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Extreme poverty contradicts premise of Objectivism

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First, let me tell you that I'm from Argentina so my English isn't that good.

This discussion is oriented towards debating whether there should be a completely free market or a subsidized and regulated economy based on man's condition and how the world's current situation of poverty would transition to an Objectivist Utopia.

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn’t it true that Objectivism believes that in a capitalist society anyone can get out of their economic condition if they have will power or are smart (without help from the goverment, etc)? It looks like Ayn Rand uses Gail Wynand in The Fountainhead to show this.

50% of the worlds population lives with around $3 per day (according to The World Bank which I believe is on the right, other NGOs would give a worst scenario). I live in Argentina, and with $3 you might survive but will definitely have malnutrition and get many diseases which treatment you won't be able to pay for. Malnutrition causes deterioration of the brain or its cognition, and it doesn't have to be said that if you're hungry you won't be able to pay attention in school much less have a good education. And that's only the physical part, if we talk about "will power", who is going to encourage that kid to be rational and ambitious? Or is there a special gene called will power? I do believe that certain people have a precondition to be better in something than someone else, but how far can that take you when you live in a slum and are being told infinite amount of things like: "We've tried to be honest, hardworking and your realtive studied, but none of us were able to get out. (And this is the reality of poverty in the rest of the world at least). They also induce kids in believing in the existence of god (this life is suffering to be able to go to eternal paradise...) or peers induce them into violence. Moreover, is it fare to blame that kids parents for having him when the education they received was the same. I remember talking to a doctor who works with teenagers from the slums who told me that a girl got pregnant at 14 because her mother told her that if she kissed boys she would get pregnant, she didn't think sex would do it. This is not her fault.

So basically, I'm saying that if the government doesn't assure education, health, and all the basic services (even highways, etc), people won't get them through capitalists' eagerness to earn profit or there intelligence to see a business. If all needs were satisfied through that than there wouldn't be so much poverty. It looks more like most capitalist tend towards monopolies if they can. If they're the ones who create all the schools or highways, both will have a cost to use. If you earn $3 per day you won't be able to. The conservative idea is that offer and demand will come to en equilibrium but the school intuition will be so low (to put 50% of the worlds’ population into school) that it wouldn't be profitable for the capitalist. It not, they would have made schools that were cheap enough. Most poor people know that education is the only way out, so if they can they make there children go to school they will even though most times it doesn’t bring any result. If I had $5 per day and could dedicate $1 so my son could go to a good school than I wouldn’t send him to a public one (at least the ones in the third world and the US, which quality I know of). By abolishing governments intervention in the economy, the world will become a just place?

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I stopped reading after I saw the words "objectivist" and "utopia."

That sad you're so closed minded. It seems like an excuse.

Utopia:

2. (usually lowercase) an ideal place or state.

3. (usually lowercase) any visionary system of political or social perfection.

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I stopped reading after I saw the words "objectivist" and "utopia."
Why is that? Did you stop reading 'Atlas Shrugged' when you got to the chapter "The Utopia Of Greed"? Or, you wouldn't consider reading a book titled 'A Utopia of Greed: Ayn Rand's Moral Defense of Capitalism' sold by ARI? Edited by Hodges'sPodges

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It looks more like most capitalist tend towards monopolies if they can. It looks more like most capitalist tend towards monopolies if they can. If they're the ones who create all the schools or highways, both will have a cost to use

You are starting on such faulty premises that I need to point out the obvious here:

1) Capitalism does not lead to monopolies, only socialism does. Socialism has the only true monopolies since the govt has full power of force to keep a monopoly. In capitalism there is always competition.

2)"It looks more like most capitalist tend towards monopolies if they can. If they're the ones who create all the schools or highways, both will have a cost to use" This starts with your premise that govt owned institutions DON'T "have a cost to use". Everything costs someone something. The govt doesn't have or produce anything except what it TAKES from individuals. If a school or a highway or healthcare cost nothing for you then that means someone else is paying your "share".

There is no such thing as :"free education" or "free healthcare". Free for you means that somewhere someone is being enslaved to your need.

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No, you are using it in a disparaging way to suggest that is that it is a "perfect, but fictional" or unrealistic, impossible to achieve idea.

The justification for laissez-faire capitalism is not that 'it will eradicate poverty' or that it achieve some utopian goal of magical mental evolution of the entire human race and no one will be poor or hungry or need healthcare or afford education or housing or clothes or a car or a pension.

The basic question is: Do you recognize man's individual rights, yes or no?

