June 17th, 2009

Illuminati

Today's false trichotomy is bought to you by the number 2 and the letter Q.

I want more than I have

Yes
50(86.2%)
No
8(13.8%)

Many of the biggest problems faced by humanity are caused by people wanting more than they have

Yes
47(81.0%)
No
11(19.0%)

I am willing to get by with less than I currently do, for the long-term benefit of everyone.

Yes
36(62.1%)
No
22(37.9%)
Illuminati

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 6-17-2009

Crazy women

Capitalist Thinking

One of the reasons behind the poll this morning was the discrepancy I see between talk and action in many people.  I was wondering what percentage of people would say they were willing to have less so that others might have more - with the possibility of a follow-up asking why those people weren't _already_ giving up a higher amount of their resources to other people with less than they have.

It is in some ways ridiculous that movie studios spend hundreds of millions of dollars on producing silly entertainment while people starve to death.  But that only survives because (overall) we'd rather hand over money for entertainment than buy food for the starving.

I'm certainly happy to give up some of my money to charity, and I'd be up for higher taxes that affected me, but I'm definitely selfishly putting my interests in front of other people when it comes to resources, despite being aware that I'm remarkably lucky to have been born in a country that spent hundreds of years pillaging the rest of the planet so that their great-great-grandchildren couild spend what was left on Nintendo.

And this, to me, seems to be an essential part of the emotional makeup for most people - attempting to change it has precious little effect, and trying to build societies where everyone works together only reduces it somewhat (while causing mass cheating on the system under the covers).

So, having outed myself as capitalist scum (along with 2/3 of the voters on the poll), I'm curious as to why those people who are willing to give to those worse-off than themselves aren't doing so more?