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Abraham Lincoln Quote

I am satisfied that when the Almighty wants me to do or not to do a particular thing, he finds a way of letting me know it.

ideas > Random Thoughts from a Spanish Class

Random Thoughts from a Spanish Class
Sometimes Spanish language school is full of ripe opportunities to write about politics. I have this Spanish teacher who sees the world from a Marxist/Socialist point of view. He provides me plenty of material to comment on. I had to thank him today for providing me with so much material to write upon.

First, he handed us this sheet of paper of employment statistics from Spain broken down by gender. The sheet demonstrated several points, I suppose, to my friend. Most importantly, the sheet demonstrated to him that there was discrimination in the workforce based on gender. It is the common cry that one hears in the media, which is ďWomen are paid less than men on average, as a whole, and therefore this must be discrimination and in order to remediate this through government intervention, we need to give them extra benefits.Ē Naturally this kind of thinking stuns me on several levels. First, on a statistical level, men are taller than woman on average, but does that mean that we need to have the government give all woman stilts to walk on. Men, on average, are physically stronger than woman, but that doesnít mean there is some kind of grand conspiracy out there that requires some kind of government intervention. There are loads of differences between men and women and I suppose that one of them is pay, when you compare whole groups of men and women. But that doesnít mean there is discrimination in the system and that government needs to pull out the sledge hammer and start swinging. But these kinds of stories are not meant to lead people to rational thinking. They are meant to deceive and mislead and get people all emotional so that they feel like victims of something, most often that nebulous word ďcapitalismĒ, so that the socialists or big government lovers can step in and save the day. Why would women, on average, make less than men? Well, there are many explanations for this. Women choose careers that require less training and specialization, such as educational teachers, social workers, etc. These jobs pay less because they require less training and many more people are available to do these jobs. Women also take more time off of work due to their ability to have children. Men do not take this time off and therefore advance faster in their careers. Women tend to work less than men due to the above factor of child bearing and rearing. None of these reasons include a grand conspiracy to somehow deprive women of their just earnings. It is just nature and the choices that women make because of nature. Yet, you always have politicians and leaders who are willing to exploit an innocent situation or statistic for their personal gain and you always have willing people who want to be victims because it is much easier to play victim sometimes. These politicians and their minions love to group people in such manners or ways so that they can prove some kind of statistical point. They arenít searching for truth. They are searching for a way to prove their vision of the world. The trick to deceive people with statistics is to group things in specific ways. When you actually compare women and men with the same educational background, and the same number of years of experience in the same types of jobs, you surprisingly find that their salaries are equal or almost equal and sometimes you find that women make more than men. There is no grand conspiracy. It is all a lie created by politicians who want power.

Yet, we have so many programs that benefit women these days. Women are given the same status as minorities in many instances. What are the effects of these discriminatory laws and programs that benefit women at the expense of men? From an economic standpoint, what happens when you give women more advantages for education in fields that require years of training, such as doctors, and then they take years off of work to have children? It means there are fewer doctors serving the people. By the way, the same question can be applied to minority groups who are allowed to enter fields of study based on the color of skin and not the educational scores and abilities they bring to the table. By allowing educational decisions to be made on anything other than educational abilities and scores, you cheat the people of better health care, better qualified professionals, etc. and all for the sake of assuaging the conscience of some warped liberal thinking. The economy suffers because you are training more women, who will take time off of work due to child rearing. It might make liberals feel better to do this, but economically it makes no sense to give women extra advantages than men to study in certain fields or to give them breaks that men donít have just because they are women and just because you might believe there is discrimination in the world. Sure you can find isolated cases of discrimination based on gender, just as you can find isolated cases of discrimination based on religion, height, weight, looks, etc., but you donít seek to remedy those with laws that discriminate against others.

