Friday, July 09, 2010

Then and now:

Early 1800s:
... southerners began to stick up for slavery in what became known as the proslavery movement. (...)

[One argument was] that southern slavery was better than living in Africa, because in the South they would have a lifelong home with better living conditions.
Rand Paul

"The poor in our country are enormously better off than the rest of the world."
Rand Paul is speaking spatially. He could have spoken temporally and pointed out the the poor have it much better than people living 500 years ago.

The thing with these libertarian/Tea-Party types is that there is no limit in terms of how far they will go in tolerating (and advocating) extremes in human welfare. They can always assert that the unfortunate (maybe even you) have it better than someone in another place or in another time.

CODA: Then there's the issue of if Rand Paul is even correct in his assertion that "The poor in our country are enormously better off than the rest of the world". Is that enormously better than everybody? Enormously better than the average Dane? Enormously better than the poor of Madagascar?


It was very clear he meant better than the POOR in places like North Korea etc. He wasn't discussing the poor per se, that is just how the media spun it. He was discussing the fact that the engine of capitalism outpaces the engine of communism in creating plenty, period. And therefor the poor here are better off than the poor in communist countries. He was saying we should be proud of our system and not cripple it, but make it work.

Too bad they just don't post the videos so you can watch them... He is nothing like they are trying to make him sound.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2010 9:02 AM  

Shorter Rand Paul (and the typical right-winger in general):

ZOMG the people waiting in line for a free meal at the rescue mission have cell phones!* We have the best poor in the world! USA! USA!

(*yeah, 'cause that potential employer just might call back.)

By Anonymous Screamin' Demon, at 7/11/2010 12:50 PM  

Yes! They have cell phones and often iPods. And they have color televisions at home. Also they have refrigerators, stoves, and often air conditioning. They have cars, albiet rusty and troubleprone. They don't dress in rags because new clothes are affordable and barely used clothing is to be had dirt cheap in thrift stores. They are not starving and are able to apply for food stamps if they are poor enough, or visit a food bank, so they have no reason for them or their families to go hungry. As opposed to other countries, where the poor are thin and hungry, in America the biggest health problem of the poor is obesity.

Virtually all of those things are the result of "spreading the wealth" -- the American way. In America, poor people can have cell phones, iPods and new televisions because a demand created by wealthy people brought the price down to where the poor can afford them. (well, except for Apple, which is uninterested in selling to the poor.) Same for refrigerators, stoves and air conditioners.

That's why railing against the "disparity of income" is so disingenuous. It's the baseline of goods and services available to the poor that indicates the wealth of a society, not the spread between the very successful and wealthy and those who can barely keep their lives together. By that measure, the United States is the most wealthy country to live in, rich or poor. They have cars because rich people purchased them new, then placed them on the used market when they got tired of them, where they were resold again and again for less and less money until the poorest person can afford a car. (which goes right to the heart of the problem with "Cash for Clunkers." -- the inability of liberals to understand that the used goods market is the American way to "spread the wealth.")

Poor people have clothes and food because they are so cheap that people buy new clothes and donate their old clothes well before there is any noticeable wear on them. They have food because it is so cheap that churches and civic organizations have no problem soliciting donations, and grocery chains allow you to purchase food for food banks as you check out at the register.

Paul is absolutely right. Liberal socialists seek to use government to solve a problem that was being better solved by the private sector, voluntarily.

Rand Paul is speaking spatially. He could have spoken temporally and pointed out the the poor have it much better than people living 500 years ago.

Yes, and that's exactly his point. You don't have to go back 500 years, or 5 years. The American poor are living better now than the poor in other countries, especially socialist countries. And unlike the victims of socialist governments, the poor in America have every chance to better themselves or their children. The starving child of a North Korean peasant has no future than to be a starving peasant. A poor person in America has every chance of seeing themselves or their children becoming part of the comfortable middle class, once the United States rises up and tears away the rotten chains of the Socialist Democrats.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/11/2010 1:29 PM  

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