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You are starting on such faulty premises that I need to point out the obvious here:

1) Capitalism does not lead to monopolies, only socialism does. Socialism has the only true monopolies since the govt has full power of force to keep a monopoly. In capitalism there is always competition.

2)"It looks more like most capitalist tend towards monopolies if they can. If they're the ones who create all the schools or highways, both will have a cost to use" This starts with your premise that govt owned institutions DON'T "have a cost to use". Everything costs someone something. The govt doesn't have or produce anything except what it TAKES from individuals. If a school or a highway or healthcare cost nothing for you then that means someone else is paying your "share".

There is no such thing as :"free education" or "free healthcare". Free for you means that somewhere someone is being enslaved to your need.

Yes, government has a cost to give education and health, but the poorest person doesn't have to pay as many taxes as the richest. the poorest don't pay really (besides small percentage of things you buy at the store) because you can imagine they can't afford paying anything significant and they do go to public school with $3 a day. [Edit] What I'm saying is that I think richer people should pay taxes more taxes than poorer people so that we all have the basic opportunities to create a just society. Of course I'm not talking about 80% or anything like that. Many (or most) rich or non rich people were born that way, do they have more rights? they accessed a good education because of that.

I agree that Socialism tends towards monopolies. And I don't think capitalism tends towards monopolies but capitalists do. You see? But 2046 already said it. The Ayn Rand perfect society won't take everyone out of poverty and agrees that most can't do it by themselves. We understand eachother about what poverty means: not american ghettos (although that situation is bad), I'm talking about slums like the ones there are in any third world country. [Edit]

I would like for you to tell me if Objectivism believes that premise (Anyone can get out of their economic situation through will power, etc).

Edited by Simulacra

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No, you are using it in a disparaging way to suggest that is that it is a "perfect, but fictional" or unrealistic, impossible to achieve idea.

The justification for laissez-faire capitalism is not that 'it will eradicate poverty' or that it achieve some utopian goal of magical mental evolution of the entire human race and no one will be poor or hungry or need health care or afford education or housing or clothes or a car or a pension.

The basic question is: Do you recognize man's individual rights, yes or no?

Oh, So you see your definition of Utopia is mistaken (it is not necessarily an impossible society).

We would have to define man's individual rights. I believe in private property and private competition but I also believe that since YOU and I could have been born (what you in a detached way call) "poor and hungry" government needs to assure that we can get out of extreme poverty if we try basic things like going to school (a kid only can do basic things, you see?)

Edited by Simulacra

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If I had $5 per day and could dedicate $1 so my son could go to a good school than I wouldn’t send him to a public one (at least the ones in the third world and the US, which quality I know of). By abolishing governments intervention in the economy, the world will become a just place?

I need to make sure the language barrier isn't making me misunderstand you.

Your child has access to public school (govt run)

For $1 a day you could send your child to a private school, which you would if you could afford because it is so much better than the govt run school.

So you are recognizing that a govt provided service is inferior to a privately owned service.

So what you are upset about then is not that the better service exists, but that someone else has access to it and you don't.

So you would then either a)prefer that no one has access to the private school or b)the govt takes over the private school to give everyone access to it which then turns it into the public school.

Thus you would be redistributing the misery, not "the wealth".

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Oh, So you see your definition of Utopia is mistaken (it is not necessarily an impossible society).

We would have to define man's individual rights. I believe in private property and private competition but I also believe that since YOU and I could have been born (what you in a detached way call) "poor and hungry" government needs to assure that we can get out of extreme poverty if we try basic things like going to school (a kid only can do basic things, you see?)

I see, so your "need" negates my rights.

So, if me and a bunch of my friends got together and decided that we "need" to have X, Y, or Z, and we decided to call ourselves "the government" and pass a law forcing you to pay for X, Y, and Z, you would agree that you have a social responsibility to pay for our "needs" and you wouldn't have a problem if we sent men with guns to your house to take your money and property and force you to labour for our needs? Or do you disagree?

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the poorest don't pay really (besides small percentage of things you buy at the store) because you can imagine they can't afford paying anything significant and they do go to public school with $3 a day. What I'm saying is that I think richer people should pay taxes so that we all have the basic opportunities.

Why? Why should anyone have to pay for you or your family to.. do anything?

You have no right to anything you cannot support or pay for.

Who is "we"?

I am not wealthy but your "we" certainly doesn't include me.

A great way to insure your children aren't "underpriveledged" is to refrain from having them if you cannot afford them.

