All of you guys who believe that the rich should have had their wealth redistributed to end the Great Depression,
From what I hear, many of you believe that the solution to the Great Depression would be to just give poor people money. This is wrong on several grounds. One, giving others money or simply printing money does not actually create wealth. Money is simply a claim check on stuff of actual value, like food, bed stands, pool tables, etc. We are wealthier when we as a society produce more “stuff”. We want stuff, not money. So simply printing money would have no effect on our wealth except to make each dollar worth less. If we have a 100 units of stuff and 10 dollars in our hypothetical economy, each dollar buys 10 units of stuff. If we print 10 more dollars, each dollars only buys 5 units of stuff. This is inflation. So simply giving money doesn’t actually make poor people better off. Printing money would counterintuitively make them poorer, as they cannot buy much with devalued dollars.
The alternative is to tax the wealthy for their stuff and take it and redistribute it. This is wrong on multiple levels. First, that is simply legalized theft. The fact that some people can decide as a group to take the rightful property of another for their own ends does not make it any less immoral. It is still wrong. If individual rights and property rights are actually worth something, then they apply to everyone, rich or poor. Next, it is wrong to say the rich should “give back” to the community. They have not taken anything from the community. On the contrary, they have made more for the community than anyone else. By making stuff people value and selling it for a mutually agreeable price, they have helped the community by giving them something they valued more than their money. Free trade is always beneficial to both parties because if it wasn’t, the injured party would simply refuse to trade. So free trade cannot hurt people. The idea that that the rich should “give back” what they have “taken” is based on a basic fallacy: that the real wealth of the world (how much stuff we have) is fixed. In other words, let’s say we only had 100 units of “stuff” for all human history and 5 people alive at any given time. Each person starts with 20 units each. For anyone to get more stuff, he would have to take it from the others, making them poorer and committing an act constituting theft. But this is false on two grounds. One, he could not get wealthier through free trade because people would refuse to trade on grounds that do not benefit themselves in some way. Second, the wealth in the world is not fixed. For a simple proof, compare the year 2000 to 1800. Even the poorest people in 2000 (I’m assuming America here, because America is rich thanks to relatively free trade up until recently. If other countries were freer, they would be rich too) live better than kings in 1800. They have cars, refrigeration (no dying from spoiled food), electricity, cheap clothing, air conditioning, and so much more. They are wealthier. So, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is false. Really, the rich get richer faster than the poor get richer, but since the rich do not steal from the poor (except in government intervention like bailouts), there is no real problem except perhaps misguided jealousy. Lastly, the rich do not have an obligation to give to the poor. An obligation implies necessity, which means the rich should be forced to give to the poor, which is a form of slavery. No one lives for the sake of another. One’s work is not for the other’s benefit. To draw an analogy to Southern Pre-Civil War slavery, the black man toiling in a cotton field is the same as a wealthy manufacturer working in an office. Both are creating wealth by doing useful work. And as the black man’s work is for the plantation owner’s benefit, the manufacturer’s is for the benefit of the poor thanks to taxes that redistribute wealth. Neither should be stolen from. And just like if the black man refused to work, the manufacturer refused to pay the tax, both are punished. One with a whip and a bullet to the head if he resists, the other with jail time and being shot by government agents if he resists. They are no different. No one should be slave to another’s desires against his will. Lastly, redistribution does not help economically. By taking money from people who know how to invest it in profitable endeavors (ideas that people actually value enough to justify the use of scarce resources), and by giving it to a government that does not have market prices to determine the value of each project and that will simply build unproductive things that destroy wealth that could be better used by its rightful owners, wealth is only destroyed. Take the example of the Depression-era WPA (Works Progress Administration). It had people dig ditches and build roads. But where to build and how much to build was not decided by prices (which determined the value of each idea relative to the cost of the scarce resources like concrete needed to build it). Such make work-projects built in rural, nearly uninhabited areas where almost no one lived. And lots of money (and lots of scarce resources bought with the money) was spent on roads that went through farmland! No one used these roads. They did not help anyone, and they were a waste of money and by extension, stuff/real wealth. By wasting resources, we became poorer and our money could buy less, making us even worse off! If that’s too complicated, think of this. In our idea of “stimulus”, digging a ditch and filling it up is a “stimulus activity”. And money is spent and the digger gets some. But for what? He has not contributed anything at all! He has made us worse off by wasting his time (a very scarce resource) not doing something useful, like planting or working in a factory or many other alternatives. The ultimate goal is to make is rich in stuff, not dollars. And taking from the rich does not help that, but seriously hurts it. A better idea would be to do nothing (from a government standpoint). Let the rich invest their money. Contrary to popular belief, people do not hoard money under mattresses (even if they did, they would take it out of circulation, causing deflation, making our money worth more, and still helping everyone else). The profit motive stops that. The fact that money can be more profitably used by investing in new profitable projects to earn more money means that the rich have reasons to look for the best things to put money into and avoid lossing by avoiding unprofitable (wasteful) projects. The government does not have this price mechanism and profit motive. So anything it does is a lottery of success at best. More likely, it will not help anyone but lobbyists who petition the government to “protect” them. It is also insulting to assume bureaucrats who know nothing about people can make decisions for them better than they could for themselves to achieve their own idea of happiness.
