X-Message-Number: 21918
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 2003 08:32:54 -0500
From: Jeff Dee <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet Message #21911
References: <>

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"Rafal Smigrodzki" <> wrote:

>> "Matthew S. Malek" < > wrote:

>> Personally, I find it to be morally reprehensible that some possess
>> billions in assets while forty thousand people die every day of hunger and
>> curable diseases.
>> Redistributing wealth in such a world as ours is hardly immoral to me.

> I have a feeling that politics is hardly the right subject to be
> discussed on this list (it's perhaps more appropriate at wta-politics), 
> but I can't help wanting to intrude on the thread.

Neither can I ;-)

> A question: how much of your own wealth have you recently redistributed 
> to the thousands who would otherwise die of hunger?

He's paying his taxes without complaint. And not just without complaint; he's 
apparently defending the practice.

> If your answer were anything but "All that I have, save what I need to 
> stave off hunger for myself", I would be inclined to conclude that you 
> don't really care about those poor people. If you did, you would have
> given them your money. 

Since when must one give away ALL of one's wealth in order to establish that one
cares? What establishes that Matthew cares is that he thinks it's a good idea 
for a general tax to be levied for the purpose of assisting those in need, and 
is personally willing to participate in such a program.

You, on the other hand, apparently oppose this practice. You may still actually 
pay the tax, but that is because you are compelled to do so, not because you 
support the idea.

> If you are not doing 
> it, and instead demanding from others to give their money, then the 
> dispassionate observer would furthermore conclude that you are using 
> the wretched poverty of many humans as a rhetorical trick, to hide 
> other motives you might have for laying a claim to the billionaire's 
> yacht. Envy, covered by pious hypocrisy.

Let me get this straight. You're implying that Matthew's "real" motivation is 
that he wants the billionaire's yacht for *himself*? Please explain, under the 
current tax system, how Matthew could possibly wind up with that yacht.

> But, maybe you *are* giving all you have to others. If so, my hat's off to
> you.

Is it? This would imply that you think giving money to the poor is a good thing.
And so I must ask: how much of your own wealth, above and beyond your tax 
burden, have you recently redistributed to the thousands who would otherwise die
of hunger?

If *your* answer is not greater than "zero", I would be inclined to conclude 
that you care about poor people less than Matthew. Otherwise, you would give 
them as much as he does without complaint. Instead, you offer wild accusations: 
a rhetorical trick to hide your own motive which, one might conclude, is 

Of course there's nothing wrong with self-interest, and you are free to care 
about the poor as little as you like. Just be honest about it. It just doesn't 
seem fair for you to belittle Matthew's concern for the poor, or to pretend that
you support the idea of charity, if in fact you care about the poor less than 
he does.

-Jeff Dee


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