You need to come up with a logical reason WHY the people who worked hard and made themselves wealthy should support them families of those who haven't achieved.

You will find it next to impossible.

You- my life would be better if the government took half of what you have and gave it to me so I can provide a good life for my children

Me- my life would be better if rather than the government taking half of what I worked for to provide for your family that you had no family at all

Why should your desires win over mine?

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The reason why someone in Argentina can only make $5 per day is because of the lack of capitalism which means a lack of opportunity. Your socialist utopia has driving off all the better capitalists with high taxes and regulations and state ownership of major industries. Remove the barriers to the market and you will see your country prosper. Capitalism means each man's rights are protected by the government, so if you can find a legitimate means of improving your poor conditions, no one will stop you unless you are violating their individual rights. It wasn't only Gail Wynand who produced his way out of poverty, but so did Hank Rearden of Atlas Shrugged. If you haven't yet read Atlas, then I suggest you do, because it shows step by step how socialist government run the capitalists out of town either directly or because they refuse to operate at the point of a gun.

You want out of your poverty? Fight for individual rights and capitalism. The more you fight for socialism, the worse off you will be in the long run as your country has a brain drain -- the best leaving and saying good riddance.

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I need to make sure the language barrier isn't making me misunderstand you.

Your child has access to public school (govt run)

For $1 a day you could send your child to a private school, which you would if you could afford because it is so much better than the govt run school.

So you are recognizing that a govt provided service is inferior to a privately owned service.

So what you are upset about then is not that the better service exists, but that someone else has access to it and you don't.

So you would then either a)prefer that no one has access to the private school or b)the govt takes over the private school to give everyone access to it which then turns it into the public school.

Thus you would be redistributing the misery, not "the wealth".

haha, everything's not so black and white. I should explain myself better. I'm talking about third world and America's public education. I believe that way out of those systems are more towards Europe's Social Democracies. There should definitely be both private and public education. I was giving a hypothetical situation for a poor person who can't send their child to a private school. Since I live in Argentina, I did high school in a private school and but am doing college in the University of Buenos Aires which is much better than the private ones. I also know many kids from Yale and NYU and have informed myself about those schools, my sister attended classes in the second and my father went to Yale. They aren't much better...

the government should give the option of a good public school like there are in Europe. Also, I went to the second best highschool here which is subsidized, the best one is public. In this school and at the University of Buenos Aires you don't pay ANYTHING (not like America's "public schools").

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I need to make sure the language barrier isn't making me misunderstand you.

Your child has access to public school (govt run)

For $1 a day you could send your child to a private school, which you would if you could afford because it is so much better than the govt run school.

So you are recognizing that a govt provided service is inferior to a privately owned service.

So what you are upset about then is not that the better service exists, but that someone else has access to it and you don't.

So you would then either a)prefer that no one has access to the private school or b)the govt takes over the private school to give everyone access to it which then turns it into the public school.

Thus you would be redistributing the misery, not "the wealth".

haha, everything's not so black and white. I should explain myself better. I'm talking about third world and America's public education. I believe that way out of those systems are more towards Europe's Social Democracies. There should definitely be both private and public education. I was giving a hypothetical situation for a poor person who can't send their child to a private school. Since I live in Argentina, I did high school in a private school and but am doing college in the University of Buenos Aires (public) which is much better than the private ones. I also know many kids from Yale and NYU and have informed myself about those schools, my sister attended classes in the second and my father went to Yale and UCLA. They aren't much better...

the government should give the option of a good public school like there are in Europe (we can look at France's education system). Also, I went to the second best highschool here which is subsidized, the best one is public. In this school and at the University of Buenos Aires you don't pay ANYTHING (not like America's "public" schools).

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What I'm saying is that I think richer people should pay taxes more taxes than poorer people so that we all have the basic opportunities to create a just society.

"rich people" by and large already DO pay more in taxes than "poorer people" .... and yet you don't think we have a "just society"

so you think that maybe if the rich pay a little a little MORE more that will equal justice?

..what if it doesn't?

Then maybe you take a LOT more... can you be sure there would be "justice" then?

What is just to the person having the unearned handed over to them would not be just to the person from whom the handed over items were taken.

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Yes, government has a cost to give education and health, but the poorest person doesn't have to pay as many taxes as the richest. the poorest don't pay really (besides small percentage of things you buy at the store) because you can imagine they can't afford paying anything significant and they do go to public school with $3 a day. What I'm saying is that I think richer people should pay taxes so that we all have the basic opportunities.

