Who Creates Poverty?

Copyright 2009, John Manimas Medeiros

The same people who “create” wealth. This is the only sensible response to:

Challenge #2: What is a more sensible interpretation of what occurs when an "entrepreneur" or any business enterprise gets started, enters into the marketplace, and buys and sells and "makes a profit" other than the ridiculous idea that the business has "created wealth."?

Or: An entrepreneur, or inventor, or businessman, or industrialist, or commercial bank, creates wealth (but nothing else, just pure, clean wealth) by virtue of planning and executing a "business enterprise."

Let's start off with this opposing idea: If there is a tribe living in a community where wealth is measured in cattle, and every household in the tribe has one cow for each household member, then who is "wealthy" as opposed to "poor"? Who has more wealth than another? Wealth is relative. I dare you to demonstrate otherwise. Therefore, it is impossible to create wealth at point A without also creating poverty at point B.

To say that an entrepreneur or business entity “creates wealth” is like saying that a cow creates meat. Of course it creates meat, but it also creates urine and manure. It also consumes grain and grasses. Therefore, we must acknowledge that any business activity that creates wealth does in fact create wealth only for some people, and thereby, in comparison, creates relative “poverty” for others. The business consumes materials that have there origin in Nature, such as trees or minerals and water and substances used for fuel to produce available energy. Minerals do not belong to a person or group until people form a government and define procedures by which people can obtain a license or right or form or ownership, sometimes called “mineral rights.” In this way the materials of Nature, or of the Earth, that originally belong to no one or to everyone, become the property of an individual or a group. When materials are transformed, by human labor, into products that are sold, and thereby, “create wealth,” all of the remainder of society is rendered relatively “poor” because they do not share in the wealth that was “created.” The simple rational conclusion to acknowledge here is that the creation of “wealth” always includes the creation of “poverty.”

Stated in a basic and simple philosophical sense: when those who are “strong” and gifted with technical or creative skills act to “create wealth,” they have made a contribution to society, but they have also demanded and received a reward for their contribution. They become “wealthy” and it follows logically that those who are “weak” or who do not possess such technical or creative skills become more poor than they were before. The strong have grown in their wealth, and the poor have consequently grown in their poverty. What this means, which is extremely important, is that the poor do not create their own poverty. Those who act to produce, to create, to invent, to develop, to achieve in the human arts and sciences, create some form of wealth for society but also a form of wealth that is the property of only some people, and simultaneously all those who do not share in the form of wealth produced are inherently “left out” and are thereby poor, or “less wealthy” in relation to those who have increased their possession of wealth.

All “social” legislation, therefore, originates from the human impulse to adjust disproportions and make human relations just whenever and wherever they are unjust. Any law, program or process that is intended to render social and or economic justice is nothing more nor less than the rational and logical human effort to correct the injustice that arises whenever actively creative people create both wealth and poverty as a result of their constructive behavior and diligent pursuit of something better. Poverty is not the result of the behavior of the poor. Poverty is the result of the behavior of those who create wealth, simply because it is impossible to create wealth and only wealth. Instead, in the real human society, the creation of wealth always and inescapably produces poverty at the same time.

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