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Shame on you! What's your consumption factor?
By David M. Huntwork
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.
And if the guilt and emotional blackmail over the melting glaciers and shrinking polar bear genitalia wasn't enough, now the fact that not the entire 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 a while.
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.
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 a while. 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 re-evaluation 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 fuelled by guilt or jealousy of the lifestyle and modern technological advances we have managed to achieve in the First World.
David Huntwork is a conservative activist, blogger, and 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.