Greed and Poverty
Why do we have competition, everywhere? Why is it we fight to get things—to acquire wealth and assets?
Why is it that we have wealthy countries and poor countries?
Yes, in nature, competition is the norm. Charles Darwin’s survival of the fittest applies to nature, but humanity left nature at the onset of civilization, even more so in the 20th and 21st Centuries. We fight to keep nature out of our lives, so much so that many insects and mammals are called pests and we try to kill them. Even unwanted grasses are called weeds and we tend to kill them as well.
We still have the fight or flight response programmed into us and tend to think, subconsciously at least, that we are in competition with everyone else.
This also applies to our conscious being, as well. Our so-called leaders say that our kids are in competition with kids around the world. Not only in competition with kids around the world but locally as well, although we are not really ever told that. Our kids are not in competition with other kids around the world except that they compete in the PISA test, which I think we should not be competing. As I have said in other essays, what a 15-year old knows is irrelevant. These kids still have most of high school to go. Even what a high school graduate knows or does not know is not all of that important. They will not be our future leaders, for the most part. Some might I would imagine.
Competition is engrained in us from birth. We have competitive sports from a very early age.
Why is it we cheer when something bad happens to our competitors on the gridiron or anywhere else? What does American (or Canadian) football teach us?
It teaches that it is okay to yell and scream, to cheer on your home team and to a lesser extent the opposing team. To even act as a 12th player by intentionally making so much noise that the other team cannot call their signals. I am very surprised that these people do not go deaf or at least having their hearing diminished. Nobody wears hearing protectors and yet the decibel level of noise can be deafening.
I feel that you go to a game to watch not to participate in it. So for those who came to watch participation is interfering with their ability to watch. They paid for their tickets too.
In a sport that is rigidly timed in that you can be penalized for delay of game if you do not get the play started on time, even one second late. How can it be fair then to score any points after the half or quarter has ended, especially the second half—the end of the game. It is supposed to be for 1hour. So, for example time has stopped with only 1 sec left on the clock. There is no way to score in the one second, yet any points scored then count. Why?
This is not true in some other sports. In baseball, which is not timed at all except innings but there may be extra innings, if you cross the plate just after the 3rd out has been made, in any inning, it does not count.
I believe it is the same in basketball. If the ball goes into the net after the time has expired in any quarter then it does not count. So, why is it in football you can score after the time has run out? To be honest I am not so sure about basketball. It may just be true that if the shot left the hand left the hand before or at the buzzer then any points scored counts, but it should not because it is rigidly timed.
Football teaches us that penalties sometimes do not hurt at all. We are given the option of taking the yards or the down. You could have offsetting penalties and just replay the down. The only thing then that is lost is time and depending on the situation that could be good or bad for your team. It will be one way for your team and the opposite way for the other team.
So, if there are about 75 plays in a game per team or 150 for the two teams and they take about 5 seconds to run. That is 750 seconds, or about 12.5 minutes. So, you are not getting even ¼ of the game with action. Even if the average play is 10 seconds long then you get only 25 minutes of actual action. That is less than ½ hour of the full hour. I would feel cheated. They say that you need to play the full 60 minutes but when was that ever really true? Most of the time the time is just running and nothing is happening. So, this is another myth we have forced on us.
Competition in sports is one thing but competition in life is quite another thing.
Competition in the world leads to many negative things including poverty. It leads to those that have and to those that have not. It leads to rich nations and poor nations.
Competition of ideas (religions) has led to wars, even to the idea of trying to control the whole world. This has happened a number of times throughout history. Even Christianity claims that the second coming of Christ will bring about world peace under his leadership. It will be a one world government and religion. Some believe that man is trying to make this happen on its own, without some divine intervention. It is called the New World Order (NWO).
The world has a limited (finite) amount of resources but I believe that we have enough for everyone. The more some regions have the less other regions have. Having an unfair or uneven distribution of resources or wealth is true and rather obvious. The uneven distribution of wealth between countries or between individuals is also a fact. So, unfair distribution of wealth or resources is true in the macro and well as in the micro.