In conclusion, the Great Depression’s problems could not be solved by government interference. In fact, such interference only hurt us, as did the destruction of wealth during WW2 (more on that another time). The best thing to have done would have been nothing. By letting people look to solve their own problems, the Depression would have ended much sooner than it did. Email me if you have any questions or think I’m a heartless person.
If someone could please correct the many inaccuracies in this post, it would be greatly appreciated. I have a math test tomorrow and a physics quiz the day after.
why are we spending so much money on foreign aid when we have people jobless in the middle class???
he said: it’s really not nearly as much as some make it out to be.
he should have said: because people in other countries are humans too. we are not the only human beings worthy of eating, drinking, sleeping and “living” in general. Americans are no better than any other person, no matter what citizenship he or she holds.
real question: why do we only think about ourselves? do we not have a single ounce of humanity left for anyone “not American”? plus, what people fail to realize is we don’t give “aid” to anyone we don’t directly or indirectly benefit from, for the most part (except for natural disaster relief, among other things).
I think it’s also interesting to note that Americans think we spend 25% of our federal budget on foreign aid and would instead like to see us spend about 10%. In actuality, less than 1% of our federal budget goes towards foreign aid.
(and we still give more than every other country)
When it comes to the total amount of foreign aid given, yes, the United States gives the most but you also have to remember that we have a lot more money than the rest of the world. When sorting the amount of foreign aid given by GNI or per capita, the United States ranks rather low.
One single comment on Reddit that I thought was unbelievably hilarious and inspiring
Okay, look. I get it. Girls are tough. Being in love with one is tougher. But man the fuck up.
You want to know how to get the girl? Stop falling in love so easily, you fucking idiot. Unless you’ve been locked in a basement with one chick for the last three years, I guarantee you’ve been ignoring all the amazing women you come into contact with on a daily basis because you’ve got your head up your ass over this one particular chick, and probably because she just happened to be nice to you. And what that means is you aren’t into her because she’s a cool person - you’re into her because you think she gives you something you need. Validation, maybe, a feeling of wholeness, a feeling that you could be what you want if you just got this one. Last. Piece in place.
Fuck that, dude.
Listen. You want to know when I started getting women? When I figured out what I was about. When I figured out what I was good at, what made me unique as a human fucking being. It has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with you.
"I like you." Fuck that. Ask her out. Say, "Hey, you want to go on a date on Friday? See a movie?" Because how the fuck is she supposed to respond to "I like you"? "Oh, cool, I like you too. I guess we can just sit here liking each other then. Awesome." Jesus Christ, dude. Bring something to the goddamn table.
I mean, who are you? What are you proud of? And don’t give me some whiny bull shit about your low self-esteem. If that’s the problem, stop trying to get women and figure out your own shit. You want to know what real love is? You want to know what endures in a romantic relationship? It’s two people who know themselves well enough not to need another person recognizing that they want to be with another person.
Who are you, son? Be still and know. When you know, and when you do the shit you do and be the motherfucker you are, you will find somebody. And your eyes will be open because you won’t need that ONE person. You will be secure enough to find someone that is equally secure in the knowledge of who they are.
Goddammit you fucking asshole, did you even consider Sarah? Or Heather? Or that girl who sits in the back row of class and doesn’t say much, and so you never knew how well she sang, or the fact that she’s been playing piano since she was six years old? HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT? Do you know what it’s like to be with a girl who sings, motherfucker? It’s amazing! And you won’t ever know that because you’re too hung up on some chick who’s just as insecure as you are, and who won’t date you because she’s too scared people will judge her by her boyfriend.
