All 1st world people including Americans are extremely rich, amirite?

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I've been mulling over this post a lot. I think a lot of the problem is I am in cognitive dissonance. I read two contradictory pieces of information and I can't figure out which one is correct.

On one side I have Steven Pinker, Jordan Peterson, Tom Nicholas, and Jim Leff side who basically say things are the best they have ever been. Don't worry about inequality, in fact inequality is good according to at least one.

On the flip side, there is feminist frequency. That this might be a not as bad fallacy or a fallacy of relative privation. The fact that generations in the past had less wealth is a red herring, and thus irrelevant. Similar to using 3rd world poverty to distract from 1st world.

Therefore, I am going to ague with myself. Since nobody else is arguing with me. This website was a lot more lively back in 2015-2016. A good example of this is elevatorgate in which Richard Dawkins a man who prides himself on being rational, made a logical fallacy, and most importantly had the decency to apologize afterwards.

The part about the fallacy of relative privation is around 6:30 where Ebony talks about giving Latina women a chance at directing, and Ugg the concern troll hang gliding into the conversation and saying "girls in Pakistan can't even attend school, so shut up princess" Ebony Feminist frequency.

The analogy is not exact, but the relevant parts are there. That Tom Nicholas and Jim Leff are effectively concern trolling.

Paraphrasing here "Shut up princess you got the Internet, a comfy sweater, and access to penicillin. Therefore, the gender wage gap, extreme wealth concentration, CEOs making hundreds of times the average worker, starvation wages, and so forth are irrelevant because you have it better than Julius Caesar."

Another note, he mentions elites creating a system of prosperity. What in the world does Tom Nicholas mean be elites? This is an appeal to ambiguity. I can only guess what he means, but I find it disturbing if he means CEOs and stockholders because a capitalistic society needs the lowly workers to keep things running.

Also, if by people on the top, often change comes from the bottom. I certainty wouldn't call slaves in the south elites. Yet, some slaves escaped and helped other slaves escape creating social change for the better from the bottom.

Finally, notice how Jim Leff mentions patriarchy, but Tom Nicholas does not.

"Watch him fence with hot-heads, infuriated by his patriarchal something something complacency, as he effortlessly drops bodies one after another: " Jim leff

Feminism and patriarchy are mutually exclusive. Overall, I am unimpressed by Tom Nicholas remarks. Seems to me like a massive red herring, fallacy of privation, not as bad fallacy that ultimately distracts from 1st world problems.

I plan to comment again with a rebuttal against my argument I just made. I'm trying to resolve my cognitive dissonance and see who is correct.

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vegans avatar vegan Yeah You Are +4Reply

I've never really understood people claiming there is poverty in America. There is no poverty in my opinion in America. In the movie Winter's Bone there is none. Those people are absurdly rich. Same with inner city homeless people, they have an extreme amount of wealth.

They live in almost complete security. No risk of starvation their personal safety is almost guaranteed. Even homeless people have access to life saving penicillin and smart phones.

" Discomfort is Not Poverty
Want to see how a simple flip of perspective can totally transform your view of things? The next time someone complains about money problems to you, see them for what they are: fabulously wealthy people bemoaning their relative paltry level of fabulous wealth. Anyone in the first world yearning to get rich is really just dreaming of getting richer." Jim Leff

"It's good to bear in mind that even if you're at the poverty line in America, you are rich beyond the wildest dreams of the vast majority of humanity. You are richer than 99% of humans who've ever lived. In terms of sheer comfort (money mostly buys comfort), you are far better pampered than any historical king or emperor, with your indoor plumbing, central heating, automobile (and highway system), overabundance of food and entertainment, nearly-assured personal safety, EMS, and broadband Internet. Julius Caesar would have swapped places with you in a heartbeat.
" Jim Leff

Also see Tom Nicholas tweets. The following is long, but worth reading in my opinion.

