken the best part of 1000 years to stop killing and torturing unrepentant deniers of its doctrine, before arriving at its rather admirable toleration in modern times. Speaking as an agnostic, it would be nice if more of its adherents followed Mr Woods’s example and understood this subtle point too.
In addition to David C’s post, it can be said that it seems for many, the teachings of Catholicism are replaced with a more overriding theology, i.e. “social justice”, which they’re more than willing to instantiate by force – of course, ignoring that one who is coerced into being moral is not moral at all. Neither is a population which must be forced into being moral much of an exemplar of a virtuous society, and neither is the third party coercing them into providing for the so-called needy a paragon of justice. If one wants to guarantee the poor anything, it is their moral duty to do so, and also their moral duty to convince, not coerce, others into also being moral.
Owen: “The free-market cannot 100% guarantee the poor a living wage.â€
Sure it can. All schools of econ agree that the only way to permanently raise wages is through investment in new tools and equipment that make workers more productive. But the state cannot guarantee a “living wage,â€ because if the wage the state determines is greater than the productivity of workers, those workers will join the unemployed. If the minimum wage could guarantee a living wage, then why doesn’t Congress set the minimum at $50/hr.? Besides, there is a big difference between a living wage and redistribution. Wages are earned in exchange for labor; redistribution is forced charity. Redistribution does not increase anyone’s wages, except maybe government employees.
“Living wageâ€ is a vague term and any attempt to define it is purely arbitrary. We could define it low enough that we could say all Americans earn it, or high enough that no earn it.
You set up a false dichotomy when you limit the choices to either state forced redistribution or the deaths of poor children. As others have pointed out, charity by individuals is a viable option and much more effective and efficient that bureacratic redistribution. Total charity in the US almost equals the level of federal spending. Most of it goes to education, but that is largely because the state has monopolized the act of giving food and clothing to the poor.
“Neither is letting poor people starve. I guess we are stuck then?”
Who said anything about the poor starving? If the government doesn’t threaten to kill you, you won’t donate anything to the poor, Owen?
This Catholic thinks you need to go to mass.
If the “system” was to be “Catholic” it would not let the poor starve. The conversation was not about the love of individuals but about the economic system itself.
A free-market system does not attempt to stop the poor starving, because people wioth no money or ability get nothing out of a free market. A free-market could only feed the poor DESPITE the free-market system.
A minimal redistribution would 100% guarantee the poor would not starve.
Huge difference between those systems.
In connection to this topic, there was this interesting article a while ago:
Owen: “A free-market system does not attempt to stop the poor starving, because people wioth no money or ability get nothing out of a free market. A free-market could only feed the poor DESPITE the free-market system.”
No “system” does anything. A socialist “system” does not help the poor either. Only people help people. A free market system enriches most people and empowers them to give more to the poor if that’s what they want to do with their money. A socialist, or redistribution system impoverishes the majority and causes them to fight with the poor over the remaining scraps of wealth.
The US can afford the huge amount of redistribution that takes place today because of the tiny free market space we have left, which demonstrates the amazing power of the free market. In addition to the burden of redistribution forced on us by the state, American give about an equal amount on their own to charity. If the state suddenly dropped its redistribution efforts and cut taxes by the same amount, taxpayers would have even more money to give to the poor.
You may be under the socialist delusion that the “system” determines the character of the people. But the truth is exactly the reverse: the people make the system. History has proven that no people are more generous to the poor than those who have created free market systems.
A market is ultimately the exchange of goods between its participants. There will be as much or as little charity as its participants desire – and this will in turn be linked to their moral character. It is no failing of the system that it’s participants may be entirely immoral; even the so-called guarantees of the socialist system would crumble with no one willing to provide them. As Fundamentalist said, the market increases wealth creation – it is then up to its participants to exercise their free volition, and give to the needy, to be moral. The market will not forbid it.
Enough that those who would otherwise die…can live. It is not that much.
The article asks whether the Catholic Church would support the free market as a SYSTEM. It is quite clear the the free market allows BUT DOES NOT GUARANTEE that the poor/unable are fed.
Of course if everyone, or enough people, acted in their personal capacity as a ‘Catholic’ would then the free market would be best.
But this cannot be GUARANTEED under the free market. Whereas in a redistribution system this can be guaranteed. Faced with the negative aspects of a redistribution system, the catholic church would still choose redistribution because whilst both free market and distribution systems have their problems – free market allows poor to die but redistribution requires coercion – the fate of death is worse than losing some property. In anyones book.
It can guarantee it nominally, and at the same time will remove the choice of action from the individual agent – how that is more moral is beyond me. Socialism, again, relies as much as a market on the beneficence of its participants. Assuming equally conscientous Catholics, the market will both produce more wealth and insure no one goes without. A Catholic that has to be forced to contribute is not much of a Christian at all, I’d think.
“the market will both produce more wealth and insure no one goes without.”
So those without either money, ability nor someone who give them money or food will survive how? The Free-market has no answer to this – only redistribution does.
That was my whole point in the first place. There is no way to place either method above eachother because they both allow or enforce actions which are contrary to Catholic belief:
2) poor being allowed to starve.
Human action within the free-market can be catholic but the system itself is benign.
Owen: ” Faced with the negative aspects of a redistribution system, the catholic church would still choose redistribution because whilst both free market and distribution systems have their problems – free market allows poor to die but redistribution requires coercion – the fate of death is worse than losing some property.”
The free market does not allow the poor to die. The free market allows wealthier people to help the poor, whereas in socialism, no one can help the poor because everyone is poor. You seem to believe that free markets guarantee that at least some poor people will starve and that unless wealthier people are forced by the state, they won’t give to the poor. But history is against you. The world suffered regular periods of famine with thousands starving to death before the advent of capitalism. Those famines ended first in the Dutch Republic of the 17th century, the first capitalist nation, followed by England.
Look around you. In which countries do the poor suffer the most? Certainly not Western countries made wealthy by capitalism. In the 1960′s, 70′s and 80′s, millions of citizens of the USSR and People’s Republic of China would have starved to death had the capitalist US not given them tons of grain. The redistributionist countries couldn’t even help their own people, let alone anyone else, while the US voluntarily gave its enemies food. What has kept the people of North Korea alive for decades besides tons of food from the West?
Owen: “But this cannot be GUARANTEED under the free market.”
Neither can it be guaranteed under redistribution, as all socialist countries have proven. But help for the poor is far more certain under free markets than under forced redistribution.
Minimal Redistribution 100% guarantees the poor receive enough to live on. There is no debate anywhere about that. How come you can’t understand it?
You seem to think that Minimal redistribution means full-blown communism. Minimal redictribution would require tax rates of less than 5% which are much lower than any sucessful capitalist country today. It is only just enough to ensure that the poor are fed, housed, and clothed. Considering that most people do not require this the tax could even go as low as 1% I don’t know.
So your argument that it would ruin any economy is proved wrong by the numerous successful economies that have tax rates upto 10 times higher than would be necessary under minimal redistribution.
It is not the free-market that feeds the poor, it is people who donate food DESPITE the free market being ambivilent to this. Redistribution actively Gurarantees that poor are fed.
And like I said, nominal guarantees mean nothing at all. The market will maximize wealth. Those that go without will either be provided by their charitable fellowmen, or they will not. If they do not, this reflects badly upon their fellowmen, and not the system. The market merely allocates resources to their most efficient uses. If one wants to guarantee the poor resources, they may set up a fund to that effect using resources they garner voluntarily, which is perfectly fine under a free market. That is a “guarantee” that is more real than any socialist claptrap. This might be “despite” the market according to the neoclassical garbled nonsense, which assumes all economic activity to be rational must be profit-maximizing in the pecuniary sense…
HUGE difference, to utilise your own overused and abused phrase.
Owen: “It is not the free-market that feeds the poor, it is people who donate food DESPITE the free market being ambivilent to this. Redistribution actively Gurarantees that poor are fed.”
The free market is not ambivilent to the poor because it has no feelings; it’s not a person. Only people can care about people. Your proposition that forced redistribution would guarantee help for the poor works only in a successful free market economy. In a socialist economy, the poor are guarenteed nothing but more poverty.
But what you’re really trying to say is that a law forcing redistribution in a free market economy is a better guarantee for the poor than a free market economy without forced redistribution. On its face, that would seem reasonable. But what evidence do you have to support it? Essentially, you’re saying that people are too selfish to help the poor unless forced to do so by the state. Without force, the poor are left to the caprice of generosity of their fellow citizens, of which you have a very low opinion. But what does the data show? Voluntary giving almost matches the federal budget. The facts are that relatively free and prosperous people are also very generous. I think I would rather trust the generosity of my fellow man than the cold comfort of forced charity that puts me at the mercy of an overpaid bureaucrat.
Inquisitor and Fundamentalist:
You proved the case very well against the free-market. It is benign and cannot guarantee the poor are fed.
The redistribution option can at the cost of taking some property from those with enough.
Faced with these two scenarios, kowing that taking property is not as bad as death from starvation, the redistribution option win everytime because it is in line with Catholic Ideals.
You said yourself that the free-market is benign. Catholic teaching IS NOT BENIGN, it cares for the poor. Free-market systems by their very nature cannot GUARANTEE the poor are fed, redristribution CAN.
You keep losing, it is funny:-)
Owen said: ” You proved the case very well against the free-market. It is benign and cannot guarantee the poor are fed.”
How exactly did they prove the “case” against the free market? None of your posts so far have been acual argumentation, but the setence I just quoted takes the cake; it is very dishonest to treat somebody’s argument against your position as if it (or they) have made your case for you without first attempting to demonstrate how they have actually supported your case.
“You keep losing, it is funny:-)”
It is easy to think you have won if you ignore everybody else’s arguments and concerns.
Please, Owen, grow up before I write you off as a troll.
I think you misunderstand the original proposition:
“That the free-market is consistent with Catholic Beliefs”
When of course this is incorrect because the free-market neglects the plight of the poor – it cannot guarantee a poor man some food. All the free market does is allow him to purchase or make some. If he cannot for whatever reason he dies. If he is fed through donations this is because of INDIVIDIAL kindness which helps him despite the free-market which does not care because it is benign.
The redistribution system on the other hand does not suffer this problem and ensures with 100% certainty that every person has their needs met.
A system which helps a helpless person would be preferred by Catholics over one which MIGHT feed that person.