Liberals often wish to lie with statistics to prove that the world operates in the way they wish it did. They believe, for whatever reason, that there is some grand conspiracy out there by businesses to keep the workers down and they are somehow the only ones qualified to save the world from this supposed oppression and conspiracy. The truth is that it is impossible to orchestrate a conspiracy on such a level. It just canít happen in a free market. Think about what would have to happen in order for their conspiracies or beliefs to come true. They lie, instead, to get people worked up into an emotional tantrum, getting people to believe they are some victim of the system, of big business, of capitalism, or whatever other Ėism they seek to throw out there, so that they can assume the position of benevolent dictator, taking money from others using government and bestowing it upon the poor, victimless masses. It is how liberals/socialists/Marxists have always operated and it is how they operate today, primarily in the Democratic Party in the United States. They blame all the problems on big business, on capitalism, on consumerism, etc. without failing to realize that often the problems are ones created by the government and the system of government largesse that they have created. Businesses and individuals are just flocking to the trough of federal tax dollars to get their share.

The second thing that my teacher began discussing was consumerism. As with many liberal arguments, the key to dismantling them is to define what they mean by the terms they attack. Another key is to change the parameters of the argument. Consumerism is nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on capitalism. The socialists, or those who wish to control the masses through government, have devised several clever attacks on capitalism. One of them is this attack on consumerism and its implied inference that only capitalists are consumers and that somehow being a consumer is evil.

What exactly is consumerism then? Consumerism is the idea that people consume or that a society is built on consumption of goods and services that others create. All societies are consumer-oriented in nature except for ancient caveman societies where people produced everything they consumed. I donít know about you, but I really donít want to live in a world where I have to produce everything that I consume. It would be painful, difficult, and deadly. Even socialist societies are consumerist in nature. The difference between a capitalist and socialist society is that in a capitalist society, the consumer determines through his choices of where to spend his money what to consume. In a socialist society, the consumer consumes what the government says he can consume. I donít know about you, but in just looking at the world in general, societies that allow consumers to decide seem to blessed with much more prosperity and wealth than societies where the few or the government decides.

The next point of discussion focused on why consumerism was evil. The general belief of my teacher was that consumerism produces spoiled children who play nothing more than games all day, shop, get fat, etc. I thought this was an interesting point, because I know of many well-rounded children who grow up in the same society, yet arenít brats. The truth is that the way a child grows up is based more on the teachings they receive from their parents than it does on the surroundings. You can get bad children from any type of economic system and it isnít related at all to consumerism. For example, I read a while back the history of Mao, the founder of communist China. He would take children and make them into his shock brigades. They would roam around cities and attack people who questioned Maoís policies. I would surmise it to say that they killed thousands of people. These children were bad, not because they were consumerists, but because they were taught wrong. Living in a society that has plenty doesnít automatically mean that your children will do wrong. Teaching your children no values and allowing them to grow up in any manner they choose does. Consumerism, by itself, or the economic system whereby people produce goods and services for others to consume is actually an incredible system. It allows for complex societies to form. It allows for you and me to take vacations, to get luxuries that the rich never had 100 years ago. Consumerism really is a veiled attack on capitalism. It is another attempt to get people worked up into an emotional state so they assume that consumerism is evil and that capitalism somehow needs to be tamed by the benevolent government.

Oh, if government was only benevolent. The history of the world yells loud and clear that government is rarely, if ever, benevolent in dealing with mankind. Wars upon wars have been started by governments, not by capitalism or businesses. Wars have primarily been started by politicians with political beliefs. This brings me to my final points. Once I dismantled the arguments of my teacher in a calm, reasoned manner. I then changed the subject or rephrased the argument. Most of the liberal arguments are based on this idea that someone is a victim and therefore they are emotional arguments designed to emit an emotional reaction which always shuts out any reason. Before I get to my final point, I need to include a little more of our discussion in class.