"Watch him fence with hot-heads, infuriated by his patriarchal something something complacency, as he effortlessly drops bodies one after another:

I spend a lot of time defending the elites, because they created a global system of peace and prosperity, and raised living standards in ways people don't understand even as they benefit from them.
But Jill Abramson's kind of elitism is easy to reject.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

Sure. Look out your window.
Then go to the supermarket and buy some fresh fruit in the dead of winter.
Then get on a plane and go wherever you'd like.
Transfer some money on your smartphone and use an ATM when you get where you're going. /1 https://t.co/50fWvQbxLn
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

And if your kids are worried about you, send them an email on your phone or laptop.
Then Uber it back to the airport.
Then go home in get in a car that would be considered a luxury vehicle full of miracles just 30 years ago.
Then watch one of the 100+ plus chans on your TV. /2
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

Meanwhile, if you don't feel well, take one of the 300,000 perfectly safe meds Westerners take every day.
Then turn up the heat in your house, which might be from any number of sources.
First, pick up a bag of perfectly safe food and beverages from around the world. /3
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

Of course, you could also change into a comfy sweater, made in any number of countries and now available to you at cheap prices.
Then pop a beer and realize you live a safer, longer, healthier life than most humans in history have ever known. /4
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

The fact that you think it's "normal everyday stuff" is why you're too dumb and spoiled to get how much effort it took on the part of a lot of people a lot smarter than you to make it all happen. https://t.co/ON1HlWvRxu
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

That is always true, and a good point: any one story of human misery does not invalidate the trend of less human misery. In 25 years, people in deep poverty around the world has dropped from about 40 percent to less than 20 percent. That's...amazing. https://t.co/t7L6H2J86f
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

It’s hard to explain this to a generation of affluent people who think “poverty“ means “one TV” https://t.co/wend6qKsz3
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

Before deregulation fewer than 20% of adult Americans had ever been on an airplane. That figure is now about 85%. But yes, everything is worse now than it’s ever been before, and it’s just getting worse by the minute, and the Revolution will storm business class to Orlando. https://t.co/z2dwOwqUwa
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

1. US and world safer than ever
2. Free high school is universal in the West
3. More healthcare (but not insurance) and better than any time in US history.
It is so tiring to see so many people wedded to the “it’s never been worse” narrative. https://t.co/d9zypoZvx7
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

That’s already happening. But I do not grieve that Bill Gates is fantastically more wealthy than I am. If you want to reform the political system, I’m with you. If you want to gripe about rich people, count me out. https://t.co/t2alrxD5JZ
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

Go back to 1970 and get sick. Call me if you make it. https://t.co/R8oErVXpBN
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

The people in my timeline using advanced technology and a global communications network to bitch about how awful life is don’t seem to have any memory of this. I do. Also, of any number of medical conditions being an instant death sentence. https://t.co/dLV3kCWL2x
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

But those were better days because the globalist elites something something https://t.co/K3bcDJRdzD
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

Of course it's the perceived unfairness. That's why I say: I care about poverty. I care nothing about relative deprivation. If the argument is that we have to buy off some of it with taxes, well, okay, but it's not because we're addressing poverty. https://t.co/S2x2ktIP9d
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

It's also been shattered by affluence, even among the working class, that encourages daily TV, home entertainment, and a general solipsism instead of the group activities that used to take place weekly or monthly. https://t.co/Q4m0W0n0s7
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019

Says the guy complaining to me using a technology developed by some of the most insanely wealthy people in history.
One way your life is better is that you can come here and bitch and vent instead of yelling at your wife and dog while throwing beer cans at the TV. https://t.co/ItrOvo991H
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 10, 2019"

I particularly like the go back to 1970 quote and see if you make it. Life has gotten so much better in so many ways.

Another take on the subject is Steven Pinker's argument that we have rose tinted glasses of the past.

"Was 2017 really the "worst year ever," as some would have us believe? In his analysis of recent data on homicide, war, poverty, pollution and more, psychologist Steven Pinker finds that we're doing better now in every one of them when compared with 30 years ago." Steven Pinker Ted talks

In other words the world is amazing now. Much much better than it was 30 years ago in 1987. There seems to be this doom and gloom in the media when the opposite is true. The present is looking really good.

Finally, I read somewhere, sorry I can't find it now but will post if I find it, that rich people are better at effective altruism. When they donate it really helps, as opposed to poor people who tend to get caught up in altruistic warm glow effect.

Think Bill Gates and helping the 3rd world in a cold blooded and very effective way.

So what does this all mean? It means we need to stop calling 1st world people poor. They are not. All this is enabling a distorted view of reality. Focus on the real poor like people in Haiti and India. Discomfort is not poverty.

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vegans avatar vegan Yeah You Are 0Reply
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