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Why is it OK for us to live in luxury while people are DYING from poverty? Watch

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    (Original post by ArtGoblin)
    Poverty is a natural consequence of capitalism, so we can't just say "I'm lucky enough to be born in a wealthy, and there's nothing I can do about it." There is something we can do about it, but it invovles putting pressure on our government, rather than allowing private organisations to do all the work.
    Relative poverty is a natural consequence of capitalism only so far as people have different levels of productivity, which results in some people becoming more successful than others.

    On the other hand, total absolute poverty is a natural consequence of Marxism, which you support.
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    (Original post by stargirl63)
    Thing is, there is so much debt that is owed to the well developed countries that it would take ages to repay this and actually start improving their own economy. so any money that you do give or whatever, is actually used to repay this debt, which is billions of dollars. that is why, when celebs give to the poor lots of money, you can see it doesnt really do much good. it repays the debt, so the people of the country dont actually see the money at all. and they dont know who and what is being given
    The money doesn't do nothing, it actively harms African countries by causing inflation.

    Debt must be fully cancelled, trade restrictions must be abolished and we should stop government aid and focus only on private charity - all three of those policies would help Africa.

    I appreciate peoples sentiment when they donate money, but that isn't fixing the problems, it exacerbates them - people need to start being more outraged/aware of trading restrictions (mostly imposed by the EU btw) than they currently are.
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    Apathy sums it up nicely.
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    (Original post by CandyFlipper)
    Would you care to explain this accusation that capitalism causes poverty?

    I think governmental control of the economy (socialism) causes poverty far more than capitalism, especially in poor countries where those governments would be liable to be corrupt. What they need is a reduction in centralised power and an increase in private business - with free trade embraced as well.

    "The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another." – Milton Friedman
    As someone earlier in the thread said, for someone to be rich, someone else has to be poor. Capitalism puts profit before anything else, so people living in poor countries get exploited and paid much less than they need so that the rich can increase their profit.

    The corruption of government isn't directly related to socialism and I would argue that there is more corruption in capitalist societies, only the corruption exists in private organisations rather than the government itself. As the capitalists are the most powerful people in society, government policies reflects their interests. Would allowing some people to live in desperate poverty while others can afford to buy thousands of pounds worth of clothes be legal if laws were made to benefit the whole of society, rather than most powerful? It certainty causes more damage than say, burglary, which is a criminal offence. Laws are directed at protecting property rights rather than for the good of society.
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    (Original post by ArtGoblin)
    As someone earlier in the thread said, for someone to be rich, someone else has to be poor.
    "For someone to be rich, someone else has to be poor" - perhaps, relatively speaking, but not absolutely.

    Although I may be poor compared to you, your productivity may have made me richer than what I was before at a time when we were both equally poor.
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    It just happened that when the British empire gave back freedom to the people of third world countries they did not have the right leaders.

    They wanted the freedom to run themselves and ruined it. It wasnt the peoples fault but it was down to lack of correct leadership
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    (Original post by ArtGoblin)
    As someone earlier in the thread said, for someone to be rich, someone else has to be poor. Capitalism puts profit before anything else, so people living in poor countries get exploited and paid much less than they need so that the rich can increase their profit.

    The corruption of government isn't directly related to socialism and I would argue that there is more corruption in capitalist societies, only the corruption exists in private organisations rather than the government itself. As the capitalists are the most powerful people in society, government policies reflects their interests. Would allowing some people to live in desperate poverty while others can afford to buy thousands of pounds worth of clothes be legal if laws were made to benefit the whole of society, rather than most powerful? It certainty causes more damage than say, burglary, which is a criminal offence. Laws are directed at protecting property rights rather than for the good of society.
    I think capitalism increases affluence in society and stimulates economies, making everyone richer. I'm not saying it bridges the gap between the poorest and richest, but I would want the rich to be a lot richer if it also means the poor are a bit richer too - in the name of equality would you want the poor a bit poorer so long as the rich were much poorer?

    I don't see capitalism as exploitation anyway: its a voluntary agreement between consenting adults. Nobody but those two can decide whether that agreement is fair, and they wouldn't enter into the agreement unless it benefitted them.

