The Paradox of Poverty - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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By Puffer Fish
#15044848
You might think that with more poverty, dealing with poverty might become a more pressing issue for society.

But in actuality just the opposite is the case.

When there's more poverty everywhere, people have an innate natural tendency to withdraw internally, and shut all that poverty out which surrounds them. Mentally they go into defense mode, and feel less willing to share what they have.

When poverty is everywhere surrounding you, you just have a feeling like the entire situation is hopeless and no amount of money is really going to make any difference. As well as a fear that if you do not hold onto your own saved money, there's a remote possibility out there that you could end up one of those people.

Look in countries like Mexico. The rates of altruism are very low. (Compare Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who donated almost all of their wealth to charity, versus Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim who told one inquiring reporter "Don't expect me to go around being like some sort of Santa Claus." )

The greater the problem is, the less people will care about it.

There's also the psychological phenomena of donor fatigue, and feeling overwhelmed. That's why when you see charities on TV soliciting your money to help hungry children in Africa they will typically try to focus on just one child. When the viewer sees that, subconsciously they will feel that their donation can make a difference. Paradoxically, if they showed big crowds of hungry children, there would be a tendency for the viewer to feel emotionally overwhelmed, like the problem is so big their donation is unlikely to make much of a difference to the problem.
By late
#15044850
Puffer Fish wrote:
You might think that with more poverty, dealing with poverty might become a more pressing issue for society.

But in actuality just the opposite is the case.

When there's more poverty everywhere, people have an innate natural tendency to withdraw internally, and shut all that poverty out which surrounds them. Mentally they go into defense mode, and feel less willing to share what they have.

When poverty is everywhere surrounding you, you just have a feeling like the entire situation is hopeless and no amount of money is really going to make any difference. As well as a fear that if you do not hold onto your own saved money, there's a remote possibility out there that you could end up one of those people.

Look in countries like Mexico. The rates of altruism are very low.

The greater the problem is, the less people will care about it.

There's also the psychological phenomena of donor fatigue, and feeling overwhelmed. That's why when you see charities on TV soliciting your money to help hungry children in Africa they will typically try to focus on just one child. When the viewer sees that, subconsciously they will feel that their donation can make a difference. Paradoxically, if they showed big crowds of hungry children, there would be a tendency for the viewer to feel emotionally overwhelmed, like the problem is so big their donation is unlikely to make much of a difference to the problem.



Depends.

Some cultures are big on sharing, some not so much.

There is also the question of what is being measured. A poor Mexican town might not have money to give, but they might share food.

Prob depends on community, how much people feel connected to those around them.
#15048143
late wrote:Prob depends on community, how much people feel connected to those around them.

As communities grow more diverse, either in culture, ethnicity, or socioeconomics, the people in that community have a tendency to care less about those around them.

The social scientist Robert Putnam has written several research papers about this phenomena.
By late
#15048154
Puffer Fish wrote:
As communities grow more diverse, either in culture, ethnicity, or socioeconomics, the people in that community have a tendency to care less about those around them.

The social scientist Robert Putnam has written several research papers about this phenomena.



True, at least for now.

You might find this interesting:

"In what may come as a surprise to freethinkers and nonconformists happily defying social conventions, a new study traces the origins of contemporary individualism to the powerful influence of the Catholic Church in Europe more than 1,000 years ago..."

"According to the researchers, strict church policies on marriage and family structure completely upended existing social norms and led to what they call “global psychological variation,” major changes in behavior and thinking that transformed the very nature of the European populations."

"The engine of that evolution, the authors propose, was the church’s obsession with incest and its determination to wipe out the marriages between cousins that those societies were built on. The result, the paper says, was the rise of “small, nuclear households, weak family ties, and residential mobility”


https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... est-taboo/
User avatar
By Wellsy
#15048166
Puffer Fish wrote:As communities grow more diverse, either in culture, ethnicity, or socioeconomics, the people in that community have a tendency to care less about those around them.

The social scientist Robert Putnam has written several research papers about this phenomena.

I would wonder if what Robert Putnam actually examines is the breakdown of the social fabric by its replacement by exchange markets. As his research is on social capital which describes the qualities of human relations in quantitative terms.
Spoiler: show
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/pdfs/social.pdf
Putnam, on the other hand, is a statistician; his starting point is just a generalised conception of what is to be measured (civicness or sociability) and a real community in which it inheres to a greater or lesser degree. The entity to be measured is manifested in various phenomena which are deemed all to be manifestations of the same entity which itself lies outside the domain of perception. The entity itself therefore cannot be measured; it is a metaphysical entity.

