In every historical context, we see education comes first BEFORE quality of life improved. The church ruled supreme in Europe for 1,000 years due to
lack of education and ignorance of the population. It was only AFTER people began to become more educated that they began to question and oppose the
falsehoods and tyranny inflicted upon them by church and state. This required people to become educated, to learn new ways of thinking for themselves,
before they could realize and properly oppose the powers that were. The situation did not improve first, it took rebellion and education to bring it
about. The American revolution was brought upon by EDUCATED people, who, because they were educated, were able to see the nature of the tyranny
instilled upon them. The French Revolution occurred in the same way: educated people overthrowing tyranny. The situation did not improve on its own,
had there been no education first, people would have continued to blindly accept their oppresion and never dream for better things, as they will
believe it is "God's Will" or " the way its always been". Before the physical body or society can be freed, the mind and collective soul of the
people must be freed first, otherwise, they will blindly follow whatever doctrine that they are fed.
Contrary to what you say, workers rights were not granted by benevolent employers who were afraid of lawsuits. In the days of the industrial
revolution, people often lost fingers, hands, ect, and because no laws existed to protect them, they were left unemployed with hungry families, as
their employers could and did simply drop them. There was no legal recourse for them until govornments, through EDUCATED activism, set up laws
requiring workplace safety, and giving employees legal recourse when they were injured or made sick because of their employers lack of adherence to
safety measures. Otherwise, had govornment intervention not taken place, employers would still, in an effort to pinch pennies, would still hold no
regard for worker safety. It took legilsation and alot of blood, sweat, tears, and threats of Unionization to get these measures in place, not because
cooperations, in their eternal humane benevolence, were concerned for worker health, safety, and lost productivity. In the days of the industrial
revolution, cheap labor was a dime a dozen, and once could replace a broken laborer quicker and more cheaply than they could broken sprockets.
Child labor occurs when there are no laws to prevent it. In our society in the days of old, child labor was just as culturally acceptable as it is in
the third world. People often had more kids for the sake of family fortune. The more kids you had, the more you could send off to earn income for the
family. It wasnt just in rural areas, in large industrialized cities, kids were often sent off by their parents to work as servants, factory workers,
apprentices, instead of going to school. Because it was culturally acceptable at the time to do so amongst the poor. It is only when laws were passed
ending any form of child labor, and requiring instead, for children to attend school, did this end, otherwise, families would still exploit their own
kids as sources of income. When children were required to attend school instead of work, we began to see improvement in overall quality of life, as
the more people became educated, the less they were willing to settle for lesser standards. In the third world, child labor exists not simply because
of unique cultural standards, but because it is allowed, and there are no laws requiring children to attend school and preventing them from working.
The right of eminent domain was for the govornment, and thus, the public, to be able to force land owners to sell their property for PUBLIC works,
when the need for that land outweighed the right to own it. For example, the need for a sewage treatment plant that cannot be reasonably built
elsewhere, or because a public road must be built that cannot be reasonbly diverted. Private real estate developers are not covered by eminent domain,
because they are not public entities using the land to develop it for the sake of the greater good. They are private entities devloping the land for
profit, as a private development of luxury houses does not benefit the public as a whole. Until laws are enacted preventing private companies from
seizing private land from private citizens for the sake of devloping private enterprise, it will continue as an example of Capitalism with no
The reason socialist or communist get into power is because of capitalism, unregulated, has run those countries into the ground, and the people, who
have not experienced healthy capitalism guarded and regulated by moral govornments, erroneously believe that socialism and communism, the direct
opposite, must be the answer. In America, where, for most of our years, we have been lucky enough to have healthy capitalism balanced by reasonable
regulations, socialism and communism have not gained a foothold, because we have seen that capitalism can work and benefit everyone. However, in many
poor countries that turned t communism, we see that the previous govornment was either an authoritarian monarchy or plutocracy that had bankrupted the
nation through poor management of resources and wealth. In these countries, the corrupt govornments and the elite, who possesed most of the country's
wealth, ended up squandering it, and allowed foreign nationals to come in, rape the resources, and leave nothing for the citizens. This is what
happened in Cuba, when the pre Castro Junta allowed western fat cats to wring the country dry with things like cheap sugar, cheap tobacco, ect. When
communists and socialists come in promising things like worker rights and redistribution of wealth, this appeals to the people who until that point,
have been slaving away in fields and factories and never enjoying a bit of the fruits of their labors.