    Of course government corruption is relevant to socialism, because socialism is based on the government control of goods and servises. Why would there be anymore corruption in the private sector? Either way its human beings, thats the same. The difference is that in the public sector the human beings are a powerful monopoly who have vast power, wheras in the private sector there is competition keeping people honest. Are you telling me you trust Mugabe to run the health servise etc of Zimbabwe more fairly than the private sector would run it?

    How does government reflect the interests of capitalism when capitalism is the natural, direct enemy of government? Full unregulated capitalism requires no government, its anarchy. If you want to talk regulations and controls then you're talking socialism - capitalism keeps politics honest and pure, see the Milton Friedman quote I wrote last time.

    If Africa embraced free-market capitalism and free trade, I bet the quality of life of all its people would improve compared to corrupt socialist governments that currently run the show.
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    (Original post by Anony mouse)
    "For someone to be rich, someone else has to be poor" - perhaps, relatively speaking, but not absolutely.

    Although I may be poor compared to you, your productivity may have made me richer than what I was before at a time when we were both equally poor.
    That's not true of some developing nations though. Capitalism has an impact on most of the world, but those people don't receive 'benefits'. How have their living standards improved from selling their produce under its value to people only interested in their own well-being?
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    (Original post by ArtGoblin)
    That's not true of some developing nations though. Capitalism has an impact on most of the world, but those people don't receive 'benefits'. How have their living standards improved from selling their produce under its value to people only interested in their own well-being?
    That’s because the productivity levels of some countries are virtually non-existent due to war caused by irrational cantankerous dissension amongst some of the people of those countries. Their poverty is not caused by capitalism. Nevertheless, the other factor for their poverty could also be colonialism, although this has been somewhat exaggerated.
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    (Original post by CandyFlipper)
    I think capitalism increases affluence in society and stimulates economies, making everyone richer. I'm not saying it bridges the gap between the poorest and richest, but I would want the rich to be a lot richer if it also means the poor are a bit richer too - in the name of equality would you want the poor a bit poorer so long as the rich were much poorer?

    I don't see capitalism as exploitation anyway: its a voluntary agreement between consenting adults. Nobody but those two can decide whether that agreement is fair, and they wouldn't enter into the agreement unless it benefitted them.

    Of course government corruption is relevant to socialism, because socialism is based on the government control of goods and servises. Why would there be anymore corruption in the private sector? Either way its human beings, thats the same. The difference is that in the public sector the human beings are a powerful monopoly who have vast power, wheras in the private sector there is competition keeping people honest. Are you telling me you trust Mugabe to run the health servise etc of Zimbabwe more fairly than the private sector would run it?

    How does government reflect the interests of capitalism when capitalism is the natural, direct enemy of government? Full unregulated capitalism requires no government, its anarchy. If you want to talk regulations and controls then you're talking socialism - capitalism keeps politics honest and pure, see the Milton Friedman quote I wrote last time.

    If Africa embraced free-market capitalism and free trade, I bet the quality of life of all its people would improve compared to corrupt socialist governments that currently run the show.
    Capitalism is far from voluntary - what choice do people living in our society have about it? People work for capitalists because they have no option; without living in a secluded community where they grow their own food and make their own clothes, there isn't a way of escaping entering into that 'agreement'. It works the same way for people selling their produce in developing countries - they haven't got a choice but to sell it for whatever price the multinational company gives them. Capitalism gives too much power to too few individuals, something that wouldn't exist under true socialism. The 'socialist' governments that control many African countries aren't true socialist governments because they exploit their people, and wealth isn't spread equally.

    Government should be an enemy to capitalism, however it actually serves an important function for it. Without a government create the illusion of protecting the interests of 'the people', there would almost certainty be a revolt as Marx predicted. The government may impose regulations on capitalists, but these don't affect them to a huge extent and keep the subject class thinking that everything's fair, they're not being exploited etc. As the capitalists have the real power in society, they can stop certain acts reaching the point of decision.
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    Why is it not OK in the first place? Should I feel guilty for having a warm house, good food, hot water and broadband?

