We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Poverty is the normal human condition. Comfort and affluence and cheap carbohydrates are the exception. We take it all for granted, don't we? Even our "poor" are wealthy and comfortable as heck by world standards.
Victor Davis Hanson has a thoroughly depressing column at PJ media. The gist of it is that our country is at a historical crossroads, and we have chosen the proverbial road to ruin.
"The fourth-century Greeks at the end pasted silver over their worthless bronze coins — “reds” being the protruding noses and hair of the portraiture that first appeared bronze-like, as the silver patina rubbed off. The bastardization of the currency fostered many books on Roman decline. More worthless money for more people was a sign of “crisis” — analogous to our own quantitative easing and $17 trillion in debt.
Every three working Americans provide sustenance for two who are not ill, enfeebled, or too young.
A shrinking percentage of our population feeds us, finds our energy, protects us, and builds things we count on. They get up each morning to do these things, in part in quest for the good life, in part out of a sense of social obligation and basic humanity, in part because they know they will die if idle and thrive only when busy, and in part simply because “they like it.”
We can stack the deck against them with ever higher taxes, ever more regulations, ever more obligations to others, and they may well continue. But not if we also damn them as the “1%” and call them the agents of inequality and the fat cats who did not build what they built or who profited when they should not have."
One wonders how long it will be until we return to the historical norm of poverty, in this country? A country of a very few very rich with the rest being very poor looks to be inevitable due to the economic policies we are pursuing.
How sad and tragic that we are simply throwing our prosperity away.
As I understand it free trade has succeeded in reducing poverty in many countries in huge numbers that had been considered impossible before the free trade treaties were signed. Walmart alone has done more for poverty in the world and in the U.S. then our government has.
According to studies within the U.S. Walmart saves a typical American family $2300 annually. As part of the global trade it has created jobs all over the globe. Of course almost every retail store sells products made overseas so in the latter Walmart is not alone in it's positive effects on world poverty. But as the largest retailer they have had the largest effect.
An argument can be made that Walmart has lifted somewhat more than 2,000,000 Chinese out of poverty simply from buying products made in China. As always, trade is good for both sides. Relatively poor people in the US pay less for things they need and truly poor people in China have jobs that wouldn't otherwise exist.