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/public-policy.htm
Briefly, the approach of social capital is this: firstly, social relations are conceived of quantitatively. But quantitative abstraction is a valid theoretical operation only to the extent that it mirrors some process of quantification in social reality. Economic science, for example, is possible only because the economy is just such an objective process of quantification, performed by the market in acts of exchange. But it is now clear that, in Putnam’s words, “social capital is stubbornly resistant to quantification,” because it reflects no such objective process of quantification.

https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/whats-wrong.htm
The guru of the statistical analysis of “social capital,” Robert Putnam, now says: “social capital is stubbornly resistant to quantification” and “we must take care not to frame questions about change solely in terms of more social capital or less social capital. Rather, we must describe the changes in qualitative terms.” What was all the fuss about then, one might ask. And there is every reason to suppose, as Chris Scanlon has pointed out, that “social capital” theory has the effect of “naturalising” a neo-liberal approach to micro-management of deviant communities, and providing a rationale for political and financial decimation of the public sector.

However, there are a good reasons I think for taking this move seriously. Firstly, what the social capitalists have done is to extend the domain of economic science so as to subsume non-economic social life. This is, I think, an ideological reflection of the process in which economics is in reality subsuming social life. Thus, they are engaged in a critique of the boundary between economics and politics, with the intent of extending that boundary outwards.

The qualities you describe being a typical reflection/result of market relations and life. One doesn't experience such mass immigration of such a radically different person's pre-capitalism, immigration of course exists but many people live their entire lives in the same place without reason for moving else where.

Where markets rule, there is of course less trust between people, as one relates to people one's community only to the extent that they mutually use one another in exchange. I hire my local plumber to work on my pipes but I don't care to know them more than that. Everyone else is a relative stranger I do not trust as I do not know them or have a basis for trust.
#15048169
Puffer Fish wrote:You might think that with more poverty, dealing with poverty might become a more pressing issue for society.

But in actuality just the opposite is the case.

When there's more poverty everywhere, people have an innate natural tendency to withdraw internally, and shut all that poverty out which surrounds them. Mentally they go into defense mode, and feel less willing to share what they have.

When poverty is everywhere surrounding you, you just have a feeling like the entire situation is hopeless and no amount of money is really going to make any difference. As well as a fear that if you do not hold onto your own saved money, there's a remote possibility out there that you could end up one of those people.

Look in countries like Mexico. The rates of altruism are very low. (Compare Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who donated almost all of their wealth to charity, versus Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim who told one inquiring reporter "Don't expect me to go around being like some sort of Santa Claus." )

The greater the problem is, the less people will care about it.

There's also the psychological phenomena of donor fatigue, and feeling overwhelmed. That's why when you see charities on TV soliciting your money to help hungry children in Africa they will typically try to focus on just one child. When the viewer sees that, subconsciously they will feel that their donation can make a difference. Paradoxically, if they showed big crowds of hungry children, there would be a tendency for the viewer to feel emotionally overwhelmed, like the problem is so big their donation is unlikely to make much of a difference to the problem.


You do not end poverty by giving fish to the poor.
You end poverty by teaching the poor how to fish.
And many will never learn to fish because humans exist in a natural hierarchy of competency and talent. Many are destined to be in the gutter and altruism will do very little to help them. IN fact altruism may create a dystopia of nihilistic people. Just look at San Francisco, Seattle, and LA.
#15048170
late wrote:Depends.

Some cultures are big on sharing, some not so much.

There is also the question of what is being measured. A poor Mexican town might not have money to give, but they might share food.

Prob depends on community, how much people feel connected to those around them.

Socialism works well in tiny communes where there is kinship among the members. Socialism does not work in large groups.
Last edited by Julian658 on 13 Nov 2019 03:43, edited 1 time in total.
By late
#15048184
Julian658 wrote:
Socialism works well in tiny communism where there is kinship among the members. Socialism does not work in large groups.



Love the malaprop.

So when Denmark or Norway keep coming out as one of the best places to live, the people are delusional.

Certainly something is delusional..
#15048185
late wrote:Love the malaprop.

So when Denmark or Norway keep coming out as one of the best places to live, the people are delusional.

Certainly something is delusional..


The Nordic countries are capitalists! They do have a generous welfare state that is paid by the wealth created by capitalism. The free market is alive and well in Scandinavia. Sweden at one point wanted to drift into socialism and they had to come back to the right to avoid ruin. The privatized social security and use charter schools. The public transportation is managed by the private sector as they are much more efficient than the state.

The Nordic model comprises the economic and social policies, as well as typical cultural practices, common to the Nordic countries (Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden).[1] This includes a comprehensive welfare state and multi-level collective bargaining,[2] with a high percentage of the workforce unionised, while being based on the economic foundations of free market capitalism. WIKI
By late
#15048188
Julian658 wrote:
The Nordic countries are capitalists!



