Originally Posted by Acting Like Godot
I don't really agree with this either:
"Besides, no matter how much people want to deny it, one person's success can be another person's failure."
That is because I can think of thousands of examples where one person's success does not cause another person's failure, and might in fact lead to many other people's success.
Not even a billion counterexamples can prove my claim wrong for my claim was not that one person's success inevitably (that is, in all cases) leads to someone else's failure. My claim was that one person's success CAN lead to someone else's failure. And I gave examples of this, and these examples prove my claim to be correct.
You are correct in thinking that most phenomena have such a vast impact on the surrounding world that it cannot be judged to be solely bad -- there's always a drop of good in every evil. That, however, doesn't make the evil right.
Furthermore, I believe that one person's success usually is
other people's failure if that person is not concerned for other people at all or is ignorant about other people's problems and how to help them. There are such people as Paulo Coelho whose success can probably do more good than harm because he truly inspires people, but then there are also a lot of very rich people whose greatest impact lies in polluting the planet, wasting our shared resources on their own shallow desires etc.
"Not to mention the fact that wealthy people pay more taxes (which go back to society generally) and can give much larger charitable donations, than poor people."
As far as I know, the "trickle down" theory has been proven to be incorrect. The rich getting even richer hasn't helped the poor to become any richer. In fact, as the income gap increases, the poorest become even poorer. Here are some statistics you may find interesting: Opinion - Image - NYTimes.com
Also, richer people are found to be more egocentric and less empathetic than poor people. The rich generally give a smaller proportion of their possessions to charity voluntarily than the poor. I've seen studies on this. Here's the first google result that I found: Rich less empathetic than poor, study says - Association for Psychological Science
It is also found in researches that people are happiest in the countries with the lowest disparities in income. So, statistically, having very rich people among us doesn't make people happier. The "trickle down effect" doesn't work.
And look at Africa. People becoming rich in America and spending their money on luxurious houses, swimming pools in their backyards, cosmetic surgery, traveling in first class etc isn't helping Africa. To claim anything else is insipidly arrogant and wrong.
Ah, this is such a vast topic... I could rant on and on about this forever and it's not so easy for me to argue in a language that's not my mother tongue and I have to back to doing work now... but anyway, people are just so ignorant on this subject, it makes me fume.
Like, for example, the idea that rich people can donate more to charity... Yes, that's true, but if income gaps were smaller in the first place, we wouldn't even need charity.
If we have a billion dollars and one person possesses half of them, it's true that he can give more to others than anyone else. He can also keep more to himself than anyone else and play power games more than anyone else. He can, for example, manipulate people to work for him with big promises of financial success while leaving a minority of people on the ourskirts of society, weak and helpless, making sure that no one is engaged in helping them because everyone's just so focused on earning their own living. If everyone had enough money, food etc, on the other hand, no one would even be dependent on the rich person's charity.
And no I don't support communism, I just support logic.