    I find it very hard to sympathise for people I've never had any form of contact with - this has always been the case. Should I feel guilty for not having the ability to care about them?
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    (Original post by ArtGoblin)
    Capitalism is far from voluntary - what choice do people living in our society have about it? People work for capitalists because they have no option; without living in a secluded community where they grow their own food and make their own clothes, there isn't a way of escaping entering into that 'agreement'. It works the same way for people selling their produce in developing countries - they haven't got a choice but to sell it for whatever price the multinational company gives them. Capitalism gives too much power to too few individuals, something that wouldn't exist under true socialism. The 'socialist' governments that control many African countries aren't true socialist governments because they exploit their people, and wealth isn't spread equally.

    Government should be an enemy to capitalism, however it actually serves an important function for it. Without a government create the illusion of protecting the interests of 'the people', there would almost certainty be a revolt as Marx predicted. The government may impose regulations on capitalists, but these don't affect them to a huge extent and keep the subject class thinking that everything's fair, they're not being exploited etc. As the capitalists have the real power in society, they can stop certain acts reaching the point of decision.
    You're right that in society today not many make their own clothes, and grow their own food and so on. We're all dependant on eachother, and finally we can agree on something. So given the need to exchange goods and servises with eachother that arises from this situation there are two possible solutions.

    One is allocation from the state, i.e. socialism - where everything is distributed 'evenly' and to the ultimate values of society as a whole and as a collective.

    In contrast you can also have the price mechanism of capitalism where nothing is allocated and there is no government intervention, but instead individuals decide to trade voluntarily with eachother to allocate their resources.

    Now you rightly point out then that not all capitalist exchange is voluntary and this is a problem - one reason might be direct coercion into making a purchase, or the lack of any alternatives (i.e. there is a private monopoly in place) but these are problems with capitalism in practise, not with the ideology of capitalism. You seem to think exploiting people is actually capitalist ideology, that's no more true than saying the Nazis were an example of socialist ideology (I assume you know that the Nazis were very socialist in their economic policy.)

    I've already stated that ideologically government stays out of capitalism. However government intervention is necessary to enforce capitalism because contracts must be enforced, propery rights must be defined, monetary policy must be centrally controlled and so on. So (sadly) the government does indeed have a role to play in capitalism and it does impose restrictions.

    However what may happen is that the government might impose bad or unnecessary regulations and restrictions that change the nature of the market, and cease to make it free. Take the huge amount of taxes the government imposes onto business at the moment - you probably approve of this as a socialist and would increase taxation. However it has the opposite consequence of what you would want. Huge corporations can afford these taxes as a mere inconveniance, but new corporations cannot enter the market and compete. This is how the government often creates huge monopolies which then causes all the problems associated with capitalism, but they are actually from government intervention.

    You said yourself the governments regulations don't affect capitalism to a huge extent. Of course they do. Government intervention defies the very principle of capitalism, which is based around the notion that resources can be allocated voluntarily rather than being dictated by other human beings who don't deserve to make any greater claim over your life than you have. It is capitalism which emphaises the equality and freedom of all people in saying that nobody has the right to force other people into buying this or that - in contrast socialists believe in dictating to other people what to do. They feel some human beings know better than others, why do you think socialism is advocated by Nazis, the BNP and so on. They don't want free-market capitalism because they don't want to give people choice, that defies their nature.

    And while we're on the subject of capitalist ideology being corrupted (and usually by the government) - socialist ideology is very prone to corruption, more so than capitalism. Without regulations and taxes on new businesses, if there is a huge private monopoly charging everybody £200 for a pair of socks, a new business can come along, charge £5 for a pair of socks and make a killing. Competition protects the private sector from corruption.

    In contrast under the command economy of socialism there is total control and authority in the hand of a few. Perhaps initially this will be held by good marxist people who mean well, but even supposing that much, their job and their power is attractive to the wrong people are for the wrong reasons. It's dangerous to eliminate competition, its dangerous to allocate total control into one centralised area - its playing into all the problems with humanity and there are no checks on it.

