Money = power. They're never going to give up their power. Ever. Their kind stick together like the high school snobs whose names we knew and faces we recognised but never got to know any further past that because they never wanted to give up the popular fašade. The extreme wealthy in each country have power over the government and they'd never willingly surrender it. We've always had the ability to be able to distribute resources evenly and fairly but it's always just remained a theory that will most likely never become a reality due to the way the government has constructed society.
They want peoples quality of life to be exactly the way it is in any country. You only have to look at who gets paid the most in society to who gets paid the very least to understand the reason behind this, or look at who is currently at war and why.
I think rather than a higher tax on the "ultra rich," we should just end legal loopholes that allow then to pay sometimes as little as 1-2% of taxes owed. You could realistically cut their taxes down to 10% and set laws in place that make them pay ALL of it and with the cut to 10% you would lessen the incentive to hire extensive legal teams for the sole purpose of finding tax loopholes.
Conservatives would hear: tax cuts.
Progressives would hear: Less tax evasion/more funding
Everyone wins.(Hopefully, make sure to yell in all caps if all you guys think this is childish or naive)
How are you defining "end"? I mean poverty around the world exists for a lot of different reasons. In the US(and other capitalist nations), poverty is due to a rather strange mathematical outcome that some people need to be on the bottom, out of work, while others need to be on the top. Poverty in Uganda is due to entirely different reasons.
So, how are they ending it? Are they using all their money to just give people food and shelter? Are they using it to fix governments and provide security through a lawful society?
In short: are they ending it in a temporary solution? One that will end as soon as they stop making that much money? Or are they ending it in a permanent solution?
Ya know, teach a man to fish vs give a man a fish.
And who is to say that the same world wouldnt' go back to being in poverty?
Throwing money at people who are poor isn't going to save anyone or anything in the long term. It is a short term solution that sometimes can even exasperate the problem.
Take for example all the food we are giving to these African nations at no cost. Sure, we are feeding starving people, and that's a good thing...But the massive increase in free-food is also driving down costs of locally grown food for the farmers. Which means those same farmers have to either grow more food to make a profit (which they frequently are unable to) or seek another way of working. This results in lowering the amount of food generated locally, while also increasing the amount of people who are now eat more than they produce (unemployed farmers).
It's not that we allow a few people to have it all. It's that we are fortunate enough to live in a country or a society that is capable of providing the infrastructure for people to be fairly affluent in comparison. Poorer nations suffer from a lot of problems, political strife, high level of political corruption, disease, lack of proper infrastructure, and many other social ills that do not give their people the tools and the means necessary to which to become affluent. We should focus on helping those nations deal with that first then just throw money at them thinking it's going to solve the problem.
What's keeping the price of food low is that the countries that import food from Africa are artificially keeping the prices low. The EU is a huge culprit in this - EU keeps subsidizing its own agriculture with unfair amounts, so that in order for the African farmers to be competitive they have to sell with low profits. Due to this, the African farmers barely get enough to buy food for themselves.
Without the food given to Africans as humanitary aid, people could not survive there.
In as much as that's bad, at least they are competing with food that has some value, as opposed to food that is worth nothing.
"Without the food given to Africans as humanitary aid, people could not survive there." People as a whole can and will survive in Africa as they have for thousands of years now. Many people will perish, yes. Food aid is a good thing temporarily, but without any kind of progress in their own infrastructure and their own agricultural development, it becomes a big big problem.
>>> People as a whole can and will survive in Africa as they have for thousands of years now. Many people will perish, yes.
I guess those people just don't matter, then. How can you seriously sit there, living in your excessively wealthy country where you never have to wonder if you can get any food the next day, and tell me that it's ok that people die of hunger?
>>> Food aid is a good thing temporarily, but without any kind of progress in their own infrastructure and their own agricultural development, it becomes a big big problem.
It's a problem caused and maintained by western countries, so western countries should be responsible for fixing it as well. It's just an extension of colonialism, now they just get all of the oppression without any of the benefits.
