Friday, May 25, 2007

Luxurious is Beatiful

I often disagree with my online friends. This time, a fellow Tracy blogger Jardna writes:
How can there be children in this world, in this country, in this state, without enough to eat gong to school hungry and yet someone feels that this is a good idea and people will buy this [some useless item]?

This fallacy occurs in many guises, and it has two faces to it: firstly, the lie of beneficial sacrifice and secondly, the brainwashing with guilt. The two of them support each other in taking the toll on people.

The most important truth about being indulgent is how it fosters progress and thus makes poor less poor. Although it is true that some Americans (and illegals) go to sleep hungry tonight, they are being pushed further and further into the tail of the curve. If you attempt to redirect your money outside of accontable economic activity, you, most likely, end hurting more poor people than immediate beneficiaries of your sacrifice. Buying crap like this makes a lot of good difference.

The other side of this has to do with the way proponents of communality appeal to emotions and take the whole issue into the area of irrational. When this works, a former victim of brainwashing engages into the recreation of the ideology herself. The choice of the item which triggered the rant is shows how this works. If you rant about, say, a cellphone, it does not have the same impact. But the butt cooler, that's a true luxury! Shady tricks of educator were employed: the guilt, the victim complex.

I'm no Lileks to rant about it myself and no Barnett to expose the real economics. So I'll just round it up with a personal note. I think this kind of evil, destructive, and regressive ideology has the power to piss me off especially because I'm interested in humanity expanding into space, and the spectre of "poor" is often brought up when space exploration is discussed.


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