The greatest defense against communism and socialism is an educated public, an accountable govornment, and reasonable regulation. In America, because
laws require children to attend school and forbid them from working except part time jobs in the easy sector, because we have laws preventing
discrimination in employment, requiring employers to grant people leave for family emergencies, and employers are required to ensure the safety and
health of their workers, that we enjoy a higher standard of living, and thus, the people are content. No body here wants socialism or communism
because our system works well.
A clear example, is that many American companies, who employ workers here and are required to give ethical treatment to employees, do not treat
workers in developing countries with the same respect, in fact, they exploit them mercilessly. This is because in America, they are required by law to
do certain things, in other countries, they can get away with horrendous abuse of employees. Coorperations are not benevolent human beings who care
about worker safety and health. Cooperations, by their very nature, put profit before people. You cannot expect them to do otherwise, that is their
nature. That is their nature, that is what they do. It is just like human individuals. We have laws govorning individual behavior, preventing people
from murdering or stealing. And thus, we have laws govorning employer behavior and setting minimal standards to ensure everyone gets a fair shake.
We see in this country even with our laws and regulations people who still are trying to slip through and get away with stuff. So imagine what it is
like in foreign countries with corrupt, undemocratic govornments, who have no laws in place to protect people. And you are wrong when you say
companies are not required to offer benefits. In many states, it is required by law that companies must give benefits to employees working full time.
Since we see that many employers are sidestepping this by reduicing people to part time, or moving their operations overseas to less ethical
countries, your arguement that companies give workers benefits out of the kindness of their hearts or to increase production are quite moot. They
dont. Profit before people.
Now, I don't have any paticular problem with companies valuing profit before people, thats what capitalism is about. Thats fine, so long as their
behavior is curbed and reasonably controled by proper govornment standards that ensure that people dont get screwed over blindly.
And Im not going off topic, either. By examining the west, our history, our govornments, we can see that at one time, we were in very similar
situations that the poor countires are in today. Once upon the time, both Europe and America had vast populations of uneducated, impoverished people
who were ruled by greedy elites who could do whatever they wanted to the people and got away with it. Our govornments and rich people once exploited
us, denied us basic human freedoms and rights, and had no inclination of changing a thing. Even though we are still ruled by greedy elites, much has
changed, in the fact that those elites are now held accountable, and can no longer blindly exploit and wring us dry with impunity.
So the west should examine just how exactly it was that we emerged from authoritarian oppresive govornments and became first rate economic powers. We
will have a better understanding of what is going on in the poor countries, and how to work towards building stable, sane ethical countries which
benefit their people.
And on another note, I do believe that debt relief is essential to helping third world countries get out of their poverty. It is pointles to keep
collecting debt from these nations, its basically trying to squeeze blood from a stone. These countries will never be able to pay back the loans, and
its not like the west is really gonna miss the money. To encourage freedom and prosperity, however, I believe that a nation's debt should only be
forgiven after corrupt regimes are removed, and an accountable, ethical govornment is isntalled in its place. Its pointless to give debt relif to
nations run by evil men and women who got them into debt, as they will continue after the debt is forgiven, to run it up again. So debt relief should
be a reward to countries who have successfully removed evil govornments and installed ones that will benefit the people. This will be a great step not
only in removing poverty, but also in peacefully spreading justice and freedom, as opposed to "regime change" at the end of a barrel.
Sardion, you are wrong in assuming that right wingers automatically discount or dislike Bono. I know several right-wing people who agree with quite a
few of his points and respect him, however, they disagree with execution of such plans.