Wednesday, June 06, 2007

An End to Poverty

We all want to live in a better society. It seems everyone has their own ideas on what our society should look like. First off, how do you define the ideal society? The definition is really very simple. An ideal society has no poverty. I am not just talking economically. Every person has a set of needs which includes temporal, spiritual, emotional and psychosocial aspects of their lives. Temporally speaking, every person needs proper nutrition, healthcare, housing, and protection. Spiritually speaking, every person needs to feel like they are living according to their conscience and in a manner that God approves of. Their spirituality should help them deal with adversity and death. Psychosocially and emotionally speaking, everyone needs to feel like there is purpose in their life. They need to belong and feel their life is of value.

You may not consider spiritual and phychosocial needs of much importance. However, consider what happens when people don't feel needed or valued. They feel depressed and negatively stressed. And when people feel depressed, hopeless and negatively stressed they well seek to cope. And if they feel hopeless, then they will feel like no amount of personal effort and no amount of divine intervention could ever make their situation better. Consequently, they may turn to unproductive, unhealthy, unnatural and destructive behaviors to escape from the feelings of depression caused by their unmet needs.

To escape feelings of hoplessness, people turn to addictive behavior. People turn to alcoholism, tobacco, illicit drugs. People turn to increased sexual behavior and pornography. These behaviors can then lead to health problems, mental illness, suicide, crime, and injury. I work in an ER and I see the results of poverty on a daily basis.

One of the biggest contributers to poverty in the US is illigitamacy. A single mother simply is less likely than a married couple to have the resources available to satisfy the needs of her children. In recognition of this fact. Some advocate birth control and abortion. But this is a failed policy that fails to treat the cause or even the symptom. My wife attended an inner-city school in Atlanta and she said you couldn't pass out enough birthcontrol because many girls she knew got pregnant on purpose. They didn't get pregnant because they didn't know how not to get pregnant. They wanted to be pregnant. Why? They wanted to feel needed. They wanted to belong. They wanted to feel like they had a purpose and were of value.

A new Gallup poll demonstrates the erroding of morality and tradition family values in the US. Especially among those that consider themselves liberal. However, the poll also shows when it comes to the morality of sex before marriage, the vast majority of both liberals and conservatives feel that such behavior is moral. However, despite birthcontrol and abortion, people who have sex make babies. And those babies who are born are more likely to be born to parents who didn't want them, or who are mature enough to care for them, or who are not commited to each other. These children are denied their right to be born into a family with both a mother and a father who are committed to each other and who have the resources available to take care of their individual needs. In many cases the reason the pair were having prematarital sex might have been to cope with their unmet needs. Now pregnant, these same needy, often emotionally bankrupt individuals are expected to provide for the needs of another person.

There is both a left-wing and right-wing conspiracy in the county. We are fighting a battle of political extremism in the US. Liberal secular progressives as well as neo-conservatives both have their right-wing and left-wing conspiracies. Liberals feel like the government can fullfil everyones needs. Yes, the government can provide some symptomatic relief. But, the government programs and welfare themselves are not designed to treat the root cause of poverty.

The family is considered the fundamental unit of society. What does this mean? It means that the family with a father who works outside the home and a mother who works inside the home is empowered with all the resources to fulfull all the temporal, spiritual, emotional, and psycho-social needs of it's members. Even when it comes to education needs, home-schoolers have shown that children can be effectively educated at home. The goverment is expected to institute laws which reflect and protect the ideal moral values of society and support and empower the family in it's important role.

At the same time. The far-right also contibutes to poverty in the US Business through social-darwinism. They practice "survival of the fittest." These are people who say "let the markets work" because the market just happens to benifit them. I'm not anti-capitalist. But, when business practices are cut-throat or look for loop-holes in the law and exploit others for power and wealth; this behavior is wrong. Just because an action is technically legal does not make it ethical or morally right. The constitution expects us to govern ourselves to a higher standard. Infortunately, our laws get more and more complex as more and more people are caught lying, cheating, stealing, and otherwise taking advantage of their neighbor to make a buck. Greed is the error of the far-right just as much as sexual immorality is the error of the far left.

Ilegal immigration is a good example. Businesses in the US have always attracted illegal immigrants. Immigrants are cheap labor. Businesses who employ them are not technically breaking the law. However, businesses can employ these low-paid workers and in many cases do not provide medical, disability and retirement benifits legal citizens expect and need. Immigrants come to this country because they want a better life. They have unmet needs but then support a huge illegal industry of illegal immigrant trafficing which is associated with an array of dangerous consequences.

The clash of the far-right and the far-left is over control of the government. The far-left wants to institute laws which protect their so-called "individual freedoms" to have sex with whomever, whatever, whenever they want or to smoke or otherwise shoot up whatever they want. They say, as long as what I do doesn't hurt anyone else, then the goverment should stay out of it. But no man is an island and all these descructive behaviors such as substance abuse and casual sexual activity have clearly documented ill-effects on our society. The far-right likewise wants to be free to take advantage of their neighbor. "Let the markets work". "Survival of the fittest." "It's not personal, it's business." These are the mottos and reflect the behavior of the far-right.

Because business does not respect it's workers. Workers do not respect their companies. Workers no longer expect to work with the same company. We see in sports, a player moves from one team to another following after the allmightly dollar. We all have the attitude, I'm just looking out for myself irregardless of how it affects other people or the agreements we have made in the past. Unfortunately, we live in a self-centered, self-absorbed, dis-respectful, irreverent society were people expect instant gratification and live only for themselves. This attitute is refected in the severe epidemic of consumer dept and personal bankrupcy.

To end poverty, we need to return to our morals before the sexual revolution. We need to return to our traditional sense of honor. We need our great institutions of this country to conduct their affairs with principaled ethics and integrity. We need business leaders who take responsibilily and respect their workers and the community so that the community and their workers will in-turn respect the great institutions and companies of this country. People will feel needed and valued as a part of such a wonderful institution which also allow their workers to satisfy the temporal needs of their families. To end poverty and live in peace and prosperity, our country needs to return to its traditional ideals of morality and integrity.

No comments: