Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rebuttal: Why are we ruled by these fools?

For all of those who wonder "why are we ruled by these fools?" To paraphrase Peter Lynch, the best government to be ruled by is one that any fool can run, because someday a fool will run it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Steroids, Sports and Hollywood

Cafe Hayek weighs in on the Palmiero steroid scandal and sports. The post draws an interesting comparison to the use of plastic surgery in Hollywood but fails to ask an obvious question. How many Hollywood stars do you think take steroids? I would think that many of the male actors do so in order to maintain their looks. Ever wonder how Brad Pitt became so cut for Troy, or how Toby became Spidey?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Is Poverty Relative?

NPR has a story tonight that discusses the relative nature of poverty. This debate keeps coming up in discussion and I absolutely disagree with their contention that poverty is relative, to me it is an absolute condition, but then I also think that there is a difference between being poor and being in poverty.

The poor have fewer choices than the rich (or the middle). Those choices involve relative positions. Someone who is poor will be unable to outbid someone who is rich for a prime parcel of real estate, for example.

Someone living in poverty is doing without the basics of survival: food, clothing, shelter, basic healthcare (treatments that prevent death and major disability from easily treatable conditions) in amounts needed to support oneself and family. Once these basics are obtained the rest the goods and services out there are a matter of choice, and not necessity, no matter how much we feel we need them.

I do not count cell phones, Viagra, TVs (much less cable), dishwashers or even car in this class. O.K., I may be able to accept that a car is a necessity in many areas of the country, but not all.

The good news for the U.S. is that we are having the discussion at all. If poverty were widespread it would be obvious and no one would question its absolute nature. That some people believe poverty to be relative shows how rich we all are.