Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why poor people are poor

Direct quote from my charismatic, British prof:

"Poor people are poor because they don’t have any money. If you want
to help poor people, give them money – don’t mess with production. It
will just harm everyone including the poor people in the long run!"

Quite right!


benzta said...

Could not disagree more. Whatever happened to teaching a man to fish so that he can eat for a lifetime?

Most poor people are poor becuase they choose to be poor. Well, that may be an overstatement, but they choose to not use their abilities in a monetarily-productive manner.

Giving poor people money is a valid choice if you want to give them your money, but it doesn't change the underlying situation, and it could subtly reinforce their poverty-creating behavior by rewarding it without merit.

Yes, I'm a cold-hearted bastard, and yes this is oversimplifying the issue, but for the majority of those in poverty, this is a fair assessment.

Whitney Lynne said...

oh Tim - welcome back to the mainland! I think my prof's point is that we should be charitable to poor people privately and not use the govt as a means to improve their financial situations. I think you recognize this though and are just choosing to be a cold-hearted bastard.