“You proved the case very well against the free-market. It is benign and cannot guarantee the poor are fed.”
It is benign, and its participants, not it, can.
“The redistribution option can at the cost of taking some property from those with enough.”
And as Fundamentalist has repeatedly shown, there is no lack of charity in a free market. Redistribution is theft, and is a coerced form of morality. You’ve not demonstrated how this squares with Catholicism.
“You said yourself that the free-market is benign. Catholic teaching IS NOT BENIGN, it cares for the poor. Free-market systems by their very nature cannot GUARANTEE the poor are fed, redristribution CAN.”
Do you even know what benign means?
The problem is you do not understand what either Fundamentalist or I are saying – neither system can guarantee anything without the willingness of their participants (socialism can but only nominally.) Only they – the participants – can guarantee anything. For all its force and threats, a socialist system is impotent if no one will do the bidding of the central planner. Even if one were to take socialism’s guarantees at face value, its inability to allocate resources may mean they amount to little more than nothing at best, and do more harm (e.g. poverty traps) than good at worst.
Agreed. Redistribution is useless if it is not carried out. It is only effective if the government or authority physically redistributes the resources to those that cannot do so for themselves.
I would prefer it not to be required that way but I can’t see any other way of GUARANTEEING that no-one starved. The problem of free-riding market failure provides the potential for some people to not donate what they could have hping that others might. One person dying because of this is too many.
Again, orders can only be carried out when the population is obedient enough to act accordingly and believes in the system’s legitimacy (whether or not the belief is justified.) But if the population is already so constituted, it follows that it already has no objections to aiding the poor (and historically, charity and mutual aid have always existed), and thus that markets provide as much or as little a guarantee as the socialist system in question given the same population. And this is without even referring specifically to devout Catholics.
…regarding free riders, the idea is to provide solutions to these problems within the market, where the government itself has failed. Tabarrok’s notion of dominant assurance contracts is one form of resolving the issue. To the extent that free riders are a problem for charity, that is where one should be focusing.
Owen: “Catholic teaching IS NOT BENIGN, it cares for the poor.”
So I guess you’re saying that unless the government puts a gun to the head of Catholics, they won’t follow their own religion and give to the poor voluntarily. Well, there are plenty of non-Catholics who will, so the poor need not worry.
Keep in mind, regardless of the system, the same people who pass the laws to forcibly redistribute income are exactly the same people who must voluntarily give without state coercion. If they’re stingy with their voluntary giving, how do you think they’ll be with a gun to their heads?
You keep present the false choices of either forced redistribution or starvation. Do you honestly think that American would sit back and let people starve to death? You have a bleak view of human nature.
re: owen’s starving poor
here in australia, the state does provide a dole that has allowed many to carve-out a life of indolence/dependence. yes the state pays money that can permit subsistence, but it cannot prevent starvation.
we have a large methamphetamine-using sub-class, who live for the fortnightly dole which is promptly spent on speed. no money left for food, but no starvation. how does this happen?
the miracle of charity! the churches and other social benefactors run soup kitchens for the down-and-out.
short of the state actually sitting down at the table and watching you eat, starvation cannot be guaranteed. human behaviours are often perverse, and there are no guarantees in this life.
how many starved in the industrialized world prior to the welfare state (let’s say 1930′s onward)? maybe no more than the numbers in the western world who now die from obesity and other “lifestyle” diseases.
why can’t the state stop people eating? take a look at the new orleans’ katrina footage, and you’ll see how many fat people come from poor neighbourhoods. surely a state that can save its wards from starvation can also save them from obesity?
“starvation cannot be guaranteed”
oops, please read “freedom from starvation cannot be guaranteed”
further on this phantom of starvation in a sea of plenty – do-gooding lawyers, and their regulatory pals have made donating stale bread to the poor, and well as bruised fruit etc a very risky business. think of the liability issues of donating out-of-date packaged food (even if the expiry date has a very large measure of error built in to protect the manufacturer from legal action).
much safer to pitch the stuff. better the poor starve than have them eat inferior food. the good souls who wove this web sleep soundly in belgian linen sheets.
“But if the population is already so constituted, it follows that it already has no objections to aiding the poor”.
No it doesn’t follow. You obviously have never heard about free-riding which leads people to restrict their supply of things they would otherwise pay for because they believe someone else might do it for them.
“If they’re stingy with their voluntary giving, how do you think they’ll be with a gun to their heads?”
I usually pay my taxes before my donations how about you? Only irrational people would do it the other way around.
“Do you honestly think that American would sit back and let people starve to death?”
Free-riding priciples allow it to happpen. There are starving people in the world today and people (with plenty of money themselves) still do not donate – Why? FREE-RIDER PRINCIPLE.
“To the extent that free riders are a problem for charity, that is where one should be focusing”
…and the answer is redistribution.
Newson, you cannot make them eat but you can certainly deny them food – which is possible under the free-market but impossible under redistribution.
In reply to Owen, nobody would starve if the people who support the welfare state would just get out and personally help some poor folk. That would have two benefits, they would find out what poor folk really need to stop being poor and it would show that they really care about the poor, instead of just being addicted to politics and the rhetoric of redistribution.
“Newson, you cannot make them eat but you can certainly deny them food – which is possible under the free-market but impossible under redistribution.
bastiat would invite you to consider the expensive drug that you just couldn’t afford because your take-home pay was trimmed.
free food didn’t turn around the really inferior longevity of the communist countries. cuba gets around this embarrassment by rigging child mortality stats – registering births one year retrospectively.
my question of how the government can stop over-eating (especially for the poor) remains unanswered.
Overeating as you term it is a lifestyle choice and one which could pose harm to the individual. There are many other lifestyle choices that involve the potential of self harm or injury but neither I nor you have proposed to stop people doing those so long as they did not harm others. So why only this one?
Free food for a starving man might not make him live until 100 but it sure would stop him dying next week.
The reason they probably won’t do that is because then they would take on that burden and people likme yourself could then leach off the free-market whilst still getting the “benefit” of knowing the poor are fed. Or don’t you want them fed? It is called the ‘free-rider principle’, look it up in any economics 101 textbook.
“There are starving people in the world today and people (with plenty of money themselves) still do not donate – Why? FREE-RIDER PRINCIPLE.
the starving are in the ldc’s – their hunger is caused by their governments’ socialistic planning policies, particularly in agriculture. war, again a government favourite, is another cause of impoverishment.
foreign food aid is purloined at the docks, or heavy bribes mean that very little flows down to the real needy. potential donors rightfully are wary that they may be financing the oppressors of the very people they want to help.
on paper, socialist policies have all guaranteed adequate food as an integral part of their platform. so why has mass starvation in africa only been a reality after “modern” policies were adopted? because post-colonial africa is run on marxist lines.
“post-colonial africa is run on marxist lines”
I think you’ll see that the tyrannical leaders that strip the oil profits and keep their countries in a constant state of civil war also have the most starving people.
If those states had free-markets with minimal distribution (just enough to feed and house the poor) then no-one would starve.
If those states had free-markets alone how could you guarantee that no-one would starve?
“Free food for a starving man might not make him live until 100 but it sure would stop him dying next week.
what happens when one week becomes 587 weeks? where do you draw the line? if government saves the starving man for one week, then that emergency throws up one hundred more – should the government then re-educate him that he never risk starvation again, and what about his lousy teeth, now that starvation is averted? slippery slope, in a world of infinite needs and scarce resources.
how is it possible that in a rich society, with a free press, that people could starve? just imagine the 60 minutes programmes! it’s simply not credible that people wouldn’t respond. where are the mass starvations that occurred prior to the welfare state in the industrialized countries?
tyrannical rule by despots a la saddam hussein says nothing about laissez-faire solutions. saddam’s iraq was a national socialist government. i don’t know how many starved, but they’re still unearthing mass graves, and i think the regime trusted gas, bullets, or torture rather than natural means.
“how is it possible that in a rich society, with a free press, that people could starve?”
Human Greed. Enough said. There are people starving to death as we speak and people driving around in ferraris. Please dont try and assert that because they get an extra couple hundred in the bank each month they will give it all to Africa. Ha! What happened what they got their last pay rise? They moved into another house.
There is more than enough to feed the poor right now despite the tax system. Americans spend more on pet food than it would cost to feed, clothe and house the entire worlds poor (more than $17 billion).
So why doesn’t it get there? If it is not getting there now what magical whimsical feat will change the spending habits of those with the capacity to feed the poor? As the people in the developed countries have gotten richer year by year how come the number dying from starvation and preventable disease continues to grow? If your assertion that free-market donations would feed them were true the trends we see would not be occuring.
I never heard that there was any democracy in Iraq. If there was then those ‘things’ would probably have been avoided.
“I never heard that there was any democracy in Iraq. If there was then those ‘things’ would probably have been avoided.”
popular elections regularly saw saddam hussein re-endorsed, with spectacular margins.
“Human Greed. Enough said. There are people starving to death as we speak and people driving around in ferraris.”
yes, but ferraris driving past starving people only occurs in non-laissez-faire economies (ie nigeria). in hong kong, the lack of welfare hasn’t seen people dying of hunger, and yet there are plenty of ferraris.
hunger in south-east asian economies that have embraced a more laissez-faire economic model (hk, thailand, singapore, s.korea) has become far less prevalent than in their centrally planned neighbours. the latter, with their paper guarantees of universal care, have delivered mass starvation, the most striking of which is north korea.
americans spending on pets has nothing to do with the world’s poor. i’ve already explained why potential donors in wealthy countries are wary of giving aid to the third world. corruption is rife, and no one can be certain that gifts are not strengthening the tyrant.
“In 1979, Saddam Hussein took power as Iraqi President, after killing and arresting his leadership rivals.”
“Saddam’s government rested on the support of the 20% minority of largely working class, peasant, and lower middle class Sunnis”
“To maintain power Saddam tended either to provide [The Curds] with benefits so as to co-opt them into the regime, or to take repressive measures against them. Since 1982, foreign observers believed that [The Department of General Intelligence] operated both at home and abroad in their mission to seek out and eliminate Saddam’s perceived opponents.”
Yes. democratic…….yes. Of course…..mmm….aaa….no
Oh yes blame poor donating on the red herring of corruption. Good one. But won’t market forces eliminate the corrupt charities and promote the ‘clean’ ones? Oh, that’s right the ‘free-market’ argument only works when it is against ‘socialism’. I forgot, silly me. (Yawns)
North Korea is not an example of democracy nor minimal distribution combined with free-market policies. (Yawns again)
Of course laizez-faire policies are better than centrally planned ones at eliminating poverty. But minimal redistribution combined with free-market policies is better still.
