Shame On You! What’s Your Consumption Factor?
March 24, 2014
It is interesting how wealthy liberals are continually blaming the American middle class for global warming, terrorism, and pretty much all of the world’s problems.
Simply put, it is all your fault.
Our Consumption Factor Imperils Us All
“People in the third world are aware of this difference in per capita consumption, although most of them couldn’t specify that it’s by a factor of 32. When they believe their chances of catching up to be hopeless, they sometimes get frustrated and angry, and some become terrorists, or tolerate or support terrorists…The only way out is to make consumption rates and living standards more equal around the world. We could have a stable outcome in which all countries converge on consumption rates considerably below the current highest levels."
And if the guilt and emotional blackmail over the melting glaciers and shrinking polar bear genitalia wasn’t enough, now the fact that not all of the world shares our lifestyle (or conversely, we are not as poverty stricken as they are) is cause for serious self-examination and self-blame. I don’t think I can bear it. After staggering under the “white man’s burden” for 2,000 years of colonization and exploitation of those of a darker hue, now I must shoulder the burden for causing Islamic terrorism and the devastating changes to our planet that will quickly lead to the extinction of the human race.
All because my children have clean water to drink and live in a heated home while their father drives a vehicle to work and buys his socks, toothpaste and corn flakes at a big box store. Even worse is the fact that their mother washes their clothes in a machine instead of scrubbing them clean on the rocks in the river and has the audacity to make them pop tarts once in awhile.
For that, we are to blame for the impoverishment of Kenyans, the envy of those less fortunate, the actions of fanatical suicide bombers, and the waste and consumption of the world’s resources by those seeking to attain the lifestyle of the average American.
Yet such hand wringing and finger pointing essays never mention the percentage of the world’s wealth, innovation, food, and scientific and medical advances that should be rightly credited to those greedy consumers of natural resources and unfair users of electricity and air conditioning. If it wasn’t for the technological and medical breakthroughs originating in the West, there would be far fewer than 30 million Kenyans. Consumption is directly related to productivity. Those who don’t produce, don’t consume.
The “solutions” offered to solve this grave problem of Western over-consumption is always little more than authoritarian socialism and forced reallocation of wealth. It may be disguised as higher fuel taxes, carbon taxes, and luxury or consumption taxes or be little more than manipulation of regulations to control or inhibit industry, refineries, manufacturing and drilling under the guise of environmentalism. But the overall goal to sharply reduce the lifestyle of the average American (and Westerner) has been laid out in clear and unapologetic terms by globalists and the liberal elite. It used to be that the goal was to raise the lifestyle and condition of the impoverished and disadvantaged. That seems to be no longer the case.
The wealthy West as spent countless billions in an attempt to improve the condition of other peoples, with very little gratitude to show for it. And now the focus has shifted away from helping those unfortunates have access to clean water, rudimentary medical care, or not be butchered or starved for political purposes, but towards attacking those in the West for daring to have a computer to blog with while corrupt governments continue to allow their citizens to dwell in dirty, crime ridden shantytowns.
So, with my eyes newly opened to the plight of those other dwellers of planet earth, I decided to take stock of what I now feel guilty for having or providing for myself, my spouse, and my three daughters. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
Electricity for lighting my home and powering appliances (my Christmas lights were definitely unnecessary). Running water Refrigerator and deep freeze for preserving food for later use. Washer and dryer DVD players Stereo. A couple of computers. Multiple TV’s Toaster Dishwasher Stove Microwave Hot water heater Two cars. (My wife and I both have to get to work) Store bought clothes made from synthetic fibers, undoubtedly manufactured by oppressed peoples in Sri Lanka, Mexico, or China. And I won’t even begin to detail the unnecessary trips for a big gulp, a burger and fries, or those wasteful stops at the dollar store. My wife and I have worked very hard to achieve a semblance of a middle class lifestyle and to provide a decent and comfortable standard of living, education, and medical attention for ourselves and our children. I refuse to feel guilty for managing to own a toaster or for watching a football game once in awhile. Yet that is what we are, in effect, told to feel.
There are far greater solutions for helping to alleviate the all too true sufferings of far too great a number of the world’s population. For starters, the formation of governments that are not unbelievably corrupt, inefficient, brutal, exploitative, and backwards would be a start. The reevaluation of foreign aid (by the evil West) including who it is distributed to and what it is used to purchase, should be completely overhauled. Innovation will go a long ways in bringing in everything from tourist dollars to foreign investment.
Responsible stewardship of funds, natural resources, and the elimination of corruption would do far more to improve the lot of the third world than any policies fueled by guilt or jealousy of the lifestyle and modern technological advances we have managed to achieve in the First World.
Only the village idiots truly believe that if an American didn’t buy a television it would help a Kenyan, or that by not purchasing some DVDs he would help ease the driving envy of the Chinese or defuse the potential jihadist. The agenda is now far less about helping the rest than just about tearing down the West.
David Huntwork is a conservative activist, columnist, and the proud father of three daughters. The son, grandson, and great-grandson of Ministers of the Gospel he brings a unique blended background of theology and ideology to the great debates of the day. He believes that Faith, Family, and Freedom is the formula for success and the key to a good life and a healthy nation. David blogs at TheConservativeCitizen.com. You can contact him at Davehuntwork@juno.com.