Money is killing us
Debate Rounds (3)
1. To address pros final question "is poverty justifiable?" to answer it simply yes it is. If someone refuses to get job and refuses to work one expects them to be impoverished, right? We set up welfare programs to try and help some of these people get started sacrificing a portion of out own hard earned cash.
2. To address the finer points of pros post I'll start with "actors and sports athletes make sickening amounts of cash". Like everything in an economy Labour/jobs have supply and demand meaning (number of people willing/capable if doing it) vs (number of people who need the services of said job). Actors and professional athletes are paid so much more because the standards and barrier of entry to become a qualified member of the labour market is extraordinarily high meaning it is very difficult to become either of them. Next is the amount of money generated by the businesses that require actors and athletes; they are huge. The NFL pulled in 13 billion dollars of revenue last season and star wars viii alone has pulled in 1.8 billion dollars at the box office.
If you would like me to address the other points please state them in numbered format and I'd be happy to address them. I'd like to thank pro for starting this debate as it is a very interesting and commonly thought of question.
1. The fundamental mistake that pro makes in their argumentive statement is referring to the human race as a single entity. Each human is distinctly separated from the other and as such every mass movement of the human race is started by individuals who then influence others to behave a certain way. I will try to explain why the poverty that is basic human rights is inevitable.
1. The simple and most blunt answer on why poverty exists is that: Most people don't care. Why? Because people prefer to increase their own "utitility". Utility is a term in economics that refers the the quantity of happiness a human can gain. Utility can take many forms including moral feelings from doing charitable work but for a lot of people this is simply not worth the "opportunity cost". Opportunity cost simply means with the exact same resources (money, time, labour, etc.) the next best alternative you can get. For most people the moral feeling from charitable work is not worth the cost because they could buy food, cars, books, games, movies, clothes, donations to a different cause, etc.
2. Now the more complex reason is that the people in these impoverished areas don't necessarily require donations and in fact are harmed by donations. Take Uganda for example, foreign donations in Uganda have crushed local Ugandan businesses and forced then out of business which is crippling the domestic economy of Uganda. So the solutions to these problems aren't clear cut and foreigners tend to understand them poorly and end up harming then more than helping.
3. The truth is that altruism doesn't exist in economics. Like I pointed out before what chariters are gaining is the moral feeling and societal respect that comes with being an altruistic person so only people who get sufficient satisfaction from this will go out of their way to seriously try to help the impoverished.
4. The world is divided. People in the USA care less about the people in Uganda then they do fellow Americans and vice versa. In this sense whenever a transaction between two countries is involved the respective negotiators are obligated to secure the most beneficial trade organization to their own countries regardless of the effects on the other country, it's a zero sum game. If I take more, you lose more, but I am obligated to take as much as I can. So there is a conflict of interest that altruism has no place in.
I think I'd covered most reasons so I'll leave it at that and await pro's response and I thank anyone who takes the time to read this and ponder the topic.
1. Pro is clearly making an argument for widespread altruism and which I have noted the reasons for why it doesn't happen in my previous arguments so you should reread the concept of utilities and opportunity cost.
2. As I have noted "true" altruism doesn't exist because the benefit you gain by sacrificing resources to charity is the positive feeling when you go to sleep at night and this feeling is not the priority of many people.
3. Competition is inherent in nature, life, society to find the best method we measure them against every other and what comes out on top is deemed the best it is how we as a species have survived up to this point. Every human is motivated to be better than his kin to go farther, to reach higher that is our primary motivation.
4. Pro also seems to be making an argument against technological advancement when he remarks on the planets health. Indeed the environmental health is suffering because of developing economies and their economic growth policy. Environmental Protection is an issue that only crosses the mind of the developed nations. Countries such as those in Africa, South America and the most blatant offender of the last decade, China. China in its effort to catch up to the west economically produced and consumed resources without fail to reach their current stature and it is that which hurts the environment. So to put it bluntly, the prosperity of those in poverty is directly linked to the damage done to the environment. Technological advances are how we create the best medicinal treatments and these things don't get made for free because people aren't motivated to work for free they will put the most minimal of effort because that is all that is required of them. The Soviet Union faced a similar issue with its ultra communist configuration.
Now onto part two where we discuss religions impact and whether or not it is the answer to the problems listed above.
1. I would like to point out the irony of mentioning religion in the same conversation of helping the impoverished. We will look at Uganda again and see what bringing the Bible's teachings to that land has done. Ugandan Christians have used the Bible to justify passing a bill in which they can summarily execute a man for being a homosexuality. Even before the bill could go into effect many Ugandan Christians committed extrajudicial killings of not only homosexuals but all people who protect or sympathize with them. That is what the Bible has done for the impoverished of that country.
2. Even in the context of religion true altruism doesn't exist. People follow the teachings of the Bible because they believe by doing so they can go to heaven and live a better life after this one. So no, religious people are no different. In fact you could say the current state of many impoverished countries were a consequence of religion. When missionaries were on the rise, exploring and colonizing in the name of God was the predominant activity in which the European powers competed. When these missionaries landed they would preach their gospel and exploit the natives of the lands for their resources. This continued well into the 20th century and after the end of colonization the effects and consequences still hold down these countries due to the actions of some gospel spouting preachers.
3. Who has authority over life? Well for each individual their life is theirs to decide how they can use. There are actually no rules in this world if someone wanted to steal there is no higher power preventing then from doing so the only things are our self created security measures and laws to threaten and penalize offenders.
4. "And 1 last question, hypothetically take every luxury out of this world so that all you are left with is our planet with all of us and our resources and intelligence in it .(not money) and we still have to work. Is it possible to feed and give water to every human beingin this scenario? People have to come first. " pro puts in the condition "but we still have to work", why do we have to work? In such a scenario most people would work just enough to survive and then carry on with their lives, what you are describing is ancient tribes and those tribes most certainly would not share and in fact would very likely steal from other tribes to better the lives of the people in their tribe. Pro then goes on to say "People HAVE to come first." and to that I say no they don't people prioritize themselves because how can I worry about the world's problems when I can barely make it through each paycheck. Unfortunately contrary to what many people think we humans do not have a special connection to one another other than the same kinds of connections other animals have.
5. Finally, we must doubt the validity of a 4000~ year old text of fiction. Why must we listen to this book? Was this book written by my fellow man to con me? Can the things described in this book even be real? Why should I listen to this book and not that one? Who is God and what if he's actually evil? All these are valid reasons to doubt the Bible not to mention the aforementioned consequences of the Bible on the world.
And so ends the debate I encourage everyone to reread our arguments and decide for yourselves whether or not pro or con is right. Remember money is just a reflection of our desires it is not money that controls us but rather we that choose to pursue it because it betters our lives and helps us in our pursuit of happiness.
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