The teacher then turned his attention to this idea that every action we take affects others and that some people donít care about others and what their actions do to them. I couldnít agree more, but that doesnít necessarily mean that we need socialism or government dictating to people how to live their lives on a grand scale. This idea that people only care about themselves is not just a problem of capitalism or socialism. It is a problem of humanity. The real question that needs to be answered, instead of all these veiled attacks on capitalism and freedom, is what is the best way to diminish the affects of one personís decisions upon another person? This is a question that can be answered relatively easily by doing a cursory scan of history. It isnít an emotionally packed question. In just scanning the wars of the 20th century, the majority of wars were started or fought by socialists and communists who wished to dictate to the worldís population how they live their lives. These governments of China, Russia, Vietnam, North Korea, and even Germany sought to impose their wills on the world. These governments brutally murdered hundreds of millions of people in their quest to achieve some kind of utopian society where the government dictates from on high, not where the people dictate from below. They manipulated the masses into believing that it is better to allow the government to decide their lives for them, than for them to decide their lives. The people who believed in their lives paid horribly in live, liberty, and treasure. I would gather that, if they had a choice today, they would get rid of their socialist governments in a heartbeat.

One of the students tried to insinuate that the people need lots of regulations to diminish the inherent problem in capitalism that people will produce inferior products that harm people because they want to save money and lower costs. She used the example of the Chinese milk scare that recently hit China pretty hard. I guess these companies were spiking milk with chemicals to fake some kind of nutrition test. She said the real problem was that the Chinese government had so few regulations. While this is true to a certain point, she misses the bigger picture. This situation happened under a socialist/communist system, not under a capitalist system where businesses are at the mercy of the consumers solely. Imagine if you were a company in a capitalist system that spiked its milk and then it killed people. You would be put out of business and the owners of the company would be charged with a crime and the consumers would punish you. Under a socialist/communist system, most likely these businesses were paying off politicians, and so they arenít put out of business. The government just issues statements that they will investigate. The consumers or the people have no direct recourse in punishing such unscrupulous behavior. It is much easier for a business to pay off a government official, than it is to appease the consumer under a socialist system. Neither system is perfect, but it is clear that the system that cares the most about people is not one run by government. The government, first and foremost, cares about itself, then the people. Those running the government worry about their jobs first, then the people. They enrich themselves and their friends.

My final question to my friends in class was this. Who do you trust more, the government or the people and the businesses? As for me, I trust businesses and people before I trust a strong, centralized, powerful government. Why is that? Because I have read a little bit of history and studied the effects of a strong central government. There are great evils in the world for sure, but they arenít consumerism. They arenít spoiled brats. They arenít people being selfish. The greater evils are consummated by socialist/communist government who dictate to people on every level what they should do, eat, drink, think, etc. In a free market capitalist society, people are free to choose what they do, what they buy. They suffer the consequences of their choices, good or bad. But overall, the people are much richer, much better off, than under any socialist country in the world. That is beyond doubt for me now. It is an obvious fact in history and even today. To deny that is insane and shows that you do not want to have a rational discussion, but choose to instead live within a cocoon of idealism, in a reality that isnít reality.

Remember the key to dismantling these attacks on freedom, because that is what they really are, you need to remove the emotion and change the discussion. My teacher and one of the students in class tried to assign consumerism as being only an evil that exists under capitalism. He tried to insinuate that bratty kids are a product of consumerism. He tried to convince us that there was a grand conspiracy to suppress womenís wages. They tried to assign evils to capitalism that arenít inherently a problem of capitalism, but are a problem of humanity. They tried to insinuate that capitalism existed in China. All the angles were used. All the logic was faulty, as far as I could tell, but that is what happens when you develop a system based on emotion, on victimhood, and not on logic. Capitalism has its evils for sure, but they arenít as grand or as great as the evils inherent in the concentration of political power caused by socialism and big government. That fact is for sure. No amount of deception or lying or misleading can hide that fact little dirty fact of history. Freedom is always the better, safer choice instead of government imposed security.

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