Blog Archive


Tuesday, May 12, 2009
"However, people who think like this do so because they have asked the wrong question, or looked down the wrong end of the telescope. They have asked where poverty comes from instead of where wealth comes from. You might as well ask how ignorance of cardiac surgery ever came into being, rather than knowledge of it, as if cardiac surgery were an activity natural to man in his most primitive state. If you continue to find poverty puzzling, you will be led sooner or later to the conclusion that poverty is caused by wealth." (Theodore Dalrymple, In Praise of Prejudice)


Chris A said...

I haven't read the full context of this statement, but I don't think asking where poverty comes from is such a bad question. The idea that people are poor because of ignorance is an oversimplification - and I'm not trying to incite class warfare. Nor am I saying we need government intervention. I'm simply looking at this from a sociological perspective. Sure, ignorant people are often poor. But there are equally ignorant people who are not poor. Perhaps they live in an area where there are better opportunities. Professionals often know where the best job markets are and relocate based on that knowledge. Poor people don't have that luxury. We can all point to the stories where someone went from being homeless to a millionaire, but we are fooling ourselves if we think everyone can do it. That's more than an American dream, its a fantasy.

All societies (ours increasing less because of outsourcing) need laborers. The industries that were once supported by working class folks have dried up domestically in many cases. And the corporate jobs are going too. This whole "going green" thing is also "creating jobs" that are set to be outsourced.

So, in my opinion, its silly to make asking about wealth or poverty and either/or proposition.
How about asking both questions? As a society, we are going to have to think dynamically. We need new industries to replace the old ones if we are going to survive as a nation.

The only other alternative is to collapse from within and voluntarily give up our sovereignty to a supranational state. It may not seem that far away right now, but wait until people begin to starve. They will welcome the end of the United States if it will help them feed their families.

Recent Comments


Darius' book montage

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
Les Misérables

Darius Teichroew's favorite books »