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Re: "Iraqi Involvement"?!

12/17/2003 1:28 PM
AlChemIst Re: "Iraqi Involvement"?!
If foreign aid was distributed with the intent of raising the lifestyle of your average Khartoum or Islamabad resident to the level of your average Kansas City or Bangor, Maine resident, rather than for what it accomplished in terms of positioning the US economically and militarily to assure Kansas City and Bangor residents their quality of life in spite of everything...  
If international welfare works to quench terrorism as well domestic welfare does to reduce violent crime, it's not going to help the terror threat much. No matter how much is given, it will never be enough to appease the ingrates ("when that check comes in, I'm going to put some 20's on my ride!Oh man, I don't have enough money to pay the phone bill")
12/17/2003 8:24 PM
Dave Rich
Good point Al. Transferring wealth from Kansas City to Khartoum will not raise Khartoum to KC levels, it will reduce KC to Khartoum levels. That's how welfare works, there is a net decrease in overall prosperity. Sure Khartoum would be temporarily better off, but as KC gets poorer the gravy train would eventually grind to a halt then everybody is poor. This is the liberal vision of "equality".  
Contrast that to what were doing in Iraq. The Iraqis are getting freedom, democracy, justice etc. Many towns are getting running water, electricity, hospitals and schools for the first time ever. These are the basic ingredients for the Iraqis to create their own wealth. The resulting increase in trade and economic activity will enrich the whole world rather than being a drain on it.
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12/17/2003 10:57 PM
Hi Dave;  
A1's problem IMHO is simply that A1 lives in a world of limited good. His worldview is typical: the only way for someone to be better off is for someone else to be worse off. This has held for communistic thought for a century. This line of thought has also been used by many a dictator and it could be argued it's at the heart of Pat Buchannan's hate campaigns. (and others) CLose the borders before "they" take our jobs! The Japanese are "buying" America! etc.. and many more pronouncements from years past - all hail from the same pool of vomit.  
Not sure how the communist thing became the liberal thing. Perhaps liberals feel this way too? I dunno. It is fun to finger point though.  
Anyhow, capitalist thought typically is the opposite: that we live in a world of infinite good. We can *both* live well. My success has not cost you a thing, and in fact perhaps has contributed to your success (and visa versa) My company does well, our stock is in your 401k.. or perhaps we buy your products and now we buy more of them.. you get the idea I'm sure. How that all comes to be is the big ? but I do beleive that we have the tools and resources to bring the living standards of the entire world up (not the US, I mean humanity when I say "we") Japan, Germany and others who came back from the rubble after WWII altered the landscape with their economic success, but did not bring us "down". Their success was not our failure, in fact GM & Ford are making better cars as a result (competition, what a concept..) the fundamental problem is resistance to change. Folks that don't think America can compete are cowards. Competing implies change. We can change, we can adapt - we always have and always will. This is perhaps the best thing about America, and it's source of strength. We deal with change pretty well on the whole. Yes, some jobs will go overseas. Some will come over here though (BMW, Honda, Toyota etc all have plants in the US for ex) CHANGE is the only constant. The folks that have to change will whine bitch moan and complain, and the ones that refuse to change will suffer. That's life. A wise man once said that Luck is really the ability to recognize opportunity. I believe that. Iraq will be ok, so will Russia, China and everyone else when we all decide to make it so. There is enough food, water and shelter for everyone. The best way to stop terrorism hasn't changed in hundreds of years.. we learned this generations ago: make people stakeholders in the status quo and you get stability. This is why the archbishop of Constantinople adopted the pagan idea of "good works" getting you into heaven. Predestination left a lot of folks out - and therefore not stakeholders - and therefore hard to manage. You make folks stakeholders by making the way things are better for them. When a man in rags who lives in a mud hut sees images of rich Americans he is envious. He becomes ready to hear the angry words of a madman who blames those same Rich Americans for his plight. (Sounds kinda like Hitler right?) You take that same fellow, put him through school, "teach him to fish", help he and his children get adequate medical care so he doesn't have to watch his kids die of dysentary or polio and show him kindness and he may see the US in an entirely different light.. and in time his nation may become able to stand alone, become a viable economic force and use it's growing wealth to help others around it. When his children can live in peace, feed themselves and participate in the world - why then would he want to blow it up?  