Wow, everything you said was refuted. Good on me!
“Oh yes blame poor donating on the red herring of corruption. Good one. But won’t market forces eliminate the corrupt charities and promote the ‘clean’ ones? Oh, that’s right the ‘free-market’ argument only works when it is against ‘socialism’. I forgot, silly me. (Yawns)
it’s nothing to do with the charities’ lack of probity. it’s about who is the actual beneficiary of the aid. people in donor countries are smart enough to realize that their money is going on the villas on the cote d’azur, and not the poor targetted.
of course iraq’s democracy was a farce, just like zimbabwe’s is. so we agree that democracy alone is not the answer, and that the real degree of freedom is through the sanctity of the person and their property.
minimal redistribution (?) and laissez-faire are mutually exclusive. minimal soon becomes maximum because limits cannot be morally argued. how can you justify free food, and yet not free legal advice, free housing, free medicine, and free whatever?
Exactly, so your FREE MARKET will ensure that an honest charity will emerge. If that doesn’t happen then the free market is a lie – wouldn’t you say?
We weren’t discussing freedom. We were discussing what economic system the Catholic Church would advocate. So far it is minimal redistribution.
Iraq and Zimbabwe don’t have true democracies so they are not examples of the democracy I advocated. I advocated true democracy.
The essentials of life are what is provided under minimal redistribution. Legal advice is not a biological need for life so is not provided.
Any more? (yawn)
“The essentials of life are what is provided under minimal redistribution. Legal advice is not a biological need for life so is not provided.”
free housing? shelter from elements not a biological need? heating, when the climate is life-threatening? water?
free markets will favour efficient charities domestically, but this doesn’t address the real problem – how to get aid to the poor in the third world, when it must pass frontiers, and the shake-downs of officials.
as thomas woods said, it is not true that catholic doctrine must support re-distribution. if the church’s economic reasoning is flawed, so too must be its economic conclusions. this is the essence of the article.
If you need the biological necessities of life spelled out for you I am afraid it is too late for you. let’s just agree that it is those items, without which a person would soon die.
“the shake-downs of officials” are no more an aspect of minimal redistribution systems than they are of free-markets.
The article makes repeated references to the Catholic Churches teaching that policies should give a “living wage” and “address the plight of the poor”. It is indeed trying to critique the Catholic Church’s teaching that minimal redistribution is inferior to the free-market.
But it is not because the free-market cannot guarantee that the poor will be fed but minimal redistribution can.
The article is therefore wrong.
“If you need the biological necessities of life spelled out for you I am afraid it is too late for you.”
indulge me. give me specific examples of what these are in your view. how hard can that be?
It is not a ‘view’. It is not a social science, it is a hard science. There is no scientific debate on the physical needs of a homo sapien in order to survive. None.
A 6 year old child could name them, and I am sorry for you that you can’t.
so you can’t? or you won’t?
No YOU won’t. Man, only a socialist would ask others to do all of their thinking for them like you are. Stop leaching off others and do something for yourself for once.
i’m asking you to spell out these “biological necessities of life” you’ve cited to justify state intervention. i don’t justify intervention. why don’t you just try?
Think about what resources you require within the next few hours and days in order to remain alive. There you have your answer. If you can survive without it for an extended period of time then it cannot be regarded as essential.
…or do you run on Kryptonite?
so water, shelter, food, and medicine are to be subject to re-distribution. maybe i might need a doctor or a hospital, so we’ll throw that in for good measure.
note how quickly “minimal” re-distribution can quickly blow out.
Good work newson. Now I need to make one correction to that. I should have said:
“Think about what common resources EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD require within the next few hours and days in order to remain alive.”
This counts out medical care because there are obviously people who will not need medical care for years or months or even their whole life. Therefore it is not an absolute biological necessity in order to sustain life – because has been shown to be sustained without it.
But your getting closer, it is simply those resources that a human could not survive without – oxygen, food, water, sleep, shelter from the elements in extreme conditions, and most importantly a physical place to ‘exist’ in. As long as a person has each of these they can live to a ripe old age.
The interesting thing is that there is one simple thing that can supply all of these essential resources in abundance.
Enough Land+access to water. Pretty logical really considering that man is a LAND animal.
first, re-distribution only can apply to economic goods, ie goods of limited supply. so we can eliminate air – no scarcity whatsoever. sleep, not a good.
not count medicine, hospital care? by your own arguments, no:
“One person dying because of this is too many.”
so we can conclude that even though most will get by without medical attention, the few needy that do require it must be able to access it.
so by your logic, housing, water, food and medical attention must all be subject to government intervention, that not one life be lost.
Correct on air and sleep, although sleep does require a place one can sleep.
Government intervention…not according to me, according to the Catholic Church. It is them who preach love and help for the poor and therefore advocate minimal redistribution.
…’this’ in your quoted sentence refers to essential resources, not anything that could extend or enhance ones life. The Catholic Church sees the promotion of one’s health as a personal responsibility and not one for the concern of others. Therefore the Catholic has the right to refuse any medical treatment and conversely does not have any right to receive any. Therefore healthcare can stay within the free-market.
This also extends to the essential resources so a Catholic is expected to feed and clothe and care for himself using those essential items provided by nature for his sustainance.
“No it doesn’t follow. You obviously have never heard about free-riding which leads people to restrict their supply of things they would otherwise pay for because they believe someone else might do it for them.”
I’ve heard of it. Now how about you prove it actually applies to charity. A lot of economists conjure up insoluble free-riding situations (e.g. the fable of the bees), only for one to find out that in practice it had long been resolved by individuals in the market. It seems you have a habit of not offering proof for assertions you make.
“…and the answer is redistribution.”
This has not been demonstrated. You’re just assuming it will succeed. And as I’ve said, it cannot even square with catholic moral principles (why I am defending something from a catholic POV is beyond me…) The Catholic church could prefer illusions and lies over the hard reality that coerced redistribution often has unintended consequences, but I guess that’s nothing new for religious institutions.
Free-riding and charity…mmm…ok:
I care about the poor
I have spare money
But I choose not to spend my money
Why? I don’t see it making a damn bit of difference because the problem is so large.
Many millions of other people with resources also choose not to donate.
That is why donations will never work for feeding the poor – they will always underprovide. If donations were going to feed all the poor they would have done it already because there is already enough ‘spare’ cash in the developed world to feed the poor but people do not donate it. How can you possibly assert that lowering taxes will mean that enough donations then go to feeding the poor?
You can’t because evidence so far has first world wealth far outstripping the costs of ‘fixing’ third world poverty, yet poverty continjues to grow and grow and grow.
You cannot blame it on taxation because like I said earlier Americans spend more on petfood than it would cost to feed, clothe and house the worlds needy. It can only be put down to personal preferences. That being the case, any argument that libertarianism would suddenly lead to a change in this natural human free-riding behaviour is bunk pseudo-science.
Owen: “Free-riding priciples allow it to happpen. There are starving people in the world today and people (with plenty of money themselves) still do not donate – Why? FREE-RIDER PRINCIPLE.â€
Owen’s use of historical data is the reason Mises insisted that you can’t honestly approach historical data without a sound theory of economics in mind first. Otherwise, you can find evidence for any theory, no matter how stupid it is. Owen insists that because 1) people somewhere in the world are starving and 2) there are rich people in the world, then it follows that all rich people are too selfish and greedy to give to the poor and therefore all poor people will starve to death unless the state puts a gun to the heads of rich people and forces them to share. The ridiculousness of that reasoning should be apparent to anyone.
As Newson has pointed out, people who starve to death live in societies in which the wealthy gained their wealth through theft and murder. It would be unreasonable to expect those wealthy people to have compassion for anyone, let alone the poor. In the US, research shows that 85% of the wealthiest people earned their wealth through owning and growing a business. Those people also have a great concern for people. Many of America’s wealthiest have become great philanthropists. And, as I keep pointing out, and Owen insists on ignoring, charitable giving in the US almost equals the federal budget. Rich people in the US don’t demonstrate any of the traits Owen insists that all rich people have.
And Owen chooses to ignore the two nations who GUARANTEED their citizens a living wage for the entire existence of each nation, and failed miserably. The USSR under Stalin and the People’s Republic of China allowed tens of millions of people to starve to death why at the same time GUARANTEEING them the food necessary for survival. After allowing tens of millions to starve to death, even more would have starved in the 1970′s and 1980′s had the US not given thousands of tons of food to those two nations. The US had not GUARANTEED the people of China and Russia anything, but we gave them food when they needed it. Which system provided the most certain GUARANTEE against starvation? The official GUARANTEE from the states, or the voluntary one from the US? Are people starving in North Korea and Cuba where the state GUARANTEES the people food to live on? Of course. North Korea would cease to exist without food aid from the rich West. Why don’t any of these facts fit into Owen’s calculations?
Owen: “Human Greed. Enough said. There are people starving to death as we speak and people driving around in ferraris.â€
I’m not sure what his point is here, but it sounds like he thinks every rich person on the planet is responsible for every poor person on the planet. Not only are the logistics of that impossible, but he completely misses the Catholic teaching on spheres of responsibility.
The main point is whether minimal forced redistribution is a better guarantee of help for the poor than voluntary help in a free market. The answer is obvious by just looking at the US. Although the US is very far from a free market, the wealth and generosity of the people GUARANTEE that the poor will be taken care of. Adding forced redistribution by the state doesn’t accomplish anything that wasn’t already being done. That the system doesn’t work perfectly is no argument against it; no system ever works perfectly as long as humans are involved. And for the record, for more people have died of starvation in societies that GUARANTEED them food than in free market societies that didn’t. The ratio is about 20 million to one.
Wealth in developed countries expands every year many hundreds of times more than the cost of alleviating poverty. Yet poverty is still not solved.
Could it be that simply increasing peoples wealth does NOT lead to poverty being solved?
What causes this extra wealth to not be donated to help the poor?
Could it be…..YES it is…..the preferences of those holding the wealth.
Since they have annual wealth-growth of many hundreds of times the amount needed to eliminate world poverty….but DONT do so…
It cannot possibly be concluded that simply increasing their wealth even more through the free market would lead to them donating enough to eliminate poverty.