Every day there are over 20,000 children across the world that perish needlessly. There are over 100,000 people that die each every day all across the world. I do not claim to have the empathy to sit there and cry, worry, and be concerned for all those deaths. I have my own life to live, and I am DAMN lucky that I do live in a wealthy first world nation. I wasn't born in one, I was born in what is today's Europe's poorest country, Moldavia. So I have the ability to put it into some context.
What happens out there is a tragedy, but I don't pretend to give them the kind of empathy I would when my friend's sibling get's killed. Sorry. I'm not Jesus, nor do I claim to be.
It's not okay for people to die of hunger, and I sincerely wish that they didn't have to die from hunger. But they do, and the west is so focused throwing money in their direction thinking it's going to solve things, that's it's perpetuating a massive problem.
"It's a problem caused and maintained by western countries, so western countries should be responsible for fixing it as well. It's just an extension of colonialism, now they just get all of the oppression without any of the benefits." You're going to have to go real deep into justifying that it's the western countries responsibility to fix their mess. We are already doing a lot by giving them free money, and free food, which is, as I said, doing more harm than good. What the west SHOULD be doing is investing into African businesses, and infrastructure, that way mutual exchange of benefits occur, and the African nations prosper. However, there is no point in investing there as long as our charity money is going to feed warlords' armies.
And this same thing is happening in the U.S. Farmers are getting paid to not grow crops. Or, they are getting money to grow corn and beets for sugar, even though sugar cane can produce more per acre and cheaper.
It is all politics. A group lobbies the government, gets its way and to hell with the consequences.
The way the world economy is, that capitalism is dominating everything everywhere and the closest thing to any sort of equality is socialism in a select few countries, I don't believe there can be such a thing as a "reasonable" maximum wage.
Side note:I don't even know if wealth should be considered infinite or finite because apparently, we're always making money. There's always a pool of unknown natural resources OR some new invention that we're suddenly making money off of seemingly out of nowhere. I know money circulates but there always seems to be an increase in "wealth."
back on track: I believe that the government is in charge of making policies that will distribute the wealth of a country accordingly. That's the most ideal meddling that a government should do to the economy. Even the capitalist system expects this: government intervention. About the maximum wages, I guess it's possible to put a ceiling on the amount of money earned by an individual (but that infringes on rights, if recognized by his/her government). The fair thing a government can do is tax according to a person/company/corporation's income or profit.
The only problem we have with that system now are people who are involved with the black market who earn just as much millions as legitimately wealthy people and people who manage to report a lower income than their actual income. Essentially, the people who don't play fair when the rules are set.
Decent living is subjective. Some people want to live simply. Other folk want to live a little more comfortably. Unless defined by the government that everyone has the right to live decently, there is no force to make it happen. It's unfair. Besides, in this capitalist-borderline-imperialist economy, a person of worth is one who contributes to the economy by having skills, earning money and spending money. Education isn't a necessity but it's a way for someone to gain more skills and by addition, more skills mean more worth. If one doesn't have any of these qualities, one isn't worth anything Quite a sad reality, especially for people who were born into poverty and didn't ask to be. What's worse is, perhaps a good chunk of those born into poverty aren't even registered citizens because even birth certificates have a small fee*. (it's a reasonable fee, though; just part of the Census Office doing their job)
However, I do believe that some governments are actively reaching out to the impoverished people of their nations. Misinformation is always a number 1 issue, though. In my country, for example, I don't know why but it's a national norm to distrust the government, haha. I mean sure, people easily spout out and promote ideas of equality and distribution of wealth (some sound, some plain uninformed and just obviously went with the flow to feel part of something important) but a good chunk of these people don't realize what it's like to be in the government. Being the president is a difficult job when you know over 84% of the people already don't like you just because this problem didn't get solved in 100 days.
People having that much money is only to maintain their image. Like, if you have SO MUCH, and other people have SO MUCH, you're on a new level all your own. And in THAT LEVEL, there's competition. You have to use your money to even PLAY. I think that's what happens, and people don't realize it until they're in too deep and can't back out. Not that that's a viable excuse. NO ONE NEEDS that much money--the only "need" is to play the game mentioned above. And it's a stupid game.
