Welfare and Poverty ~ Is it a Chicken-or-Egg Relationship?

The real reality check here is that some people are willing to distort the truth or just make stuff up in order to spread their beliefs. This is called propaganda.

May 2, 2010  —  I recently received a forwarded copy of what I like to call a viral disinformation email. It was shared with me by a good friend of conservative persuasion. Yes, I do have conservative friends. The title of the message, which is currently making the rounds, is “This is an Interesting Reality Check.” It purports to be a history lesson about the Second World War and its aftermath. It includes pictures of what was left of Nagasaki and Hiroshima after the atomic bombs that were dropped on these cities in August of 1945. Additional pictures show how these cities look today – brightly-lit, towering skyscrapers and modern, efficient highways contrasted with recent scenes of the blight that has taken over Detroit, Michigan since the end of the war.

The bottom line of the message read: “Why, you ask?…… real simple…… Japan doesn’t have welfare…..and you are damn sure not going to be in their country illegally…..”

The message offers an interesting premise, but the conclusion is fallacious. It’s a prime example of the “questionable cause” fallacy. This fallacy is committed when a person assumes that one event must cause another just because the events occur together. The mistake being made here is that the causal conclusion is being drawn without adequate justification. The conclusion seems valid to some because it enforces an already-held opinion or bias. But, in addition to the logic issue, the author of this message has either knowingly misrepresented the facts or knows nothing of Japanese economic/social organization (Alliance Capitalism).

The real reality check here is that some people are willing to distort the truth or just make stuff up in order to spread their beliefs. This is called propaganda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda. You see, Japan actually does have a welfare system. It relies more on family and corporations and less on the government, true enough. But government in Japan does chip-in failing assistance from the primary sources. Japanese, culturally, are more committed to family honor and respect for their elders than Americans ever thought about being, and Japanese companies care about and for their employees, whereas American companies, by in large, do not. Labor in America is expendable in the face of profit pressures, and many employers here have no qualms against hiring illegals so as to reduce labor costs at the expense of citizens. The truth is never quite so simple.

Read all about Japanese capitalism if you have the time and inclination at http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=wMeir3lIbq8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=japanese+capitalism+versus+american+capitalism&ots=gNBsd7gYK3&sig=jBegXFwFJxg1wZZiirEsygBHALo#v=onepage&q&f=false

Please feel free to post a comment on my blog about this. And, if you’d like to receive a copy of the referenced message including the photos, indicate so in your comment. I will forward a copy to you.

Published in: on May 2, 2010 at 8:08 am  Leave a Comment  

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