Because their demonstrated behaviour to date suggests otherwise.
Tada! It is called Logic 101
Minimal redistribution therefore wins-out because the free-market CANNOT guarantee the poor will be fed but minimal redistribution can.
BTW, the ‘generosity’ in the USA does not feed the poor. The government has for at least the past 100 years through:
- Aid to Families with Dependent Children
- Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Services
- Block Grant
- Child and Adult Care Food Program
- Community Development Block Grant
- Conservation Reserve Program
- Federal Pell Grant
- Food Stamp Program
- Head Start
- Local Law Enforcement Block Grant
- Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico
- Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Pull the other one.
It has already been stated (you obviously just woke up) that the USSR, China, Iraq and whatever other countries you mentioned, are/were never free democracies with minimal redistribution and otherwise free-market economies.
So they make no comparison here.
Anything else you wanna write. It has all been garbage so far.
No, I asked for proof that this is the case, not just the assertion thereof. Like I said, economists conjure up the existence of free-rider problems, when in reality these often have been solved, something the economist would’ve known had they merely looked to see (so-called public goods theory is one of the most abused in economics.) As for feeding the poor, throwing millions or even billions in cash is part of the cause of the problem – the societies in question need to develop the necessary institutions (i.e. protection of property rights, for one) to avoid their malaise, so as not to be merely dependent. So throwing all this money there would be a stupid idea in the first place… Catholics can opt for a system that perpetuates the problem, or one that gradually eliminates it. So spare us the allegations of “bunk pseudo-science” and demonstrate that alternatives to coerced redistribution (with all its attendant problems) are in fact impossible. And this ignores the fact that there is ample charity within countries like the USA, which as Fundamentalist said is redirected to causes that donors believe the government does not address sufficiently.
Owen, curb your arrogance. It’s doing you no favours. If you want to see why third countries are as poor as they are, and why no amount of “aid” to them will solve their problems look up Hernando de Soto’s “The Mystery of Capital”, and stop hurling insults at disputants far better informed than you are. All you do is assert “X government program exists, therefore it is good” and consider this, somehow, to be logical, WITHOUT proving that private charities could not handle this better or that this allegedly benign (see, I can actually use the word) redistribution is in fact not problematic in itself. So, any more garbage you want to throw at us?
Seems you have forgotten what proof is. I will number this for you:
1. Global wealth increases each year at hundreds of times the amount needed to eliminate poverty.
2. Poverty is still not solved.
3. Therefore MASSIVE INCREASES in the wealth of people does not lead to sufficient donations to eliminate poverty.
4. Therefore there is no basis to believe that the free-market MASSIVE INCREASES in private wealth will ever lead to enough donations to solve poverty.
Why is that? Human preferences.
Simple. See how easy it is when I number it for you?
If there is ‘ample charity’ in the USA then why do 30,000 people still die every day from preventable hunger and disease?
Human preferences. It is quite obvious that alot of that ‘charity’ goes to fulfill a human preference which would still exist in a free market and STILL RANK AHEAD of the 30,000.
Got any more?
Better informed? You have been refuted at every turn. ha ha
You have to prove that charities would in fact feed the poor because it is 100% fact that redistribution would. Back to the numbers (yawn):
1. Western countries have managed to increase their standards of living whilst having high rates of taxation
2. Minimal redistribution would cost less than 5% of current taxation levels (as it only meets basic needs).
3. Therefore economies could still grow and the poor would get fed with 100% certainty.
Contrasted with a free-market where there is no evidence (in fact alot to the contrary) that donations would feed the poor.
A Catholic mandated system would be minimal redistribution because it helps the poor (which were the stated aims of Catholic Economic Policy in the article) at the cost of appropriating property. Free-markets retain property but cannot guarantee that the poor will not die.
A guarantee that no-one will die minus the cost of appropriating taxes is far superior to the free-market because even one death would far outweigh the monetary or emotional costs of appropriating property.
Or do you value money and ‘hurt feelings’ above human life? Guess you don’t know what Catholicism is…sad.
It’s ok. I mean you are arguing a losing case but everyone knows it anyway so keep digging…
Free-markets and care for the poor are an illusion built up to justify libertarianism on every point. The problems is that free-markets are great at some things – efficiency, freedom, resource allocation….but there are some things they just cannot do – guarantee that the poorest of the poor survive.
That is ok, I mean I thought you already knew that. If you support libertarianism or unrestricted free-markets you obviously do so for other reasons and that is fine.
Just don’t bother muscling in on the other systems such as minimal redistribution who can legitimately claim to alleviate poverty.
You don’t see people who support redistribution claiming that they protect private property rights do you?
If it helps you sleep better at night, then by all means go on and keep dreaming that your free-market system will feed the poor whilst all those with half a brain can see there is no guarantee it does.
I would prefer a free-market system aswell…problem is there are some things I value higher than your next holiday in the bahamas…someone elses life.
Tom DiLorenzo’s article “CRA Scam and it’s defenders”…
I posted a comment to this article which was critical of the analysis by Mr DiLorenzo.
Seems he cannot handle it if he is not right. It is just not really healthy for him to have such positive reinforcement because it weakens his skills and arguments…much like the protectionist economic policies of the 1960′s.
He might emerge all weak and his point of view completely wrong when it sees the light of the ‘real world’.
Just a thought.
Long-winded, drawn out socialist nonsense. When you’re interested in proving your arguments, as opposed to asserting, and actually addressing the issues at hand, let me know (that is that a) charity is in fact something plagued by the so-called free-rider problem b) assuming (a), that redistribution is the only solution c) that (b) it is in fact a solution, and not merely some “guarantee” that has unintended consequences and utterly fails in its aims.) Oh, and in addition to that, you also must prove that throwing money at the problem is actually a good idea. Until then, go on ignoring the holes in them. You’ve done it ad nauseam. Redistributionist economies cannot guarantee that the poor will not die, except nominally.
BTW, I doubt Mr DiLorenzo personally checks every comment on his article, and I definitely doubt yours in particular would be any he’d be inclined to censor. So again, curb your arrogance.
Seems you cannot refute any of my assertions which are logically sound. You can only repeat statements that have been completely discredited in earlier posts.
Hard-headed? Can’t let go? Wanna believe?
Come back when you can add something to the debate other than easily refutable ‘mini-claims’.
DiLorenzo? That’s ok he probably just missed it. Can’t expect him to catch everything…funny how all the comments on the article are positive. Yeh, just ‘coincidence’.
It is telling how my posts are full of valid assertions related directly to the issue whilst Inquisitors are continually aimed at people because he cannot argue the topic at hand.
That is a tell-tale sign that you are losing the argument.
Just a heads-up in case you needed a reality check.
Well go on then, demonstrate the veracity of your contentions. You seem to have a habit of evading the task of offering any substantive proof for your points when asked to (and please don’t try that “you’re outside the argument” – all it does is show you have no idea what you’re talking about, as anyone familiar with the notion of burden of proof can tell you.)
All posts are positive? There are two which question his argument, so please get your facts straight. It probably is just a coincidence indeed…
Yes you are right on the DiLorenzo posts – I hadn’t looked at it since I had uploaded my comment a number of days ago. Those two comments were similar to mine so it seems it is fine by me – he proably used a process of not posting comments that were substantially the same.
I am not sure what you are going on about because all of my assertions in this thread have been ‘proved’ while you have managed to ‘prove’ nothing.
It is telling that you are still talking to me rather than the issues. When someone goes off tipic like that it is usually because they are losing so they find another way to keep going and ‘save face’.
This is too funny. Owen, forced redistribution cannot guarantee that the poor don’t starve, either. Therefore, it would be a mistake on the part of the Catholic Church to advocate it with the intention of helping the poor. Politics can’t trump economics, even if it occasionally seems to.
Michael A. Clem: seems you haven’t refuted any of the previous valid arguments that contradict your baseless statements.
Until then you are wrong. Have a nice day and come again.
Owen: “Wealth in developed countries expands every year many hundreds of times more than the cost of alleviating poverty. Yet poverty is still not solved.â€
What planet do you live on? Wealth is increasing in only a few countries, mainly China and India, and not even close enough to completely eliminate poverty. Most developing countries have stagnated for close to a century. However, both countries are making great strides toward reducing poverty, by guess what, liberating their markets. It’s a typical socialist myth that all of the wealthy in the world could eliminate poverty. If the wealthiest 10% gave everything they had to the poor, the poor would hardly notice.
Owen: “BTW, the ‘generosity’ in the USA does not feed the poor. The government has for at least the past 100 years through:â€
Actually, all of the programs you list started in the 1960′s. Charities did the work before and very well. When the state took over those areas, voluntary giving in the US switched primarily to helping the poor get an education.
Owen: “It has already been stated (you obviously just woke up) that the USSR, China, Iraq and whatever other countries you mentioned, are/were never free democracies with minimal redistribution and otherwise free-market economies.
It doesn’t matter that they weren’t free democracies. The point is that a state GUARANTEE is worth less than the paper it’s written on, regardless of the state. You claim that forced redistribution is the only GUARANTEE that the poor won’t starve to death and without that GUARANTEE from the state that poor people will starve to death in the US. What I tried to show you was that other states have GUARANTEED food for the poor even while letting them starve. Yet in the US, we had no GUARANTEES for most of our existence. Those GUARANTEES began only in the late 1960′s under Johnson. Yet few people starved to death. You have neither history, nor economics, nor logic to back your claim that people in the US will starve to death without the state’s GUARANTEE.
By the way, look at the actual data on poverty in the US. According to the government statistics, poverty today is at about the same level in the US as it was in 1968 when Johnson began his Great Society drive to eliminate poverty. And that’s after spending billions in GUARANTEES!
Oh no. Not another kook who believes the human race has not developed in the past 100 years.