I would like for you to tell me if Objectivism believes that premise (Anyone can get out of their economic situation through will power, etc).

Why should you take (read: steal) from the rich just to make yourself better? Why take from the poor to make yourself better? Why take anything from anyone to make yourself better? There is no "right to education", there is no proof that you have a right to education even. It's just nice to have, but just because it is REALLY useful doesn't mean someone MUST provide it for you.

"The conservative idea is that offer and demand will come to en equilibrium but the school intuition will be so low (to put 50% of the worlds’ population into school) that it wouldn't be profitable for the capitalist."

You clearly acknowledge that education is very useful. So many people agree that demand will be massive. You don't even have to pay to use google, do you realize how much money google has? Say you provide literally free education. That probably would attract thousands of people to your schools. And that opens opportunity for advertising, or other companies paying you to try out products in the highly dynamic education field in your schools. And if your school fails, it was probably terrible. It's just ridiculous to say a VERY IMPORTANT AND DESIRABLE business will ever be unprofitable.

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50% of the worlds population lives with around $3 per day (according to The World Bank which I believe is on the right, other NGOs would give a worst scenario). I live in Argentina, and with $3 you might survive but will definitely have malnutrition ...
Do you think there is something fundamentally wrong with your countrymen, that they are so poor compared to (say) Europeans and folks in the U.S. Of course not. Is Argentina poor in resources? Not really. if you look at the causes for the wealth in the U.S. and in Europe, you will find that it comes from the political system. The fundamental aspect is the recognition of property rights.

For further exploration of the facts, I suggest the following book: "The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else (Paperback)" by Hernando De Soto.

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Why? Why should anyone have to pay for you or your family to.. do anything?

You have no right to anything you cannot support or pay for.

Who is "we"?

I am not wealthy but your "we" certainly doesn't include me.

A great way to insure your children aren't "underpriveledged" is to refrain from having them if you cannot afford them.

You need to come up with a logical reason WHY the people who worked hard and made themselves wealthy should support them families of those who haven't achieved.

You will find it next to impossible.

You- my life would be better if the government took half of what you have and gave it to me so I can provide a good life for my children

Me- my life would be better if rather than the government taking half of what I worked for to provide for your family that you had no family at all

Why should your desires win over mine?

PLEASE EVERYONE READ THIS (CAUSE IT's BECOMING IMPOSSIBLE TO ANSWER EVERYTHING SINCE SOME OF YOU ARE POSTING THE SAME IDEAS).

2046: YOU and Your friends would not be the same as the US government. Go research on america's political system (elections, three powers, each control each other, individual rights, etc etc). This is the government that Ayn Rand loved so much (of course not as much as her ideal state, but never the less loved), so I wouldn't ridicule it.

Quo Vadis: you have to see that you are where you are mainly because of where you were born. I agree that it's not responsible for poor people to have kids that they can't 'afford' and its bad that you should have to support them through taxes. But you have to see that the reason a lot of poor people have to many kids is because of the lack of education, the education YOU received and they never could. Please reed my first post again.

You were able to work for your money because of your birth condition. More than 50% of the world don't have that same condition. So I say give basic necessities to those you can get them like us.

Again, understand that the US's poverty is not like the real poverty in the world.

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"rich people" by and large already DO pay more in taxes than "poorer people" .... and yet you don't think we have a "just society"

so you think that maybe if the rich pay a little a little MORE more that will equal justice?

..what if it doesn't?

Then maybe you take a LOT more... can you be sure there would be "justice" then?

What is just to the person having the unearned handed over to them would not be just to the person from whom the handed over items were taken.

NONONO, I think the US HAS A VERY JUST SOCIETY! I THINK AYN RAND'S IDEAL SOCIETY WOULDN'T BE JUST. IN THE US THERE ARE TAXES! Of course I feel many countries in Europe are more just but the US of course has a better ppolitical system than third world countries.

Edited by Simulacra

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2046: YOU and Your friends would not be the same as the US government. Go research on america's political system (elections, three powers, each control each other, individual rights, etc etc). This is the government that Ayn Rand loved so much (of course not as much as her ideal state, but never the less loved), so I wouldn't ridicule it.

Me and my friends are "the government" - we were elected. We are the majority. We were voted in by "the majority." We represent "the majority." Now do your social duty and do what I say, give me your money, or I will come to your house and take it. Do you disagree, yes or no? Do my "needs" negate your rights, yes or no? Stop evading.

