Hurricane exposes issues of class, race. And the faith of journalists.

USATODAY.com - Hurricane exposes issues of class, race: "But lawlessness is the inevitable companion of mass poverty, and a threat to civil order should have been anticipated."

Wrong. A guy called Blackeagle got it right: "Mass poverty is the inevitable consequence of lawlessness."

In a much broader context than just the hurricane: It's atheistic communists who faithfully believe that unbalanced economics is bad, and "equal" income distribution is good.
But Judism and Christianity state that immorality is bad and righteousness is good.
So who ya' gonna believe -- Marx or the Creator of the Universe?


At 8:35 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Very well said, James!

At 4:07 AM, Blogger Manoah said...

You seem to be implying by your entry that the impoverishment experienced by the survivors of the hurricane, such as those who crowded for days at the New Orleans Convention Center, resulted from the lawlessness that occurred in the wake of the hurricane. Would you agree that this is what you entry implies?

I disagree with this implication. I find it overly simplistic to imply a one-to-one line of causation pointing from lawlessness to poverty. In this case, it seems that the mass impoverishment in question likely would have occurred in spite of the lawlessness: how many more of the hundreds of thousands who were left stranded by the hurricane would have been saved if there had not been an outbreak of 'lawlessness?' Assuredly, many more. Possibly even most. I feel that the poverty would have ensued anyhow and, as an unbalancing force, probably would have become the cause of lawlessness. Maybe it's a positive feedback cycle, where the poverty begets lawlessness which begets even more poverty until an outside force has to step in. Either way, I believe that in this case the poverty would have occurred anyhow.

The other question I want to ask is who is this guy called Blackeagle? and how did he get it right? I know of a guy called Amartya Sen. A lot of people think he got it right, too. He said, "No substantial famine has ever occurred in any independent and democratic country with a relatively free press." It's a view that's somewhat similar to that which you quote from that guy, Blackeagle. The difference, though, is that Sen takes into account a multitude of different factors, not focusing unnecessarily and incorrectly on just one.

The rest of your entry, unfortunately, in my eyes, smacks of this same oversimplification. The "broader" context is reduced to a dichotomy between atheistic communists who preach bad economics and righteous monotheists (excluding Muslims) who shun immorality. What?!? First, how is this the broader context? Second, why does it matter that communists are atheistic? That has no relevance to their bad economics. And why are they the only ones who fight against that pillar of righteousness that is the invisible hand? why not reference those atheistic, neo-socialist Europeans? They believe in the welfare state, and strong labor unions, and some of them believe in God.

Again, deferring to a person much more eloquent and erudite than myself, I will turn to Sen. He sees the broader context as a dichotomy between states which have in place the fundamentals of democracy and those that do not. He doesn't inject religion into it, because religion isn't the dictating force!

To backtrack a step, I'm not trying to imply that the United States lacks the fundamentals of democracy because it experiences mass poverty. I actually would not even characterize the post-hurricane suffering as mass poverty. The poverty referred to by the USATODAY reporter and the poverty referred to by Sen are clearly different. But Sen's perspectives still provide a valid foil to logical missteps that you pass off as logic.

James, I believe that oversimplification is a very, very dangerous habit. I hope that, in the future, you will be reticent to oversimplify so blatantly.


At 12:09 AM, Blogger James Beam said...

Thank you for your insightful comment. And I'm glad you like my challenging and engaging blog.

You're right; I am simplifying. In my blog I'm not trying to multidimensionally analyze all factors contributing to the lawlessness and immorality of the tradegy in Nola. Why? Because I've done the enough research into poverty and morality, (at intellectual, social, and personal levels) to conclude that decisions are based on one's view of the world and one's perceived place in therein.

My suggestion is to not to believe everything you hear or read. You certainly don't believe me; you question me. That's great. Likewise, why believe authors, journalists, bloggers, and professors who shape your worldview far more than I without checking their facts, motives, and conclusions?

Oh -- and vocabulary is a tool, not a bludgeon. Language works best as a tool for clarity.


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