Yawn…(retrieves some handy statistics)
(year 2000 dollars)
Year GDP per capita (Nominal/Real)
1790 $48 $917
1791 $51 $943
1792 $54 $983
1793 $58 $1,030
1794 $71 $1,129
1795 $84 $1,163
1796 $88 $1,163
1797 $84 $1,150
1798 $82 $1,162
1799 $85 $1,206
1800 $90 $1,237
1801 $93 $1,258
1802 $79 $1,258
1803 $83 $1,241
1804 $88 $1,250
1805 $90 $1,276
1806 $96 $1,294
1807 $89 $1,255
1808 $94 $1,219
1809 $97 $1,272
1810 $97 $1,303
1811 $102 $1,323
1812 $102 $1,337
1813 $122 $1,375
1814 $132 $1,393
1815 $110 $1,367
1816 $95 $1,330
1817 $87 $1,322
1818 $81 $1,330
1819 $77 $1,315
1820 $73 $1,327
1821 $74 $1,358
1822 $78 $1,370
1823 $72 $1,379
1824 $69 $1,419
1825 $73 $1,440
1826 $75 $1,447
1827 $77 $1,448
1828 $73 $1,424
1829 $74 $1,435
1830 $78 $1,521
1831 $78 $1,600
1832 $82 $1,659
1833 $81 $1,660
1834 $83 $1,639
1835 $89 $1,678
1836 $95 $1,681
1837 $97 $1,648
1838 $98 $1,670
1839 $99 $1,668
1840 $91 $1,628
1841 $93 $1,618
1842 $88 $1,622
1843 $83 $1,655
1844 $88 $1,702
1845 $93 $1,759
1846 $101 $1,846
1847 $114 $1,908
1848 $111 $1,907
1849 $107 $1,868
1850 $110 $1,888
1851 $112 $1,969
1852 $121 $2,117
1853 $127 $2,210
1854 $137 $2,206
1855 $142 $2,225
1856 $141 $2,252
1857 $141 $2,202
1858 $135 $2,232
1859 $142 $2,339
1860 $138 $2,308
1861 $143 $2,298
1862 $176 $2,530
1863 $227 $2,666
1864 $275 $2,636
1865 $281 $2,650
1866 $249 $2,467
1867 $226 $2,447
1868 $215 $2,481
1869 $202 $2,484
1870 $194 $2,492
1871 $185 $2,540
1872 $196 $2,684
1873 $202 $2,834
1874 $191 $2,808
1875 $179 $2,737
1876 $179 $2,791
1877 $180 $2,872
1878 $173 $2,908
1879 $190 $3,184
1880 $206 $3,380
1881 $226 $3,714
1882 $231 $3,805
1883 $226 $3,800
1884 $211 $3,644
1885 $203 $3,573
1886 $209 $3,789
1887 $221 $3,989
1888 $229 $4,131
1889 $224 $4,162
1890 $239 $4,482
1891 $239 $4,438
1892 $248 $4,559
1893 $228 $4,195
1894 $205 $3,913
1895 $223 $4,288
1896 $218 $4,151
1897 $223 $4,255
1898 $246 $4,646
1899 $261 $4,884
1900 $270 $4,921
1901 $287 $5,083
1902 $304 $5,238
1903 $322 $5,292
1904 $313 $5,010
1905 $343 $5,465
1906 $363 $5,580
1907 $389 $5,621
1908 $340 $4,917
1909 $356 $5,169
1910 $362 $5,116
1911 $366 $5,200
1912 $392 $5,359
1913 $403 $5,462
1914 $368 $4,948
1915 $385 $5,011
1916 $487 $5,626
1917 $577 $5,410
1918 $725 $5,834
1919 $746 $5,852
1920 $830 $5,721
1921 $678 $5,483
1922 $667 $5,708
1923 $763 $6,350
1924 $762 $6,422
1925 $782 $6,475
1926 $826 $6,806
1927 $803 $6,777
1928 $808 $6,771
1929 $850 $7,099
1930 $740 $6,418
1931 $616 $5,960
1932 $470 $5,152
1933 $449 $5,056
1934 $522 $5,567
1935 $576 $6,021
1936 $653 $6,761
1937 $712 $7,065
1938 $663 $6,769
1939 $703 $7,256
1940 $768 $7,827
1941 $950 $9,079
1942 $1,201 $10,644
1943 $1,452 $12,220
1944 $1,588 $13,053
1945 $1,594 $12,766
1946 $1,572 $11,241
1947 $1,694 $10,925
1948 $1,836 $11,206
1949 $1,792 $10,957
1950 $1,937 $11,717
1951 $2,199 $12,412
1952 $2,283 $12,668
1953 $2,378 $13,032
1954 $2,342 $12,719
1955 $2,509 $13,389
1956 $2,601 $13,410
1957 $2,692 $13,435
1958 $2,683 $13,088
1959 $2,860 $13,782
1960 $2,912 $13,840
1961 $2,965 $13,932
1962 $3,139 $14,552
1963 $3,263 $14,971
1964 $3,458 $15,624
1965 $3,700 $16,420
1966 $4,007 $17,290
1967 $4,189 $17,533
1968 $4,533 $18,196
1969 $4,857 $18,573
1970 $5,064 $18,391
1971 $5,427 $18,771
1972 $5,899 $19,555
1973 $6,524 $20,484
1974 $7,013 $20,195
1975 $7,586 $19,961
1976 $8,369 $20,822
1977 $9,219 $21,565
1978 $10,307 $22,526
1979 $11,387 $22,982
1980 $12,249 $22,666
1981 $13,601 $23,007
1982 $14,017 $22,346
1983 $15,092 $23,146
1984 $16,638 $24,593
1985 $17,695 $25,382
1986 $18,542 $26,024
1987 $19,517 $26,664
1988 $20,827 $27,514
1989 $22,169 $28,221
1990 $23,195 $28,429
1991 $23,650 $28,007
1992 $24,668 $28,556
1993 $25,578 $28,940
1994 $26,844 $29,741
1995 $27,749 $30,128
1996 $28,982 $30,881
1997 $30,424 $31,886
1998 $31,674 $32,833
1999 $33,181 $33,904
2000 $34,759 $34,759
2001 $35,490 $34,659
2002 $36,326 $34,866
2003 $37,671 $35,403
2004 $39,796 $36,356
2005 $41,954 $37,127
2006 $44,100 $37,832
2007 $45,827 $38,291
BTW – despite your feelings on gold currencies, year 2000 currency is a purchasing power measure and can easily be replaced by gold. without altering the trend.
Keep smoking that crack!
Lets just get rid of the rest of your balony while we are here:
1. The CDC has statistics on causes of mortality going back to before 1900. These prove that there were thousands of deaths classed as starvation before 1960. Guess how many there are now? None – bnecause there is aid for them if they want or need it. So you are WRONG on that one.
2. Your reference to States that “GUARANTEED food for the poor even while letting them starve” is useless because you havent isolated minimal redistribution as the independent variable in those situations. Therefore there could have been many other variables affecting those countries at those times (not least of all tyrannical non-democratic governments and communist policies) which potentially caused those problems. So your UNSUPPORTED argument falls flat. mmmmmm
(Gee, this is easy!)
So I have history, economics and logic on MY side and you have none of these. Funny how things turn around so fast when your fuzzy logic meets the cold light of day.
seems you haven’t refuted any of the previous valid arguments that contradict your baseless statements.
What does government produce? Nothing that isn’t provided through the efforts of its citizens (i.e. taxation, etc.). Therefore, if government engages in redistributional welfare, it is taking what is produced by some of its citizens and giving it to other citizens. What’s the result? Those who are being taken from reduce their production or find ways to limit the takings (such as tax shelters, or moving out of the country), leaving less for government to redistribute.
Second question: how does government redistribute? What methods does government use to ensure that all the poor receive the redistribution, that someone doesn’t slip through the cracks? It would be easy to see someone applying for welfare and being denied because they didn’t have a permanent address (were homeless), for example. A perfect bureacratic snafu. What if someone is deliberately poor so that they can receive the redistribution, even though they are perfectly able to get a job and earn their own money?
Now, I agree that some slight redistribution, while still creating perverse incentives as the above, won’t cause as much trouble as a more extreme redistribution, but that still doesn’t mean that there won’t be problems, especially concerning the distribution part. Government agents are only human, too, and disinterested government agents are less likely to do as good a job as a concerned private charity in getting the goods to the right people.
Last, but not least, what kind of evil organization is the Catholic Church if they’re going to support forced redistribution, even if it’s only to a slight degree? Is not a lesser evil still an evil?
Owen: “1. The CDC has statistics on causes of mortality going back to before 1900. These prove that there were thousands of deaths classed as starvation before 1960. Guess how many there are now? None – bnecause there is aid for them if they want or need it.”
Not to doubt your integrity, but I couldn’t find any such statistics on the CDC web site. Could you provide some references?
Owen: “Your reference to States that “GUARANTEED food for the poor even while letting them starve” is useless because you havent isolated minimal redistribution as the independent variable in those situations.”
That was my whole point. The states that failed to keep their GUARANTEES shows that factors other than the guarantee are absolutely necessary for the GUARANTEE to work. Free markets are necessary or the GUARANTEE is worthless. But that should make you wonder if the GUARANTEE is necessary in a free market. The generosity of Americans toward other Americans and toward people of other nations should make it clear that a state GUARANTEE is unecessary.
Please get your dates straight. The poverty programs you mentioned above began in 1968 with the Johnson administration. Just a thought, but if the poverty rate today is about the same as in 1968, why were people starving to death then and not now?
Owen: “Funny how things turn around so fast when your fuzzy logic meets the cold light of day.”
Keep praising yourself because that’s the only praise you’re going to get.
Michael A. Clem:
You are correct in all your criticisms of redistribution policies. Bear in mind however that you are comparing material costs against loss of human life.
To me there is no comparison.
Yip, there are other conditions that must be met and this extends to the free-market just as it does to minimal redistribution. There are various features of the free-market that would need to hold for a free-market to function as most libertarians suggest. There are also many features that must be present for minimal redistribution, some of which are:
- a free and fair democracy
- basic human rights
- can’t think of any more at this stage but you should ge the point
The CDC reference is the National Centre for Health Statistics:
(beware, some of the files are over 100MB)
…and when remember, if you find even one death that could have been avoided with minimal redictribution then that proves my case that it is superior to free-market policies in the eyes of the Catholic Church.
The CDC Stats conclusively show that the “The generosity of Americans toward other Americans and toward people of other nations” did not extend to EVERYONE. That is why unfettered free-markets would be right for Catholics.
The free-market corporate policies pursued in the USA (when compared to Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) have widened the gap between the rich and poor and lengthened the lines at the unemployment office.
The extremely destitute have however (thankfully) been saved by the state welfare programmes.
