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January 21, 2013

Wealth Cures All Ills. [CharlieBrown'sDildo]

An argument that many of us have with our idiot liberal friends is that they claim unfettered capitalism cannot protect the people from its own depredations. Evil corporations will enslave the masses, test experimental drugs on them, make them drive unsafe cars, bear unwanted children, eat unsafe food, and generally destroy their lives...all in pursuit of filthy lucre.

But the history of the West doesn't support that thesis, and in fact supports just the opposite. The correlation between the wealth of a country and the health and well-being of its least fortunate is damned near 1. America's poor people are poor because they don't have internet ready flat screens and more than one car. The poor in the non-Western world? They are dying of malnutrition, contaminated water, mis-allocated resources (a polite euphemism for theft by government officials) and societies that are static -- without any possibility of self-improvement. And the governments of those non-Western countries? Autocratic, Socialist, or just plain repressive dictatorships. But there isn't a free-market country in the world where people are starving.

And yet, in our hubris, we have allowed the very system that can feed the world to be subverted on the altar of Global Climate Change. Our agricultural system, the most efficient by far in the history of man, has been twisted, not by market forces, but by government fiat to switch from food production to fuel production. Those millions of acres of corn that go to ethanol production have taken food crops out of our farmers' rotation, and while the richest poor people in the world (Americans) may not starve, the people at the real margins, in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia are going to die as a direct result of the policies of the United States government.

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posted by Open Blogger at 12:57 PM

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