Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why the rich get richer.

There is a common saying: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life." This is a saying that gives comfort to the rich as they convince themselves of their benevolence to the poor who are ignorant. It justifies the action of not giving the poor what they need but rather making the poor jump through more hoops to get their daily bread (or fish).

What this saying neglects to mention is that while you are teaching the man how to fish, he is already starving and needs the fish NOW so then he can concentrate on the lessons. It also neglects to mention how the "teacher" loans him fish until the lessons are over to keep the student alive enough to finish the lessons.... and then the "teacher" gives the student the bill (the price for having learned such an invaluable lesson and also to pay back the loan while the student was learning how to feed himself for life).... the price is fair, for every 4 fish caught, one goes to the "teacher"....

With this scenario, the "teacher" just needs to teach 3 people how to fish and he never has to fish again and can now spend time on other pursuits.... hence he spends his free time to acquire more fish without having to fish for himself and he can then pay for bodyguards with fish to protect himself when the students wise up to the con and decide to "renegotiate" this "deal".

Of course, if you go far back in time, you discover that the student's ancestors knew how to fish but were prevented from teaching their children how to fish because the "teacher's" ancestors made a clever-sounding proposal that conned those ancestors and took advantage of them back then.... (but then again this blog is not about 3rd world history so we won't go and explore what that particular deal may have been about).... suffice it to say, the poor is not learning to fish free of charge, and he is not given fish while he learns how to fish for himself, everything is a loan to make the individual independent..... except for the fact that he is now indentured to his teacher for life.

There is a common riddle or choice given to test one's wisdom: You have a choice of receiving a one time gift of ten thousand dollars to do with what you want with it, or you can receive a penny on the first day of the month and each succeeding day of the month you get double of what you received on the previous day until the end of the month. How do you choose? If you are shrewd, you will take the penny which doubles each day of the month so that by day #21, you have received over ten thousand dollars for that day (without counting everything else that you have accumulated during the previous days). With a standard 30 day month you receive on the last day: over 5 million dollars.

Now the rich congratulate themselves again because they consider themselves generous for offering this "gift" to the poor.... so that when the poor chooses the immediate 10 thousand dollars, the rich can then say that the poor "chose" to be poor and that the rich gave them a fair shot. If you are poor and have no money, can you wait 10 days before you can afford to buy one loaf of bread for the day? Well the rich who proposed this choice know that you can't and they scoff at the poor for choosing the "wrong" choice because if they were given the choice, they would take the penny on day one and allow it to double..... They already have food in their kitchen, so they can afford to wait 21 days before seeing the results of their wise choice.....

The irony in all of this? Well the rich are given this choice by our governments to help jumpstart our economy whenever the economy is in a crisis.... Look at how we are "solving" the current economic crisis.... Jon Stewart of the Daily Show has the right idea, we should give the money to the poor who are about to lose their houses so that they can repay their debts to the banks and that way the banks regain what they lost..... the wise solution. Instead, we want to reward the rich who stole from the collectivity, who conned the majority by giving them more money so that they can con and steal from more of us.....

And that is why the rich get richer, we don't learn from our losses.... "Fool me once, shame on you.... Fool me twice, shame on me."..... Well we definitely should SHAME ourselves for giving the tools to thieves and liars..... AGAIN.