1. Yes, they could. 2. Most likely to maintain the current amount of income they have and increase that income, I don't know I am not very rich. Or they could just be greedy, but who knows for sure. 3. I have no preference, I don't think anyone has the power to limit the amount of money an individual can make. I do however do agree there should be minimum wage and that it should be raised. I'm fairly sure I am being very contradictory, but this is the Internet so y'know why not? 4. Yes, everyone does deserve a decent life. And we don't allow those people to have it all, they regardless of how, somehow managed to acquire it for the most part. Sadly, although I hate to believe it I do think John Locke was onto something back awhile ago. Humans are naturally selfish and although we'd all think we would be moral when we acquire a large sum of money, most of us aren't and although everyone deserves to like a decent life I'm fairly sure we still have a long ways to go before that happens.
Now I understand you are simply trying to raise the issue of income irregularity in the United States, but I really don't believe that this is a good way of addressing the issue.
For one, I read the article you referenced, and even read the pdf that the article referenced, and the one question I want answered was not even addressed, where in the heck did they get the numbers that state that says world poverty would end 4 fold by draining the funds from these 100 people? Also what standard does removing a person from poverty count as?
The other question is how would a cap on [b]wages[/b] fix world hunger or poverty? Do we put a cap on investments as well (in which a majority of these financial titans get rich)? Also how would that guarantee that the rest of the population would even see any of that money?
And also keep in mind, Some billionaires, notably Bill Gates and Warren Buffett do give away a good chuck of their money for philanthropic causes, The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is a fantastic example of Billionaires trying to fix world hunger and economic strife around the world.
Not that I'm against taxing the upper class, creating better health care options and/or trying to create more opportunities for the lower class, but punishing individuals who do become successful are not the way to do it if you ask me.
Poverty is a government term for determining how to distribute aid based on what is considered the base standard of living. Poverty though, is extremely broad in its political definition. Someone who is homeless can be in the same category as someone that not only has a place to live, but also some luxuries.
You don't even know what poverty is. Look it up some time. It's a measurement of wealth compared to an artificial baseline according to the government. If you fall below the base line, you are in poverty regardless of your standard of living.
I work in an office downtown near a bus depot so I see poverty everyday, and one of the jobs my office offers is one of the lowest-ranking ones in terms of income... it's pretty much desperation in a job. None of those people are driving fancy cars. None of them have designer bags. None of them have fancy designer Nike sneakers. They wear clothes from Wal*Mart, they have jackets with giant tears opening the arm, most are fairly dirty because I doubt they have reliable access to showers. I see a lot of them with phones that haven't been on the market for at least 5-10 years.
You're describing people who are terrible with money, not people who are actually living in poverty. Alternatively, you're describing people who are poor and are very good with money and have managed to save and work with their money to their advantage.
And here's an example of the difference: Person A buys a pair of boots for $100. Person B buys a pair of boots for $20. The next year Person A still has a good pair of boots. Person B's boots have holes and need to be replaced 3 times. Now A has spent $100, B has spent $80. Same deal next year, and the next, and the next. By the time A has needed a new pair of boots, B has spent that several times over.
Meanwhile at this point: I have an iPhone. My iPhone can do almost everything that I also use my laptop and desktop computers for. My iPhone cost $200 when I got it, but my parents just got the same phones for $50. In fact, with the sale where my parents got their phones, the store would have been able to PAY ME $50 to get an iPhone 5 if I traded in my 4S. Upgrading from cheap phones that did nothing to iPhones didn't change our monthly bill either. So having a smartphone is more cost effective if you need phone and internet (which is a necessity at this point, not a luxury), since you don't need a computer, internet, or even TV since you can watch a good number of things on phones now. Fuck, it can even replace buying books since there are a ton of books you can download for free, completely legally.
It's so nice to see someone on these forums that finally fucking understands the usefulness of paying that $30/month for internet. I get so much flack for it, everyone telling me if I was a fiscally responsible poor person I'd give it up.
I mean let's see. I get free/low cost books, music, games, comics, and TV series; I can communicate with anyone anywhere in the world for free or cheap, I can get special offers on things I use regularly, I can take surveys and other things for more free stuff, I can pay bills and shop more cheaply, I can search for work more easily, watch rented DVDs for cheap, look up any information I need, keep tabs on emergency, local, political, etc. events more easily and cheaply, and so on.
But clearly I should give up all of that and get a whole $30 that won't buy much of anything in turn that will actually get me out of poverty. Oh, and stare at the walls all day, because I just ditched every bit of affordable entertainment I had available. (Seriously, my computer is pretty much my all-in-one entertainment thing.)
And, the only reason I have any nice clothes is because I bought them 5-10 years ago when I had a decent office job. And if you look at them up close you can see they're kind of actually falling apart, just in hidden enough ways to still get away with wearing them to the office. And I have a nice winter jacket but only because a friend with a better job bought it for me years ago.
Jeysie obviously does not understand that poverty can only be established based on what a society deems as necessary to meet a minimum acceptale standard of living. For example, she claims an auto is required in the US, as well as internet access and a smartphone plan. If a person has these "essential" items and services, they have met the threshold. Thisall goes with the idea that they have all the other essentials such as a dwelling, power, food, and possibly some level of health coverage. If a person has met all these essentials, he or she is not living impoverished (applies to the US for this sub-topic) .
That's because the guidelines for poverty are one, too high, and two, not adjusted for cost of living differences.
Plus none of the things you list are signs of wealth to begin with.
Secondhand TVs cost $50 at the local Goodwill, and even a new one can be found for $200.
A car is 100% required in most areas of the US to go anywhere other than your house, and can also often be found for cheap; a couple thousand at most from a private seller.
Internet access is $20-30 a month, an amount which isn't going to magically make anyone better off if they didn't spend it, and nets you a very large amount of utility for the price.
Smartphones come free or cheap with cellphone contracts, and a cellphone contract nowadays is often the same price as a landline but with more features, making it a more cost-effective choice.
The hilarious thing about that last entry is that even the poor people in THIRD-WORLD COUNTRIES have smartphones even if they have little else, because the infrastructure is incredibly cheap for setting up everything from communications and internet to banking and electronic payments. So if anything, the irony is that a poor person in the US who doesn't have a smartphone is probably worse off than a poor farmer in Africa.
You seem to be living in a weird historical fantasy world where technology is still expensive and a luxury. When actually it's often easier and cheaper to buy tech than it is to buy food or pay for rent because of our messed-up priorities in what we make affordable.
That's not poverty. I've seen poverty in the US, too. He lives in my mom's garage because she's a charitable Christian who believes in helping people, because his full time job doesn't afford him enough money to pay for an apartment. His car is a crappy 80s thing he got when his parents got a new one--they were nice enough to let him keep it when they kicked him out of their house for being atheist.
Poor people do exist. I am technically poor. I own a car. I own a television. I have internet access. I have a smart phone. According to the US Census Bureau I am poor because my income is below their threshold.
End poverty for how long? A day? A week? What happens after that? How are those people going to be motivated to make it on their own rather than leech off of people who, thankfully, were greedy enough to think about their future?
Earn your living. Being poor is not an accomplishment that needs to be rewarded.
Simmer down geez, Tinoculars I do believe RestInMotion is rather right though. (Although I wouldn't really follow his exact wording) Not many people are privileged enough to be in a position such as ours where we are living well enough to be even talking about this. Besides, different people have different living conditions and are raised differently thus you can't make this general argument that poor people are simple poor because they are lazy.
People who get the idea of ravaging the wealthy of their possessions forget that the monies re-allocated are a one time shot. You spread all that money out at in the short-term, but where are the funds to press on long-term? Relief of poverty is a short-term and short-sighted proposition. Eliminating poverty takes a more logical and sincere action over a long period of time in order to change society in a way that helps to compel the global economy in a manner conducive to a sustainable solution.
Taking money from those who earned it (regardless of whether you personally feel that it was rightfully earned is irrelevant) and giving it to those who did not earn it does nothing toward elimination of the conditions that bring about and perpetuate poverty.