Owen, while I read up on free riders in Ec 101 you revise poverty traps. But why be stuck in text books, I want to know why people who claim to care about the poor don’t get out and help directly? The so-called free rider problem is nothing compared with the counter-productive effects of things tariffs and labour market constraints.
You are right, tariffs and labour market constraints are counter-productive and hurt the poor.
Poverty trap is only a relevant argument if you feel it appropriate to use fear of death as a motivator for people who are poor.
Again, the catholic Church would never do that.
“..’this’ in your quoted sentence refers to essential resources, not anything that could extend or enhance ones life. The Catholic Church sees the promotion of one’s health as a personal responsibility and not one for the concern of others. Therefore the Catholic has the right to refuse any medical treatment and conversely does not have any right to receive any. Therefore healthcare can stay within the free-market.
“If there is ‘ample charity’ in the USA then why do 30,000 people still die every day from preventable hunger and disease?”
i thought we’d agreed, as per post #1, that medical treatment was to be excluded from redistributional programmes? how did preventable disease sneak in, come post #2.
in or out?
if out, you’d better revise downwards your 30 000 figure to count just hunger deaths alone.
Owen, asking you to prove your comments before I proceed is standard procedure. Either prove them, or again realise that you’re just asserting. No one is going to refute your comments because the burden is on you to prove them – all you’ve done so far is asserted them at greater length. I think it is time everyone here stopped offering positive arguments of their own, and forced you to first of all prove your statements, forcing you to demonstrate whether you can or not, closing up any room for evasion you might have.
“And then there’s this gem:
To me there is no comparison.”
Pure evasion. His point is that these programmes cannot even achieve their intended aims. You’re just constructing one of your strawman arguments.
“…and when remember, if you find even one death that could have been avoided with minimal redictribution then that proves my case that it is superior to free-market policies in the eyes of the Catholic Church.”
Post hoc ergo propter hoc…
Owen, Your link at the CDC has data only back to 1999. After more work, I found the historical data going back to 1880. However, for 1880, 1890 and 1935, the only years I looked at, death by starvation was even listed as a cause of death, even though two dozen diseases and other causes were listed. Obviously, death by starvation was so infrequent that it didn’t even qualify as a category. So your estimate of thousands of deaths is way off the mark.
My intuition guessed that you were wrong on that. I recently read Rothbard’s books on the depression of 1819 and on the Great Depression. In both cases, the support of the haves for the have-nots was amazing. In the 1819 depression, those with money sprang into action quickly to provide food and shelter for anyone needing it. It’s a very moving story.
Owen: “There are also many features that must be present for minimal redistribution, some of which are: – a free and fair democracy – basic human rights.
Which a free market provides the best. The more the state controls the economy, the more opportunity exists for corruption of state officials and the less you have of your two requirements.
Owen: “â€¦ if you find even one death that could have been avoided with minimal redictribution then that proves my case that it is superior to free-market policies in the eyes of the Catholic Church.
That’s very poor logic, as Inquisitor has pointed out. But you must hold redistribution to the same standard. If just one person has died in the US from starvation since 1968, then minimal redistribution has failed. Of course, such criteria makes either argument unfalsifiable. There is no way either side can prove that no one has died before or after 1968.
PS, You might want to check out the web site of Feed the Children. Larry Jones started his ministry a few decades ago because the forced “minimal redistribution” you the US practices had failed.
Yes, this thread is rife with the stench of consequentialism.
All of it from Owen, not surprisingly.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc means that one is merely taking correlations and then treating them as causation. It’s fallacious, and it is exactly what Owen does.
i’d like to see the name of one person, just one, who died of starvation in the us in the last thirty years. anorexia excluded.
this mythical victim would have become an icon for left-wingers of all persuasions. don’t tell me the press wouldn’t have had a field day.
you starvation numbers are fudged; give us at least one name. one!
in your opening salvo, you seem to have misconstrued “do unto others” as somehow negating the laissez-faire ideals. this biblical invocation asks you to empathize with your fellow man. that is to be charitable to him, as though it were you in his shoes.
anyone who’s ever worked in finance has seen how quickly fortunes can change. many traders donate to down-and-out lodges, most because they have ex-colleagues who’ve drunk themselves there.
Scio, Inquisitor, but my point is that even if one were to accept Owen’s unproven (and largely unprovable) assertions about the efficacy of the Almighty State’s welfare programs, one still ends up with a big, steaming pile of consequentialist sh*t.
The address to the correct address in the CDC website is here (I thought I posed it but it must have not been uploaded):
Do you need someone to read it out to you aswell newson/fundamentalist?
Remember even one death on any of these reports that can be linked to lack of basic necessities PROVES that redistribution is preferred by Catholics – because redistribution incurs ZERO deaths.
It also seems that Inquisitor cannot read because proof was provided in earlier posts but he could not refute them so he goes back to his tired old mantra (evidenced in other columns) of attacking the person rather than the issue because he has already lost. Sad really.
You are exactly right! It is the SYSTEM that is under exaqmination not individual people.
A free-market system is benign and would let a poor person die (it is only INDIVIDUALS) not he ‘system’ that would save them.
Minimal redistribution on the other hand would NEVER let them die.
That is the difference, and it is HUGE.
No, sorry, what you did was assert your points. When you prove them, we can proceed, I’m not going to let you slither out of it.
Again, post hoc ergo propter hoc… such a silly mistake.
I think you will find I proved them using logic.
Owen: “Do you need someone to read it out to you aswell newson/fundamentalist?”
Clearly, you haven’t read them. The last link you gave points to the articles I wrote about above. They don’t mention death by starvation at all. You pulled your figures about death out of thin air, just like every other socialist.
Owen: “Remember even one death on any of these reports that can be linked to lack of basic necessities PROVES that redistribution is preferred by Catholics – because redistribution incurs ZERO deaths.”
As I wrote before, the same criterion applies to your minimal redistribution. One death by starvation in the past 50 years PROVES it wrong. And as I wrote, but you ignore, Larry Jones founded Feed the Children because he saw that your minimal forced redistribution didn’t work. Every church has voluntary programs to help feed the poor. Other volunteer groups helping the poor have been been started since the launch of the Great Society and forced distribution. Just the fact that these organizations exist is PROOF that minimal distribution has failed. Voluntary charity made possible by a free market must step in an rescue the people that forced state distribution has failed, as it always has in every society and always will.
You didn’t read them all so you can’t say that they don’t include starvation. Some do, it like you said depends on how frequently it occured.
Once to too many times.
If those minimal forced redistribution systems didn’t work it was because they were not done properly.
I am not advocating minimal redictribution done wrong in the same way as you are not advocating free-markets done wrong.
“I am not advocating minimal redictribution (sic) done wrong in the same way as you are not advocating free-markets done wrong.”
this doesn’t make sense.
first, laissez-fare implies the unimpeded exchange between two willing parties. there is no “doing” whatsoever, in the sense of active implementation by some external party.
second, what aims redistribution has, or how “efficiently” this programme is enacted, is not pertinent to your argument. remember, you’re not arguing that efficient redistribution programmes can prevent starvation, whilst inefficient redistribution cannot. you’re arguing that the free market cannot.
figures, please! amended figures to exclude “preventable disease” in your 30 000. and the name of one, only one starvation victim (non-anorexic) in the us in the last 30 years.
are you going to continue to welch it?
there is no “doing” whatsoever? In free-markets? Who runs the police force and courts? If you are advocating anarchy I think you will find that democratic governments exist WITHIN an anarchist framework – just so happens they are the larget groups and so can enforce their concepts of ‘rights’ at the expense of others.
So I am at least assuming that the work of police and courts involves some ‘doing’…the same as redistribution also involves some ‘doing’.
I am arguing for minimal redistribution (done correctly) as the solution Catholics want and that free-markets would never be accepts by the Catholic Church.
I agree that no-one in the USA will have dies in the past 50 years following the start of Redistribution policies – thanks for proving MY point that they work!
Are you seriously suggesting that no-one in the world is dying from lack of necessities these days?
Did you know that there are many many diseases that can be caused though lack of sanitation, clean water, food and housing?
Remember only 1 death at all is enough to prove my point that charity does not work, because if it did the 100 fold increase in incomes of those in developed countries would have been enough to allow charity to meet the basic needs of those people. Therefore there is no basis to expect that increasing people’s incomes by 1000 fold through free-market policies will make any difference to poor people but will rather they will always exist in free-market systems because of peoples preferences NOT to donate enough to them as is evidenced over the past 50 years.
Remember only 1 death at all is enough to prove my point that charity does not work, because if it did the 100 fold increase in incomes of those in developed countries would have been enough to allow charity to meet the basic needs of those people.
many many preventable diseases are caused by lack of basic necessities such as sanitation, clean water, housing and food.
My, how impatient.
“I think you will find I proved them using logic.”
Assertions =/= logic. Like I said, repeatedly, public goods have typically been handled by the market, in spite of the rather weak (it’s a mish-mash of ignoring the subjectivity of value and hidden ethical premises) theory put forward for it by economists. So it remains for you to prove all your points.
“If those minimal forced redistribution systems didn’t work it was because they were not done properly.”
Substitute charity for forced redistribution programme…
“I agree that no-one in the USA will have dies (sic) in the past 50 years following the start of Redistribution policies – thanks for proving MY point that they work!”
ok, so we agree that americans are not dying of starvation, or not at least for the last decades. now you argue that that is due to redistribution programmes, which we can essentially say are a post-great- depression phenomenon. look at the income figures (nominal/real) which you’ve quoted:
1900 $270 $4,921
2007 $45,827 $38,291
how can you say it’s not the increased affluence that’s responsable for the dearth of starvation, and not the socialist policies?
or here’s another way to put it – if one person has died of starvation in peru, or bolivia, or any number of other poor, democratic nations with redistributionist policies, then does that not prove redistribution, and not charity is a failed approach?
which countries are doing redistribution “correctly”, and what is correct anyway?
finally, the figure you cited – 30 000 deaths – I could find no such figure on the link you provided.
I used syllogistic logic. I am sure you haven’t heard of it because you didn’t notice it. Back to logic 101 for you.
No, the answer is to do minimal redistribution PROPERLY.
30,000 deaths is quoted by hundreds and hundreds of sources as the per day number that die in the world.
You are exactly right, there have never been any ‘pure minimal redistribution’ systems in operation.
The assumption that they indeed do work is the same assumption that a free-market system would enjoy fair courts and police. If either of these assumptions do not hold then neither system lives up to its purported claims, whatever they may be.