Edit: And pardon me if I interpret your lack of direct response as an inability to respond.

Edited by 2046

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Ok guys, I have to go to dinner, it's 9:10 pm here :)

PLEASE leave your posts and answers. And would appreciate if only a couple who are informed of Objectivism's ideas would take the debate cause if not it's crazy (and we have lives to get back to :)

but thank you very much for debating and I'll come back tomorrow and answer everything. And trust me, I was enchanted with Ayn Rand's ideas at an earlier age but I hit certain realities that an absolute ideology (that's what I call Objectivism) is not constructed upon. I'm definitely open for you to convince me, but first we need to lay down our positions.

Edited by Simulacra

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Quo Vadis: you have to see that you are where you are mainly because of where you were born. I agree that it's not responsible for poor people to have kids that they can't 'afford' and its bad that you should have to support them through taxes. But you have to see that the reason a lot of poor people have to many kids is because of the lack of education, the education YOU received and they never could. Please reed my first post again.

You were able to work for your money because of your birth condition.

Simulacra, you have no idea who am I, where I started from, what I had access to as a child, or what I have access to now (except presumably a computer at this very moment).

Due to this idiocy it is impossible to take much of what you have to say seriously and I am certainly NOT going to try to justify myself to you with my childhood litany of woes.

Suffice it to say that since you are happy to claim boldly that I've had an education that I did not (I sought out an education for myself after adulthood) you are at the very best sloppy and haphazard with your facts and at worst disingenuous.

Also, regarding your first line... screaming is rude.

I do not need to "reed" your first post. I read it three times and I know what you're saying... the question is do YOU know what you're saying?

Evidence is leaning towards "no".

Edited by QuoVadis

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Me and my friends are "the government" - we were elected. We are the majority. We were voted in by "the majority." We represent "the majority." Now do your social duty and do what I say, give me your money, or I will come to your house and take it. Do you disagree, yes or no? Do my "needs" negate your rights, yes or no? Stop evading.

My needs, which aren't mine, but there's (poor people), should be fulfilled in a basic form like they're done in the US. There should be taxes but not extraordinary, just enough to give people basic needs (which means not welfare but institutions like schools and universities, hospitals, roads) that they can choose to use if they need it.

Please don't evade my question: do you agree that you wouldn't have earned your money if you had been born in the Favela of Brazil? YOU, NOT Fictional Howard Roark or Gail Wynand, etc.

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But 2046 already said it. The Ayn Rand perfect society won't take everyone out of poverty and agrees that most can't do it by themselves.

This is a fabrication. nowhere in his post did 2046 say that "most can't do it" If you are going to quote someone to make a point don't lie.

We understand eachother about what poverty means: not american ghettos (although that situation is bad), I'm talking about slums like the ones there are in any third world country.

You mean countries that have spent most of their existence as the plaything of some dictator or socialist ideal? Those countries? Ever wonder why a Country like the Democratic Republic of the Congo with some of the most abundant resources in Continental Africa has such crushing poverty? I can draw a direct correlation between "rich" nations and relative freedom of markets and another between "poor" nations and human bondage of one type or another be it socialism or be it dictatorship.

I would like for you to tell me if Objectivism believes that premise (Anyone can get out of their economic situation through will power, etc).

The premise is free individuals create wealth for all. Why do you so quickly discount the American ghetto? Because the wealth created by a mostly free market in America makes that ghetto infinitely richer than any of the slave pens or former slave pens you objectify.

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Simulacra, you have no idea who am I, where I started from, what I had access to as a child, or what I have access to now (except presumably a computer at this very moment).

Due to this idiocy it is impossible to take much of what you have to say seriously and I am certainly NOT going to try to justify myself to you with my childhood litany of woes.

Suffice it to say that since you are happy to claim boldly that I've had an education that I did not I sought out an education for myself after adulthood) you are at the very best sloppy and haphazard with your facts and at worst disingenuous.

Also, regarding your first line... screaming is rude.

I do not need to "reed" your first post. I read it three times and I know what you're saying... the question is do YOU know what you're saying?

Evidence is leaning towrds "no".

Listen, don't get upset, I wasn't screeming, I was laughing. But I understand that virtual communication isn't the best. You're right in saying that I don't know where you came from. But I intend to show that MOST people that have opportunities (a good -not rich- financial background) wouldn't have gotten were they are without those opportunities. But again I appologize if I offended you, I really wish to debate this with you, cause you haven't answered my questions.

Thank you.

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