Saturday, November 19, 2016

What Really is the Meaning of “Poor”

The liberal Left likes to use the nation’s “poor” to justify its constant cries for higher and higher taxes, demonizing all who resist granting money to the visible at the expense of the invisible. Those who do not want taxes raised still higher to help the poor are not compassionate.  Over time, this short-sighted philosophy has robbed the term “poor” of any meaning. … No group of people would, on their own, come up with the concept of charity or the notion of poor. These are both legacies of western civilization’s Judeo-Christian origins…. The main reason it is so difficult to define “poor” is because we are people, not animals. … You see, it is relatively easy to define poverty in an animal. Say an elephant requires sixty pounds of vegetation each day to remain healthy. Say a lion requires twenty pounds of meat. If either animal receives less than this, it can safely be regarded as poor. They each have less than they need. However, if you speak of what a person needs you start sounding a bit like Karl Marx, who felt that communism would provide all a person really needs. His spiritual heirs discovered that Karl erred.  People’s ability to produce is finite and limited by their strength, ability, and life span. People’s needs, on the other hand, can be infinite. While all individual animals of a species are pretty much alike, no two humans are alike. It is simply not possible to speak of a human’s needs. … There is one additional complication in trying to speak of people’s needs. We all have limitless desires. … To put it directly, wealth and poverty to animals are absolutes; to humans, they are comparatives. …

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, "America's Real War," pg.247

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