Free-markets have failed to save the 30,000 people dying per day from lack of basic necessities whilst peoples incomes in the developed world have risen by about 100 times the amount needed to ‘solve’ the problem. This proves that charity DOES NOT feed everyone and in fact there is little to suggest it ever would.
Owen reminds me of a man who jumps off a 100 ft cliff and gets killed because he doesn’t do it PROPERLY.
I’m relieved he’s given up the idea that the state should do whatever’s needed to keep people alive. I had this ghastly vision of being conscripted by his organ police to surrender one of my kidneys, or perhaps half a liver.
I used syllogistic logic. I am sure you haven’t heard of it because you didn’t notice it. Back to logic 101 for you.”
I’ve heard of it (please don’t try these little debating tricks with me – you didn’t even know what burden of proof means), but what you did is to assert various things, then refused to actually show that they apply. Back to elementary school for you.
“No, the answer is to do minimal redistribution PROPERLY.”
Substitute charity for minimal distribution.
“Free-markets have failed to save the 30,000 people dying per day ”
In the countries without them, or in the countries which only recently adopted them after socialist regimes? You keep on bringing up rising world incomes, but as I said, throwing money at a problem that is institutional is about as good an idea of giving a drunk money for another drink without treating their drinking problem.
At least you have finally admitted that your propositions have nothing to do with legal, moral or economic reasoning — this assertion applies to ANYTHING.
You can say that “the only reason that X didn’t work is because it wasn’t done properly.”
There have been countless apologists for the most extreme totalitarian Communism, for crying out loud, that prattle on endlessly about how the USSR only failed because Marxism was not done “properly.”
They ignore rational, logical propositions like the Calculation Problem, and instead claim that collectivism fails because of the personalities that ran the State at that time.
In other words, if you are hanging your entire worldview on the proposition that collectivism needs only to be done “properly” to succeed, then you fail. This proposition asserts nothing, and it proves nothing.
Here’s the bedrock economic truth about these “minimal” systems of redistribution (i.e., theft) that you keep advocating: Any system of forced redistribution attracts people who will want to USE that system for other purposes.
These people (typically sociopaths) will use the justifications that you provided. When you admit that ORGANIZED THEFT is acceptable, then you open the door to allowing it for … anything.
You will try to draw a line. You will try to formulate some kind of rationale for why your system of theft was good and moral where theirs is not, that your beautiful system of “minimal redistribution” was NEVER MEANT to be used to pay for crop subsidies, an imperial military, super-highways, pork-barrel projects, missions to Mars, etc.
But you will fail. You opened the door. You helped create a system that facilitates and justifies the taking of property from A to give to B.
This process is inevitable, once you permit “redistribution.”
Owen: “You didn’t read them all so you can’t say that they don’t include starvation. Some do, it like you said depends on how frequently it occured.”
Which ones? poverty was worst during the Great Depression and the data for 1935 doesn’t list any deaths by starvation. Neither did the data for 1880 and 1890 when US citizens were much poorer than in 1935. Keep in mind the data for each survery covers the previous decade. Are you trying to tell me that people starved to death when the country became wealthier. You have no reason to write that people starved to death in the US before it became socialistic. You have no data.
“Free-markets have failed to save the 30,000 people dying per day from lack of basic necessities whilst peoples incomes in the developed world have risen by about 100 times the amount needed to ‘solve’ the problem. “
because laissez-faire doesn’t involve imperialism, it is inevitable that differing degrees of economic freedom will characterize various nations. sovereign nations will always bear the ultimate responsibility for their own citizens’ welfare. charity coming from abroad can well be frustrated and obstructed in getting to the impoverished.
but your solution is what, to invade the poorer country to then impose a different (“correct”) form of redistribution? this experiment is being implemented at vast cost in iraq. a national-socialist government replaced by a democratically elected government, and all at vast cost to the us taxpayer. do you like what you see?
I’ll start with the easiest first:
I think you will find I did use syllogistic logic in which you must refute it but disproving one of the propositions. You haven’t even tried yet. Sad…wasn’t there another thread where you never even tried to? I think i remember…
You misunderstand why free-markets have failed to save the 30,000. It is because your ‘charity’ from developed countries has enjoyed over 100 years of increasing incomes and in recent years, increases which are more than 100 times larger than the cost of feeding those 30,000………yet it still fails to do so. This shows that no matter the income level, charity will still never solve this problem.
You are new here so we will keep this short:
The assertion doesn’t apply to anything. Once could not say that the reason my gunshot to the mans head didn’t make him happy was because I did it wrong…….um. You need to go back to school. The original assertion does have to be able to affect the desired outcome.
You’ll also find that ‘collectivism’ or whatever communist brand you are from was not what I suggested. Go back and actually READ the posts you are commenting on.
Please explain how a very low simple tax collected then distributed to either everyone or to the poor only will be abused. Then I will tell you that a free-market police force and legal system could be abused in much the same way. Then your argument fails.
Um, it is cash collected then redistributed. You are the one talking about ‘pork bellies’.
And what is inevitable (based on past histroy) is that when you permit free-markets, some people lose and die in order for you to prosper. I don’t put your ‘prosperity’ above their life.
251 from cold and freezing in 1909 is a good start. Or do you suppose they wanted to freeze to death?
Lest’s also have a look at diseases that are linked to sanitation (another basic necessity) “The incidence of typhoid fever in the United States has markedly decreased since the early 1900s. Today, less than 500 cases are reported annually in the United States, mostly in people who recently have traveled to endemic areas. This is in comparison to the 1920s, when over 35,000 cases were reported in the U.S. This improvement is the result of improved environmental sanitation.”
Sadly, a disease which still kills in the developing world because of LACK OF BASIC NECESSITIES.
Again (because it hasn’t sunk in for you yet – yawn) free-market CHARITY has yet to transfer the income gains of the past 50 years to ending poverty in the third world which would cost less than 1/100 of the annual global increase in incomes. With these huge increases in wealth there has not been enough DONATION. So how can you conclude there would be enough were there to me even higher levels of wealth – the EVIDENCE doesn’t show that.
1. It is cash stolen.
2. If you don’t know the difference between pork barrel projects and pork bellies, then I was mistaken to think this was a serious conversation worth my time.
2. Yet another who believes they have a monopoly on the English Language. (Sigh)
1. It’s about using words with concrete meanings to (a) express the truth and (b) expose the propaganda techniques that are inherent in the use of words like “redistribution,” which cloaks aggressive violence with a veil of benign civility.
2. I’m guessing that you don’t know what a monopoly really is, either. Or subject-verb agreement, for that matter.
2. Your guesses would be wrong. Like everything else you have said so far. (yawns again)
I’ll start with the dumbest first…
“I think you will find I did use syllogistic logic in which you must refute it but disproving one of the propositions. You haven’t even tried yet. Sad…wasn’t there another thread where you never even tried to? I think i remember…”
Why must I try? You haven’t even shown that they apply to begin with, that this so-called logic (read: assertion) of yours has any bearing on reality. All you can do is treat two different entities as if they’re the same. It’s amusing that you think markets and political entities can be analyzed in the same way, ignoring the differences between them.
“You misunderstand why free-markets have failed to save the 30,000. It is because your ‘charity’ from developed countries has enjoyed over 100 years of increasing incomes and in recent years, increases which are more than 100 times larger than the cost of feeding those 30,000………yet it still fails to do so. This shows that no matter the income level, charity will still never solve this problem.”
No, dear illiterate socialist, it shows that non-capitalist economies generate starvation, and that throwing money at it will do nothing to resolve the problem. Are you done repeating the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, BTW?
As I have said, people need to stop offering Owen anything at all, and make him prove his own assertions, rather than allowing him to masquerade his own feeble attempts at hiding his ignorance.
You have to dispute the propositions of a syllogistic argument or the logic. Seems you don’t know the first thing about it.
No, it shows that Charity is not working. And never will.
The fact the arguments were based on syllogistic logic and that you haven’t even tried to dispute any of them shows that either you can’t or won’t. Either way, you are adding nothing to the debate.
“The fact the arguments were based on syllogistic logic and that you haven’t even tried to dispute any of them shows that either you can’t or won’t. ”
Or that I don’t have to…
“Either way, you are adding nothing to the debate.”
That’d be you, but thank you for lying.
“You have to dispute the propositions of a syllogistic argument or the logic. Seems you don’t know the first thing about it.”
I’m asking you to actually prove your premises, i.e. positive assertions you’ve made, of which the burden of proof is yours,.
“No, it shows that Charity is not working. And never will.”
And this is based on…? Your “syllogistic proof”? As I said, Hernando de Soto’s book “The Mystery of Capital” has exposed the causes of poverty in the third world. Throwing money at the problem has not and will not solve it. Developing markets, on the other hand, will.
Still nothing of substance from you. A bit whiny actually…
- Cannot refute any of my claims.
- Cannot refute any of my logic.
So you are prepared to let those people starve while your point is made? So instead of Charity not working, charity does not want to work?
Would it surprise you to learn that Americans gave $295 billion to charity in 2006? That 95 billion of the $122 billion that went ot foreign aid in 2006 came from private sources? US GDP in 2006 was about $13.16 trillion. In other words, private citizens and organizations in the U.S. collectively donated over 2% of the nation’s GDP to charity. About a third of that went to foreign aid and the rest was presumably spent domestically.
You contend that a mere 1% tax will “guarantee” that no one starves. It seems that private charity has already achieved that and more.
More to come.
So why are they still dying? Shouldn’t the “free-market” enable ‘effective’ charities to emerge that solve any distribution issues? Or is that not what the free-market does – make things more efficient and effective?
Owen: “Again …free-market CHARITY has yet to transfer the income gains of the past 50 years to ending poverty in the third world which would cost less than 1/100 of the annual global increase in incomes.”
It’s simply not true that the increase in wealth in the world over the past 50 years would have eliminated poverty had it been evenly distributed. That’s a typical socialist myth intended to persuade weak-minded people. Numerous studies have shown that redistributing all of the world’s wealth (not just that accumulated over the last 50 years, but all wealth) would not improve the standard of living of the poor to any significant degree. There simply aren’t enough rich people with enough riches. At the same time, all of the evidence about charitable giving to poor countries has proven that it does nothing to reduce poverty. Tanzania is an extreme example. That country has received more donations in the past 60 years from the UN, states and private charities than any nation on the planet in all of history. 60 years ago it was one of the poorest states on the planet and it still is today.