Why is it "our" job? It's everyone's. Anyone who can help should, and many do.  
IMHO we just need to do more. We need to lead by example. When I was overseas one of the most commonly asked questions I got was about how much philanthropy there is in the US. AFAIK we give more per person than any other nation. That's the kind of thing we should be exporting to the world.  
peace out
12/18/2003 2:39 PM
Actually I agree with you Speed, however, the problem is that there are those who arn't willing to take the help and work to help themselves.  
The Japanese are a good example. What is the difference between Japan and the Philippines (in terms of natural resources), not very much. What is the difference in standards of living, huge. What is the difference between Mexico and the US in terms of natural resources. Again, a huge difference in standards of living (of course I'm oversimplifying things, but you see what I mean).  
How much money goes from the US to Mexico every year (actually, I don't know, but I imagine it is a huge number). Mexico has oil, and thousands of miles of beaches. These are resources that can build up Mexico, if they internally clean up their act (corruption, crime, etc) They, in theory could become a vacation mecca, (and many do vacation there), but because of crime (or fear of crime), the amount of tourism is not even near what it could be, as well as how much they can charge (the fear of crime, and crimes to my GI tract keep me away, and willing to spend tripple the money to go to Hawaii).  
Is it the macho aditude (those gringos think there so great, I'll continue my stubborn ways and not do what the gringos want)? Again, maybe I'm way off base, but the problem is that some choose not to improve themselves, and are wasting our money. Not a good investment as I can see.  
My thought on the iraq war is that it isn't the Bush administration's fault, it is the Iraqi's and Saddam's. They were a reasonably well educated population, and have ther second largest oil reserves in the world. If they thought like you speed, they would probably have a great standard of living. Look at them now. What a shame.  
As a disclaimer, I am only giving my opinions here, and I know I might be wrong, but I truly feel this is a key problem to the "capitalization" of the world. Some cultures allow it (China is becoming the fastest growing one now), and some don't, and are just ingrates.  
Do we want everyone in the world to have a computer and DSL? Does everyone want it? If they do, are they willing to use some elbow grease to get it? There are just some stubborn cultures who will answer "No". What are we supposed to do?
12/23/2003 5:49 PM
John Fisher

I live in Mexico,  
It is true that they have lots of natural resourses.  
There are some very wealthy people that live in Mexico. Believe it or not, there are some of the richest people in the world that live in Mexico.  
There is also lots of poverty.  
It is the same thing as in many other Latin American countries.  
The rich get richer and the poor stay poorer and the rich like it that way.  
It is not so much a matter of petty crime that is the problem. Just go to New York. I feel relitivly safe walking down the street here but not so much in New York City.  
There is lots of corruption but a lot of it is the rich white man that comes over and takes advantage of the situation.  
John Fisher
12/24/2003 11:30 PM
There is lots of corruption but a lot of it is the rich white man that comes over and takes advantage of the situation.  
I see, it's always somebody elses fault. That is one of the root causes of a lot of the worlds problems (pointing the finger, not looking at yourself for the problems, always being the "victim").  
You are probably right about crime, however, I've heard enough stories from friends to keep me away (at least if I slug a mugger, I'm not going to jail, as opposed to slugging a police officer who is extorting money just to get back my own personal property)
12/17/2003 5:19 PM
Mark Hammer
I should not have included Salvador Allende in that list. I thought of Chile, blocked on the name of the General whose junta bumped off Allende with US/CIA complicity (I knew it was wrong on the bus on the way home but could not recall it was Pinochet; I remembered at 1AM last night), and wrote the name that came to memory. Hope I didn't inadvertently offend any Chileans with good reasons to bang pots in the streets.  
In respect to Ampage Troll's comments, I'll shut up until this thread moves over somewhere more suitably located.
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