Thursday, April 18, 2019

The billion euros raised to rebuild Notre Dame would not in any way be better spent 'uplifting the poor'!

I am seeing posts from people who are upset billionaires are donating to restore the incalculable treasure that is Notre Dame. It shows both a complete ignorance of the laws of economics and of there being more to life than food, drink and shelter.

Firstly, this is not money the billionaires were going to donate to charity, they are likely giving up a jet or superyacht to donate. Many of the said billionaires and the like do also donate to charity.

But as study after study has found, throwing money at the poor doesn't solve their poverty, and the same goes for poor nations. Visit a lottery winner five years down the line, and they are as poor as the day they bought the ticket. Visit a hobo who was given 100 000 dollars as part of a documentary experiment, and he has spent it all and is on the street again.

By the same standard, people who inherit a fortune, but not the attitudes which gained it, quickly lose it. Wealth is not some absolute thing, people who don't constantly create wealth don't stay wealthy.

There are ways to end poverty, such as deregulation, getting rid of minimum wages, promoting nuclear families and strengthening marriages and the private health and education sectors. The wealthiest nations got that way by economic freedom (in the real, international sense of the word, not the illiterate garbage treated as such in South Africa). China and India brought almost a billion people out of extreme poverty in just a few decades, by introducing limited capitalism.

And, finally, anyone who thinks all life is about is avoiding poverty and suffering, has a life not worth living. Life is about transcendent meaning, celebration of beauty, and the art and production that can touch a soul. People go to Notre Dame in the millions, in turn contributing to the ability of the French to feed themselves, because seeing the Cathedral can change an entire life's course.

If you want to donate to charity, do so, with the realisation of how incredibly corrupt most NGOs are, and that you probably aren't actually lifting anyone out of poverty. However, don't feel upset with people restoring a symbol of one of the things which helped the first world become the land of milk and honey it is today.

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