“So why are they still dying?”
Who? Since starvation is not a problem in the US (outside of insecure teenagers and hollywood actors), I must assume that you are talking about people in foreign countries. If that is the case, the problems faced by the public and private sector are exactly the same. Let me outline that problem for you:
In short, the constant flow of foreign funds, however targeted or conditioned, has given governments sufficient resources to allow them to implement policies that wreck their economies. True, many collectivist regimes throughout the developing world, including Tanzania, have finally had to face reality. But Western assistance unnecessarily prolonged the adjustment process, essentially treating Third World debtors like drunks who were handed a wad of cash and told to drink no more.
Why are they still dying? Rule by socialist dictatorship would be a good place to start.
“Shouldn’t the “free-market” enable ‘effective’ charities to emerge that solve any distribution issues?”
Are you suggesting that the market should find ways to circumvent corrupt foreign governments? Smuggling is about the only solution I can come up with to get around those corrupt governments, but I can’t see the Red Cross or other international aid organizations actually committing to such ventures.
There are plenty of people dying in countries where the aid is allowed in so why can’t the “free-market” charities evolve to solve this?
I don’t know, I mean if someone needed food or sanitation or housing or else they would die…what else would you give them? an Ipod? tell them to go and eat sand? take then non-existent money and buy some imaginary food? tough love or murder? what about cripples from those countries? tell them to piss off (tough love)? You have no idea. You spend all your time on your “theories” and have no idea about the reality.
Owen – for a dose of “reality” you might like to visit Zimbabwe, where food aid is doled out by the regime to its supporters. This is not a failure of the free market, but a perversion of it.
So if they suddenly just stopped giving the food out (which you are implying is necessary for survival)tomorrow no-one would die?
Good one for trying though. I had a slight chuckle at the naivity of such a statement.
Let me spell it out for you. The free market is not able to operate inside Zimbabwe. If it did, then starvation would be prevented in the short term by external charities, and in the long term by the redevelopment of agriculture. At the moment, any charity which sends food aid to Zimbabwe is lining the pockets of the regime.
Or perhaps you believe that the regime is a good one because it is carrying out your redistribution policies, albeit to a limited clientele.
What you suggest is a good idea. Now just add some minimal redistribution and you have the best strategy.
“Still nothing of substance from you. A bit whiny actually…”
Still no proof from you. A bit pathetic actually.
“- Cannot refute any of my claims.
- Cannot refute any of my logic.”
Why? The burden is on you to first offer something resembling a proof, not offering empty formalisms which you have not even demonstrated apply to the matter at hand.
“So you are prepared to let those people starve while your point is made? So instead of Charity not working, charity does not want to work?”
What? Did you even read what I said?
In fact, you’re the one reduced to whining at this stage.
“I don’t know, I mean if someone needed food or sanitation or housing or else they would die…what else would you give them? an Ipod? tell them to go and eat sand? take then non-existent money and buy some imaginary food? tough love or murder? what about cripples from those countries? tell them to piss off (tough love)? You have no idea. You spend all your time on your “theories” and have no idea about the reality. ”
If this, by the very definition of the term, is not whining, or at the very least explicit emotional appeals I do not know what is. I love the reference to “theories”, though, from someone who can’t even show that his “theories” apply to the given situation and ignores the immense institutional problems involved (i.e. WHY these people are starving to begin with).
Owen, you’re a waste of our time. Consequently, I’m done with you for good. Others have already made the wise decision to ignore you. It’ll be interesting to see whether in a short while anyone will still be charitable enough to address you.
Once again Inquisitor makes a post and says:
absolutely nothing of consequence to the discussion…except of course a little whine
This from someone who herself doesn’t even know why the destitute are the way they are. I’m sure she thinks she does but she doesn’t really give it much thought except that the magical market works for everyone.
Forgetting that in fact the market works best for those with something of value to offer it and when there are too many people offering what you’ve got the price you get can be lower than what it costs to feed yourself. Yes this is in a free market.
Inquisitor, I try to keep the Biblical proverb in mind that says the one who argues with a fool is the greater fool. I think I’ve been guilty of being the greater fool here.
It’ll be interesting to see just when this petulant troll is banned. It seems the poor creature cannot even get my gender right… maybe it’s just so horribly immature it is trying to insult me by referring to me as female.
It was a 50/50 guess. Have you got something against women. I wouldn’t be surprised. You whine alot too.
Seems you are building up quite a reputation for trolling the board and adding nothing to discussions.
It is quite telling that you have not added one assertion to this thread that has not been soundly refuted but cannot even refute but one yourself.
Lack of wit maybe? (yawn)
i’m flogging a dead horse here, but how do you propose to ensure that monies from taxpayers in wealthy countries actually arrive to the poor, not intercepted by corrupt government officials? (we’ll leave aside all ethical arguments here, as we’re not going to see eye-to-eye on this point).
Don’t get angry because you can’t get your point across properly. Just try and articulate it better.
I don’t propose to in short. But there are plenty of third world countris with access, however there are still people dying from lack of basic necessities.
In a free market the charities should have completely ‘saved’ all these people but they haven’t. Why? Because the functioning of the free-market is not the problem, it is the lack of donations.
i highlighted the section to encourage you to read it – it’s actually your suggestion to end third world poverty, and it’s the current system. government to government aide already dwarfs private charity. why is your system not working?
here it is again, re-articulated:
“how do you propose to ensure that monies, collected via taxes from wealthy-nation citizens, actually arrive to the poor, not intercepted by corrupt government officials?”
your answer seems to be, let’s forget about those countries and concentrate on the easy-access countries (of which there are none, because they all have huge import taxes, custom imposts, regulations etc). there are no countries in dire need of aide who have secure property rights.
ethiopia has more resources for sustenance than singapore or hong kong, which were poor forty years ago. the latter got no aide, ethiopia has had bucketloads (and most from redistribution). why is your redistribution failing, notwithstanding the billions spent?
You are correct that alot of development aid comes from western governments and there is general agreement it is not enough. Therefore it is not minimal redistribution because it does not even meet basic necessities.
If you are sure there are no countries that can be used as a comparison then I accept your point. There really is no definitive evidence either way that charity can or can’t provide for the needy. However there isn’t any credible evidence that it can’t.
That was in fact my original proposition that we don’t know for sure whether charity would work but we do know for sure that if a stable, democratic government with a firm rule of law and running liberal free-market policies redistributed a minimal amount of resources to cover the basic needs of the poor then this would DEFINATELY work. Choose any developed country and eliminate all taxes except a minimal redistribution and watch the economy flourish whilst no-one starves.
Under a pure free-market this is probable but you just cannot say for sure.
The Catholic Church would err on the side of caution because the minimal amount lost has significant gains of ensuring the poor are fed.
please read “aid”!
sani obacha, former military ruler of nigeria, stashed over 2 billion usd in swiss banks (thank you government aid, more please!).
ferdinand marcos of the philippines, over 500 million usd, and we’re talking about when the dollar was worth a lot more.
the list of bad guys is endless, tax revenues are not.
Democratic minimal redistribution by its very nature only redistributes amongst the members of that country. There is no requirement to undertake any foreign aid – this should all be done by private charity as you suggest.
Problem is that the low amounts of such charitable aid amongst such obvious plenty in the developed world gives one little confidence that were there to be more money in these peoples back pockets that they would donate enough more or simply buy another Hummer.
Overseas Charitable Aid is not a necessary requirement of free-market charity because each country should be able to look after itself more or less. Overseas charitable Aid SO FAR gives a very poor indication of the desire or preference to help everyone that actually needs it.
“maybe it’s just so horribly immature it is trying to insult me by referring to me as female.”
For rational individuals, this should mean that referring to one as female in order to insult is immature. How this entails a problem on my part with women is beyond me.
You also might want to read this:
I think that there is a lot wrong with Hardin’s economic views in general, but he does lay out the case quite convincingly for why redistribution, carried out with the aim of feeding the world’s poor, is a path to self-destruction.
Who said it was an insult. Are you paranoid? Do you somehow think women are inferior? Because that is how it is coming out. Not only a confederate flag waving troll but but a sexist too? Sad.
Minimal redistribution is only meant to feed the poor of the state from which is governs – not the world. It is free-market charity that tries to feed the worlds poor but shows again and again why it is unable to do so – personal preferences will never allow the last person to be fed.
Minimal redistribution has only the same failings as the free-market that prevent it from working. These are the organs of the state not doing their job properly. The free-market requires rules provided by courts and a police force in order to function and these MUST be provided by the state. Were these not to be provided by the state you have a state of ANARCHY in which we are actually already in – just that the largest voluntary groups are called governments.
There is the same potential and scope for negative consequences if the provision of these services go awry than if the redistribution mechanism goes wrong.
My my, the troll reveals its biases again. If only it read what I said carefully, instead of injecting its own stupidity into everything it sees. I saw no other reason for it to attribute to me feminine pronouns as the like other than a cheap attempt to denigrate me – and as it should be clear from what I said, I find any such attempt immature. From this, anyone with half a brain would realize what my position on such insults is. Apparently expecting a hostile troll to be, well, hostile, is now paranoia. I leave it to the readers of this blog to evaluate the troll’s statements as they stand.
and the like*
“I saw no other reason for it to attribute to me feminine pronouns as the like other than a cheap attempt to denigrate me”
Spot the woman hater!
Spot the troll.
I think you meant to say ‘whack-a-troll’.
Hard to face the facts huh? Can’t be bothered apologising to all the women out there you slandered?
Though not. (yawn)
A dumb troll that can’t even interpret pretty simple sentences properly, how novel. No, I can’t be bothered to explain such things to troll. Go on blathering like the imbecile you are. It’s your own time you’re wasting.
A dumb troll that can’t even interpret pretty simple sentences properly, how novel. No, I can’t be bothered to explain such things to a troll. Go on blathering like the imbecile you are. It’s your own time you’re wasting.
Seems pretty self explanitary – let’s see what other think shall we? Especially the women here, I wonder what their thoughts are?
The troll is grasping at straws. If I considered such an insult immature, whence does it follow I view women as inferior? Else I’d not see the insult as immature. Have fun reconciling that contradiction.
There is no contradiction. You hate women.
Perfectly demonstrating that from a contradiction, anything can follow. Well done.
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