    And this isn't even starting on various other virtues of capitalism over socialism such as innovation, adaptation, effeciency and choice - not to mention political freedoms (I believe that when you hand some people authority over your life economically, its not long until they're controlling your life socially as well.) I can go into all of those things as well if you're interested.
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    (Original post by ArtGoblin)
    Capitalism is far from voluntary - what choice do people living in our society have about it? People work for capitalists because they have no option; without living in a secluded community where they grow their own food and make their own clothes, there isn't a way of escaping entering into that 'agreement'. It works the same way for people selling their produce in developing countries - they haven't got a choice but to sell it for whatever price the multinational company gives them. Capitalism gives too much power to too few individuals, something that wouldn't exist under true socialism. The 'socialist' governments that control many African countries aren't true socialist governments because they exploit their people, and wealth isn't spread equally.
    This

    Indonesian workers make $2.46 a day

    "If I don't work overtime, I can't survive," says Baltazar at PT Hasi Nike factory in Jakarta. He works an average of 40 overtime hours a week.
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    Basically, offering tons of aid is not the be-all and end-all. Sure it might help kick-start a recovery phase , as in get people basic human needs to survive, but after that it's us in the west buying that branded luxury item that provides employment in the world's free trade zones. Have you read NO LOGO by Naomi Klein? It's quite interesting.
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    (Original post by Nouvelle vague)
    This

    Indonesian workers make $2.46 a day

    "If I don't work overtime, I can't survive," says Baltazar at PT Hasi Nike factory in Jakarta. He works an average of 40 overtime hours a week.
    You're attributing blame wrongly, read my post above this one. If government intervention prevents competition of course this kind of thing happens - its because the market isn't free and the system you're witnessing is not capitalism. Nike can afford the regulations and taxes on business at the moment, so its a huge monopoly and Mr Baltazar is forced to work for them regardless of the conditions.

    Not to mention that the only solution to a private monopoly is a public monopoly and I can never understand why people insist this is preferable. Look at how that's working out in Africa at the moment.
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    (Original post by rajandkwameali)
    so why should somebody born wealthy feel guilty?

    should good-looking people feel guilty since ugly people exist? Is there any real difference between the two?

    Why cherry pick forms of equality?
    People don't die of ugliness. Ensuring that people have access to food and jobs isn't really too much to ask is it?

    And, I never said the wealthy should feel guilty. I said that taxing them a little bit more for the sake of those who live in poverty the world over would be morally preferable to the status quo. They can feel guilty if they want though, really up to them. I'd rather not feel guilty but actually try and do something about it.
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    (Original post by Tzar_Chasm)
    Everyday I'm wracked with guilt. Since when was it acceptable for us to spend money on things we don't actually need, rather than helping people who are dying because of poverty?

    Is this not the ultimate humanitarian crime?

    People speak of the horrors of war and the Holocaust. But look at ourselves today. We sit back while people are dying in agony. We are evil, evil people. We should do absolutely everything in our power to help these people.

    Poverty will be viewed in the same moral outrage as slavery and genocides gone by.

    When I discovered the poverty that exists in our would, it was then I lost faith in humanity.
    Its called Capatalism.
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    humans are selfish and greedy...
    we show concern for the poor and say how unfortunate they are, but dont really bother to help them because we think that we are not responsible for their financial situation ..
    we think of ourselves as superiour and find it easier to close our eyes and aviod the subject of helping the poor ..
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    (Original post by Tzar_Chasm)
    Everyday I'm wracked with guilt. Since when was it acceptable for us to spend money on things we don't actually need, rather than helping people who are dying because of poverty?

    Is this not the ultimate humanitarian crime?

    People speak of the horrors of war and the Holocaust. But look at ourselves today. We sit back while people are dying in agony. We are evil, evil people. We should do absolutely everything in our power to help these people.

    Poverty will be viewed in the same moral outrage as slavery and genocides gone by.

    When I discovered the poverty that exists in our would, it was then I lost faith in humanity.
    Ofcourse its not OK, but neither is it Evil. We havent caused poverty in other countries therefore most people choose to ignore it.

    Basicly to rid the world of Poverty, help has to be sent out on a mass scale but it just isnt going to happen. Most people are too lazy and comfortable with their everyday lives to go and work, to help in a third world country such as Africa with out getting anything in return.
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    At the end of the day my priorities are much higher to me than people who are in poverty. Why should i worry myself about making someone else's life better when I need to sort my life out first? That doesn't make a person evil.
 
 
 
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