Of course.

But they are also commonly described as Socialist. Socialism means pretty much whatever anyone wants it to mean.

Which makes it useless as a word.

So what do you mean when you say Socialist? Are there countries that are actually Socialist?
#15048196
I'm just saying that as the poverty grows in formerly wealthy European countries, there will be less and less push to deal with that poverty. The whole mentality is going to change.

The society is going to start moving away from safety nets as the problem grows.
#15048238
late wrote:Of course.

But they are also commonly described as Socialist. Socialism means pretty much whatever anyone wants it to mean.

Which makes it useless as a word.

So what do you mean when you say Socialist? Are there countries that are actually Socialist?


In a socialist nation there is no private ownership of capital. It is a commune where everything is shared. Socialism may work in tiny groups where there is kinship and little dissent in ideology. In large groups classic style socialism has never worked. The best people can hope is for a capitalist country with a lot of social programs. By the way true socialism can only be imposed by coercion an authoritarian state.

IN any event someone has to create the wealth to pay for the programs and that is done best by the free market. The idea that the wealth creators (the rich) are to be blamed for poverty is totally illogical. If I was poor I rather live in a nation with a lot of rich people rather than in antion where everybody is equal but poor.

Redistributing the wealth from the rich to the poor is a band-aid solution for poverty. Preventing the rich for creating wealth feels good but in the long run helps no one.
#15048239
Puffer Fish wrote:I'm just saying that as the poverty grows in formerly wealthy European countries, there will be less and less push to deal with that poverty. The whole mentality is going to change.

The society is going to start moving away from safety nets as the problem grows.


The poverty in western capitalist nations is a paradox. MAN needs meaning to have a successful existence. A sense of accomplishment, independence, and creativity turns MAN into a happy creature. That is why parents want their children to become independent as the grow up. Those that remain dependent on the parents living at home become nihilistic as they become adults.

Humans align themselves in a natural hierarchy of talent and competence. There will always be people at the top and many at the bottom regardless of the system. This is a huge problem for society.
By late
#15048241
Julian658 wrote:
In a socialist nation there is no private ownership of capital. It is a commune where everything is shared. Socialism may work in tiny groups where there is kinship and little dissent in ideology. In large groups classic style socialism has never worked. The best people can hope is for a capitalist country with a lot of social programs. By the way true socialism can only be imposed by coercion an authoritarian state.

IN any event someone has to create the wealth to pay for the programs and that is done best by the free market. The idea that the wealth creators (the rich) are to be blamed for poverty is totally illogical. If I was poor I rather live in a nation with a lot of rich people rather than in antion where everybody is equal but poor.

Redistributing the wealth from the rich to the poor is a band-aid solution for poverty. Preventing the rich for creating wealth feels good but in the long run helps no one.



While I like your definition of Socialism, the rest is silly.

This is more than can be properly covered in a post.

https://www.amazon.com/Price-Inequality-Divided-Society-Endangers-ebook/dp/B007MKCQ30/ref=sr_1_1?crid=14CBNJG5E1GCL&keywords=the+price+of+inequality+joseph+stiglitz&qid=1573649878&sprefix=the+price+of+in%2Caps%2C203&sr=8-1

#15048262
late wrote:While I like your definition of Socialism, the rest is silly.

This is more than can be properly covered in a post.

https://www.amazon.com/Price-Inequality-Divided-Society-Endangers-ebook/dp/B007MKCQ30/ref=sr_1_1?crid=14CBNJG5E1GCL&keywords=the+price+of+inequality+joseph+stiglitz&qid=1573649878&sprefix=the+price+of+in%2Caps%2C203&sr=8-1



Inequality should be taken seriously. A poor person today has much more than a poor person in France in the 1700s; nevertheless the inequality causes stress and a sense of hopelessness. Inequality caused the French Revolution and the communist movements in the 20th century. Inequality may one day cause a revolution in the West. That most poor people are better off than in the past is moot. inequality is a stressor. The other issue is that people always compare their situation to an Utopia rather than reality.

It is much easier to tackle poverty in undeveloped countries than in highly developed capitalist western nations. The reasons are obvious.

Would you mind pointing out what is silly? Could you be a bit more specific?
By late
#15048269
Julian658 wrote:
Inequality should be taken seriously. A poor person today has much more than a poor person in France in the 1700s; nevertheless the inequality causes stress and a sense of hopelessness. Inequality caused the French Revolution and the communist movements in the 20th century. Inequality may one day cause a revolution in the West. That most poor people are better off than in the past is moot. inequality is a stressor. The other issue is that people always compare their situation to an Utopia rather than reality.