Those that have say, ‘Who ever said that life was fair?’ These are obviously people that have used the current system well. But again, a very small minority of rich people in the world cause such problems for everyone else.
So, why do we have rich and poor countries? In business and real estate it is location, location, and location. So, it is with natural resources. Poor countries have little natural resources and rich ones tend to have many. They tend to have a lot of many types or a huge amount of a few natural resources. It all depends on where on Earth you live or in other words, your location.
This why we have rich and poor countries. But why is it we as human beings allow this to continue? Is national sovereignty so important, that we must keep most of what we have?
It is because we fear not having something so we do everything we can to make sure that we do have enough. My grandparents kept canned goods in their basement because of the Great Depression. They knew what it was like to have nothing so in good times they stockpiled essentials just in case it happened again. This is fine but it never seems to stop.
It has to be also national sovereignty at least in part. But this in and of itself should not mean that we let people starve to death or live in war zones. National sovereignty has everyone pretty much trying to keep what they have, as a nation. We always seem to want more. It has to be greed! If everyone had enough to live on and then some more for fun, we’d all be better off. The paradox of stopping war is oft times to wage war. So, do we wage war in order to stop it?
This inequality between nations has led to wars and political unrest and even to religious wars and ethnic cleansing.
Again, most of the problems could end if we could just have enough and let others have enough to live on.
If we would end poverty, actually end it, greed might go, wars might stop. Most all maladies would cease.
It is a matter of degrees though. How much should we keep to ourselves? How much do we give to others? We should give enough for all to live.
This goes for the micro as well. Ending poverty in our country should be a heck of a lot easier than to end it worldwide. But we have not done it, even though the War on Poverty was started about 50 years ago. It was actually in 1964, in President Johnson’s State of the Union Address.
Only about 2% of Americans have lived the American Dream, that being, being a millionaire. I believe that these 2% have about 80% of the wealth of this country. This, of course leaves 20% of the wealth of the United States for the rest of us, the overwhelming majority of Americans.
The millionaires’ s net worth is at least $10 trillion. This is at least ½ of our national debt. Millionaires’ collective net worth is realistically at lot closer to this debt, as most of these millionaires have more than just $1million on average. Is the fact that the collective net worth of the millionaires is near that of our national debt just a coincidence? Probably, but it might make one start to wonder. It makes one wonder if the rich’s riches are all phony money—fiat money that was amassed by milking the US taxpayer!
A lot of trouble in the world has to do with the lack of jobs worldwide. What jobs there are constitute the some the worst paying jobs around the world. This goes for those jobs here at home.
Education in and of itself, in the macro, will not end poverty, anywhere in the world, including here in the US. We have had poverty even with the increased education of our nation. Education of the masses did not lead to our prosperity, as I have said a number of times in other essays.
So long as greed exists and so long as we treat as others as means to an end, we will have poverty. Treating people as a means to an end is unethical. By this I mean treating others as just another resource to be used and abused and then thrown away so that business can make a profit is wrong, that is, unethical.
Man, that is, governments, NGOs, and private rich people do give money and other resources to countries and (our own poor) but to little avail.
We have had this problem since ancient times. There would generally be only one or so rich country and the rest poor or not in countries at all. One poor country would rise up and conquer the rich, by force. But overall poverty would not change much. This would result in a zero-sum game or same result just different names.
To be honest I am not sure that man can solve this problem. Too many would have to give up too much. Some might say that this is pessimistic. I say that this is realistic.
What should we do? Should we end all foreign aid and welfare payments in the US?
We should work to do just that but not all at once. We should curtail foreign aid payments. A substantial portion of our foreign aid does not help the people for which it was intended
We should build infrastructure so that the people can live and grow their own food. We should not just give $billions to foreign governments and trust them to build the infrastructure for their people and line their own pockets. This would take treaties of sorts but it could be done. Do not do it by force, though.
At home we need to stop immigration in its tracks and take care of the people that are already here. We need to create good paying jobs for all.
Once this is achieved immigration can resume, as jobs become available. Wholesale immigration is no longer a good idea,