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.
What's Your Consumption Factor?
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. Since Sept.
11, 2001, it has become clear that the oceans that once protected the United States no longer do so. There will be more terrorist
attacks against us and Europe, and perhaps against Japan and Australia, as long as that factorial difference of 32 in consumption
And if the guilt and emotional blackmail over melting glaciers and shrinking polar bear genitalia wasn’t enough, now the fact that all of the world does not share 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 for years 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, 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 goal to sharply reduce the lifestyle of the average
American (and Westerner) has been laid out in clear and unapologetic terms. It used to be that the goal was to raise the lifestyle
and condition of the impoverished and disadvantaged. 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 wife, and my three young daughters. This is by no means
an exhaustive list.
-Electricity for lighting my home and powering appliances (my Christmas lights were definitely unnecessary).
-Refrigerator and deep freeze for preserving food for later use.
-Washer and dryer
-A couple of computers.
-Two cars. (My work requires one as a condition of employment, so that might be excusable).
-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 owning 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), 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 3rd 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 threw away his television it would help a
Kenyan, or that not buying some DVDs would help ease the apparent insatiable envy of the Chinese. If you really want to take
a brave step towards reducing waste and eliminating something completely useless in the West, I humbly suggest you start by
eliminating the New York Times and cut off Jared Diamond’s access to his computer. That would be a great start.