Jesus. Fucking. Christ. I’m so pissed off because I fucking WAS you, man, and because I wasted so much time looking to women when I should have looked to myself. The sooner you really understand that, the sooner you start to know who you are, the sooner you’ll find out how many amazing women there are, and how lucky you’d be to get to know some of them.
Getting this hung up on one girl is like refusing to go to dinner with your friends unless they go to La Hacienda. “I only like Mexican food,” you say. “I only want Mexican food. I don’t even believe there ARE other things to eat, because I’m too fucking blind and stupid to get over my own obsessions and fears.” Well guess what, motherfucker? Pad Thai is the shit, and if you never pull it together enough to realize that, nobody’s going to fucking cry for you. We’re going to eat your goddamn dinner.
You hear me? You ignore all these other beautiful and amazing women, you continue to be some insecure little boy about this shit, then the rest of us will meet those women and show them the time of their lives, because we ain’t scared. We know who we are, and we’re on the front line not giving a fuck. Rejection ain’t shit but words. You don’t understand that, you deserve to have your heart shit on.
I’ve been you. It sucks. Know thyself, motherfucker, and the ladies will want to know you too.
Biotech giant Monsanto has been genetically modifying the world’s food supply and subsequently breeding environmental devastation for years, but leaked documents now reveal that Monsanto has also deeply infiltrated the United States government. With leaked reports revealing how U.S. diplomats are actually working for Monsanto to push their agenda along with other key government officials, Monsanto’s grasp on international politics has never been clearer.
I would give anything just to hang out with them and play guitar and drums and shit. I mean, there are other bands I would rather meet, but these guys dominated my adolescence and I owe them something.
For the internet, here’s a first-hand account of Occupy Oakland on 1/28/2012, because the news never tells the full story. I’ll tell you about the street battle, the 300+ arrests, the vandalism, the flag burning, all in the context of my experience today. This is deeper than the headlines. No major news source can do that for you, but Reddit can.
Workers at the Regency Ceramics factory in the India raided the home of their boss, and beat him senseless with led pipes after a wage dispute turned ugly.
The workers were enraged enough to kill president K. C. Chandrashekhar after their union leader, M. Murali Mohan, was killed by baton-wielding riot police on Thursday. The labor violence occurred in Yanam, a small city in Andra Pradesh state on India’s east coast.Police were called to the factory by management to quell a labor dispute. The workers had been calling for higher pay and reinstatement of previously laid off workers since October. Murali was fired a few hours later. The next morning, at 06:00 on Friday, Murali went to the factory along with some workers and tried to obstruct the morning shift, local media reported. Long batons, known as lathis in India, were used by police who charged the workers, injuring at least 20 of them, including Murali. He died on the way to hospital, according to The Times of India. Hundreds of workers gathered outside the police station and demanded that officers be charged with homicide.
Curfew and other civil orders were imposed in Yanam because of the uprising led to the murder of the Regency president. Police reported that rioters also torched several vehicles outside the police station. Eight Regency Ceramics workers were injured in police firing that followed; the condition of two of them is critical. More than 100 protesters have been arrested.
India factory workers are the lowest paid within the big four emerging markets. Per capita income in India is under $4,000 a year, making it the poorest country in the BRICs despite its relatively booming economy.
At Regency Ceramics, workers went on strike Jan. 1 over the wage dispute. The management had reportedly decided to slap a restraining order on five workers and managed to obtain an order from a high court that the striking workers should not come within 220 yards, more than the size of two football fields, from the factory.
Once news of Murali’s death spread, the factory workers allegedly destroyed 50 company cars, buses and trucks and lit them on fire. They ransacked the factory. Residents joined hands with around 600 workers, while others were enroute to Chandrashekhar’s house.
Step 2: Baby takes his first steps. Mother nervously stares at human observers. She knows what’s coming. She’s seen it before.
Step 3: Less than 15 minutes after birth, the still-wet baby is taken from his mother.
Step 4: Mother is hooked onto mechanical milk suckers, so her baby’s nutrients can be fed to humans (thus significantly increasing humanity’s cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes rates…but I digress…)
Step 5: Newborn baby is sent to live the rest of his short life on a veal farm.