Economics and Facebook? Part 2

February 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm (Uncategorized)

This isn’t nearly as long.

Now, yesterday I went on and on about world hunger, due to some strange comparison comments I saw my friends and peers make regarding the new layout changes to Facebook. Blah blah blah, made some Easter Island statements (raise your hand if you actually knew what the heck happened on Easter Island. Two people, myself included? Not surprising. It’s a rather interesting history, go look it up; especially if you’re morbidly fascinated by cannibalism) Today’s subject…

Poverty:

Again, I’m all for charity for poverty. The miserable pictures taken by the good folks at National Geographic (owned by the company that also owns Faux News? Whaaaaaaaa?) always pull at your heart strings, and make you want to donate all your money to help these poor children. What you don’t realize is the hidden agenda behind it. You can’t be naive enough to think that everyone who lives in an impoverished country looks like that all the time. Life is not complete sadness. Look at our ancestors and their wealth status compared to those of today. Unless you’re descended from the Rockefellers, your ancestors were most likely poor, but also most likely happy with their day-to-day routine. Sure, they wished for more. Who doesn’t? That’s what America was founded on: work with what you have, but don’t be afraid to dream and work for more. History gets twisted around by the winners, and we only get the ‘everyone was sad and miserable until we stepped in and made it shiny’ portion of it. Everyone was exactly as they are today, only the number of zeros behind their paychecks have changed, as well as working conditions. There’s a reason for the phrase ‘history repeats itself’.

Look at us today. We’re scrimping and saving, but with little time for more luxury, we find time to work on what really matters: our ties with people. (if you aren’t working on your ties with people, shame on you. Money comes and goes, but the relationships you form with people, platonic or romantic, are what really matter)

A lot of people place value on reducing poverty in other nations by making sure they have similar living standards to what those in well developed nations have. This is also well-meaning, but it spells out disaster. We cannot have that many people driving that many cars, or using that much electricity, or spending that much money on frivolous items. We will destroy the environment 100x faster than we already are, unless we can come up with many, many more cheap, efficient, and eco-friendly energy and transport services.

There’s also the economic factor. Even at the low point the American economy is at right now, we’re still a fairly wealthy country. If we brought every single country to this level of economic development… we’d be screwed. Economic resources (which can cover everything from people to natural resources like trees) would be used up faster than you can say ‘say what?’ It would be catastrophic. We would have nothing left to do but battle over the few economic resources we had left, and I’m fairly certain no one wants World War III when there’s nuclear arms in almost every developed country of the world, and even some developing countries.

The very economic system that sustains everyone would collapse. It is not meant to hold that many people who are above the poverty line. Unfortunately, and I know stating this will mean that I’ll be reborn in my next life as an impoverished person, poverty is a necessary evil. It’s poverty or death. Literally.

On the other hand, though, helping impoverished nations helps the current economy stay flowing. So while they continue to improve, it means that currently developed nations continue to improve. So, in reality, impoverished countries will most likely continue to stay impoverished, while really, if we kept to the current standards, they’d be just as well off as we are. The economy flows and changes, and with time and technological advancements, the poverty line gets higher and higher. People who would have been rich two hundred years ago are at the minimum wage line today. That’s economics.

It’s rather depressing when you think about it.

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