It is much easier to tackle poverty in undeveloped countries than in highly developed capitalist western nations. The reasons are obvious.

Would you mind pointing out what is silly? Could you be a bit more specific?



I will later, remind me if I forget. I just had my biweekly torture, PT.
By late
#15048285
Julian658 wrote:
IN any event someone has to create the wealth to pay for the programs and that is done best by the free market. The idea that the wealth creators (the rich) are to be blamed for poverty is totally illogical. If I was poor I rather live in a nation with a lot of rich people rather than in antion where everybody is equal but poor.

Redistributing the wealth from the rich to the poor is a band-aid solution for poverty. Preventing the rich for creating wealth feels good but in the long run helps no one.



You are looking at the trees, and missing the forest.

If you look closely at England, the first fully capitalist economy, you see a cooperation between business, government, and knowledge institutions.

What you would be looking at is the evolution of the Modern World. The government was extensively involved. They didn't want to, the landed gentry hated the idea. But they lost nearly every political fight because they didn't want to kill the goose laying the golden eggs.

One of the big contributors was called Universal Education, and while we're still working towards that ideal, the economic benefit to America with having the first educated workforce was huge.

That's just an example. I can provide a reading list if you want to pursue this further, but the best place to start is still Price of Inequality. If you really want to get into it, try Braudel's Civilization and Capitalism, 15th - 18th Century, Vol 2.
#15048314
late wrote:You are looking at the trees, and missing the forest.

If you look closely at England, the first fully capitalist economy, you see a cooperation between business, government, and knowledge institutions.

What you would be looking at is the evolution of the Modern World. The government was extensively involved. They didn't want to, the landed gentry hated the idea. But they lost nearly every political fight because they didn't want to kill the goose laying the golden eggs.

One of the big contributors was called Universal Education, and while we're still working towards that ideal, the economic benefit to America with having the first educated workforce was huge.

That's just an example. I can provide a reading list if you want to pursue this further, but the best place to start is still Price of Inequality. If you really want to get into it, try Braudel's Civilization and Capitalism, 15th - 18th Century, Vol 2.


It is much easier for capitalism to quickly reduce poverty in less developed countries like India. Leaving the gutter and moving to the equivalent of a poor person in America means some sort of job and plenty of calories to gain weight. In America there is an epidemic of obesity among the poor.
In the old days the poor people were traditionally thin, cachectic, and emaciated.

Eradicating poverty in a developed country in 2019 is not simple. It was probably much easier in the old days when a person with no skills could easily find adequate employment. Those in the lower strata are likely to be burned out, depressed, angry, and with low self esteem. It is not easy to compete in a technological world that requires high end skills. Receiving help from the government helps some , but not all. A newly arrived immigrant from a 3rd world country would likely fare better because of a better motivation and outlook at the future. The locals citizens are likely to be reaching a nihilistic state and are not motivated anymore.
By late
#15048341
Julian658 wrote:
It is much easier for capitalism to quickly reduce poverty in less developed countries like India. Leaving the gutter and moving to the equivalent of a poor person in America means some sort of job and plenty of calories to gain weight. In America there is an epidemic of obesity among the poor.
In the old days the poor people were traditionally thin, cachectic, and emaciated.

Eradicating poverty in a developed country in 2019 is not simple. It was probably much easier in the old days when a person with no skills could easily find adequate employment. Those in the lower strata are likely to be burned out, depressed, angry, and with low self esteem. It is not easy to compete in a technological world that requires high end skills. Receiving help from the government helps some , but not all. A newly arrived immigrant from a 3rd world country would likely fare better because of a better motivation and outlook at the future. The locals citizens are likely to be reaching a nihilistic state and are not motivated anymore.



You missed the point.

Norway has superb public education, we do not.

They are serious about education, we are not.

If you invest in the future you want to live in, you will get it.

We've been sucking the life out of the country to support the empire, and provide welfare to the rich in the form of tax cuts and ineffective regulation.
#15048355
late wrote:You missed the point.

Norway has superb public education, we do not.

They are serious about education, we are not.

If you invest in the future you want to live in, you will get it.

We've been sucking the life out of the country to support the empire, and provide welfare to the rich in the form of tax cuts and ineffective regulation.


Norway is a small homogenous country with a lot of oil. Probably a bit like Kuwait. But, I agree, they seem to educate people a bit better.

It is much easier to educate people that come from a two parent home where education is highly valued. In America the educational system may be poor, but kids of Asian and Indian immigrants tend to get a very good education. In fact those Indian and Asian kids have grown to be successful adults and now earn more than the Anglos. They are the top earners in the USA.

How would you improve the USA education?
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