12 October 2008

12. Wealth vs. Poverty

This is my presentation and discussion of Wealth (the production of) under Capitalism and Freedom versus Poverty (the destruction of Wealth) under Statism and Force. The presentation of Wealth under Capitalism comes first, followed by the presentation of Poverty under Statism.

WEALTH (the Production of) UNDER CAPITALISM AND FREEDOM

“Wealth is material goods made by man.” -- As defined by Dr. George Reisman in his book Capitalism, p. 39. Reprinted with permission.

-- For a full and complete explanation of the essential importance and “role” of wealth in human life, refer to Dr. George Reisman’s book Capitalism, Part One, “The Foundations of Economics,” Chapter 2, “Wealth and Its Role in Human Life,” pp. 39-62, (Jameson Books, 1998).

Important points to consider regarding Wealth:

- Wealth and Production are only possible under Capitalism and Freedom.

- Wealth and Progress are only possible Capitalism and Freedom.

- Wealth and Happiness are only possible under Capitalism and Freedom.

- Wealth as Good and Moral is only possible under Capitalism and Freedom.

- Wealth Admiration is encouraged under Capitalism and Freedom.

The question is NOT why there is so much wealth in the United States. The essential question to ask is: why is there so little poverty in the United States?

Answer: Wealth Production through Capitalism and Freedom. Up until the current time (2008), there has been so little poverty in the United States because of the relative high presence of individual and economic freedom, the practice and protection of individual rights, with still a relatively rational-orientation towards the protection of property rights (despite the increasing trend against), and also including the limitless desire for wealth (man-made material goods) production and accumulation – all this occurring under a relatively free and unobstructed capitalistic (free-market) political-social system.

Regarding the current state of affairs in the United States: it is important to point out that in the United States, essentially since the end of the 1920’s, there has been a continual decline in personal freedom and economic stability all due, I think, to (1) the increasing growth and expansion of statist governmental agenda, policies, taxation, welfare and subsidy programs, departments, and agencies, (2) continual and increasing violation and control of individual rights and property rights through political, legislative and judicial processes, (3) regulation and control of banking and financial institutions, activities and monies, governmental expansion of fiat monies and credit, (4) continual taxation, fee, and fine increases at all levels of government, and (5) the continual and increasing intervention, manipulation, regulation, mandates, and control of our free-market economy, including any and all commerce and business.

As we see Statism, and statist policies and programs, grow and expand in the United States, so shall we see poverty grow and spread in the United States. Statism and poverty go hand in hand, and grow together.

Capitalism leads to and establishes economic stability.

Capitalism can only provide the social-political system where wealth production is possible.

Capitalism diminishes and eliminates poverty.

It is the social-political systems of Statism (in any and all of its forms), including coercive government force, control of the economy, and institutionalized-collective citizenry enslavement that causes economic chaos, discouraging and destroying commerce and business, eventually establishing an environment that discourages and destroys any motivation towards wealth production and accumulation, leading to the actual destruction of all wealth. Therefore, poverty and misery increase and spread throughout society and the economy, and negatively affecting, consuming, and destroying all prosperity for people and businesses.

It is the social-political-economic system of Capitalism, including individual and economic freedom, and the encouraged use of reason in everyday life (in both personal and business matters), that establishes an environment that encourages and motivates individuals towards wealth production and accumulation, thus leading to an increasing and limitless production of wealth throughout the entire economy and society. Therefore, reducing and eventually eliminating poverty throughout society and the economy, while increasing the standard of living and prosperity for all people and businesses.

As Dr. George Reisman writes, ”…There is no fixed limit to the process by which the increasing production of wealth can further enhance and extend human life and its enjoyment.”

--- Dr. George Reisman, from his book Capitalism, Part One, “The Foundations of Economics,” Chapter 2, “Wealth and Its Role in Human Life,” Part 6, “Scarcity and the Transformation of Its Nature Under capitalism,” p. 55 (Jameson Books, 1998). Reprinted with permission.

POVERTY (the Destruction of Wealth) UNDER STATISM AND FORCE

-- For a full discussion and complete explanation of the destructive forces, chaos, and tyranny of socialism is any of its forms (Statism), refer to Dr. George Reisman’s book Capitalism, Part One, “The Foundations of Economics,” Chapter 8, “The Dependence of the Division of Labor on Capitalism IV: Socialism, Economic Chaos, and Totalitarian Dictatorship,” pp. 267-295, (Jameson Books, 1998).

Important points to consider regarding Poverty:

- Poverty and Destruction is guaranteed under Statism and Force.

- Poverty and Economic Stagnation is guaranteed under Statism and Force.

- Poverty and Misery is guaranteed under Statism and Force.

- Wealth as Evil and Immoral is guaranteed under Statism and Force.

- Wealth Envy is guaranteed under Statism and Force.

The question is NOT why there is so much poverty in third world countries. The essential question to ask is: why is there so little wealth among the general population in the third world and poorest countries of the world, such as in North Korea or Zimbabwe?

Answer: Wealth Destruction by Statism and Force. There so little wealth (man-made material goods) in the third world and poorest countries because of statist (governmental or ruling group) policies, agenda, force, chaos, and tyranny against the individual and property rights, where there is little or no individual freedom and/or economic freedom, and constant violation and infringement of individual rights, including property rights -- where the concepts of individual rights, property rights, and derivative freedoms have yet to be discovered -- where little or no property rights exist -- where there is governmental manipulation, regulation, and control of the country’s economy -- where there is governmental redistribution and destruction of any earned and created wealth, income, and profit -- where there is no motivation for wealth production and accumulation because it will be destroyed, confiscated, and stolen through taxation and corrupt government activities, legislation, and policies, or just through brut governmental physical force.

Statism leads to, and causes, economic chaos.

Statism destroys wealth production.

Statism causes and leads to poverty.

For example, witness the current state of affairs in countries such as Mexico, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe (and other African countries), and present day Venezuela. Also observe the original U.S.S.R. and original Communist Eastern European countries, and the old, pre-semi-free-market Communist China.

Observe how present day China (though still a communist dictatorship), and many other Asian countries such as Japan-Taiwan-South Korea, have reduced poverty levels significantly since the introduction of free-market economics and business freedom, including the introduction and increased recognition and protection of more individual freedom and individual rights, and the introduction and increased recognition and protection of property rights.

It is the social-political-economic system of Capitalism, including the use of reason, and the application of individual and economic freedom, that establishes an environment that encourages and motivates individuals towards wealth production and accumulation, thus leading to an increasing and limitless production of wealth throughout the economy and country. Therefore, reducing and eventually eliminating poverty throughout the economy and society, while increasing prosperity for all people and business.

It is the social-political systems of Statism (in any and all of its forms), including coercive government force, control of the economy, and institutionalized-collective citizenry enslavement, that causes economic chaos, discouraging and destroying commerce and business, eventually establishing an environment that discourages and destroys any motivation towards wealth production and accumulation, leading to the actual destruction of all wealth. Therefore, poverty and misery increase and spread throughout society and the economy, and negatively affecting, consuming, and destroying all prosperity for people and businesses.

An observation: as we see Statism, and statist policies and programs, grow and expand in the United States, so shall we see poverty grow and spread in the United States.

Statism (collectivism, socialism, communism, Marxism, environmentalism) and poverty go hand in hand.