Philosophy

Lovers!

Click Here

[In the form of argument called *reduction ad
absurdum* you assume the opposite of what you wish to
prove, and if, reasoning from that assumption, you arrive at
absurd results you have proved the original proposition. Thus
if we wish to prove that our economy is organized and
managed in such a way that extreme economic inequality is
the inevitable outcome, we should start with the opposite
proposition and proceed as follows: Our economy is
organized and managed so as to promote the widespread
distribution of a significant fraction—say twenty
percent—of the national wealth. Given our
technological sophistication and the scale of our natural
resources, it would be well within our abilities, in fact quite
easy, to arrive at a state where economic want and insecurity
were rather exceptional. But this conclusion must be false
since, in point of fact, economic want and insecurity are quite
common. Therefore our economy must be organized and
managed in such a way as to produce a radically unequal
distribution of the national wealth. Statistics Canada
confirmed this conclusion in its 1999 wealth survey which
indicated that the richest half of the population owned 94
percent of the national wealth. Given the vast amount of
wealth that exists, even six percent of it, if divided evenly
among the poorer half of the population, would be more than
sufficient to prevent poverty. Unfortunately, as with the 94
percent share of wealth held by the richer half, the 6 percent
held by the poorer half is very unequally distributed. As a
consequence eight percent of Canadians live in poverty, as
estimated (in 2001) by the right-wing Fraser Institute. Most
social agencies and poverty activists say this estimate is far
too low, and claim the true figure is more like 17 percent.
For a family of four living in Toronto the Fraser Institute sets
the poverty line at $22,300 a year, compared to Statistics
Canada’s figure of $33,658. Whatever the case,
compared with our true capitalist believers to the south
we’re not doing that bad. In the US the richer half of
the population owns in the order of 97 percent—the US
Bureau of Labour and Statistics is very reticent with this
information—of the national wealth, and the poorer half
3 percent. The upshot of this radical inequality is that
one-quarter of the population in the richest country in the world
just gets by.]

Click HERE to reach
the associated topic for this webpage.

For more topics click HERE.