Website owner:  James Miller

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Desperate Situations

   A prudent man attempts to so conduct himself and his affairs as 
   to avoid getting caught in desperate situations.  One of the 
   most desperate situations of life is finding yourself out in 
   the cold with no shelter, food, or money, and no job or source 
   of money --- hungry and cold and losing hope of finding any 
   honorable and legitimate way of simply surviving --- a survive 
   or perish situation.  What do people do when they get caught in 
   such situations?  They start considering illegitimate and  
   dishonorable ways of surviving.  Like lying, cheating, 
   stealing, prostitution and crime.  Even good, honorable people 
   will consider doing illegitimate and dishonorable things in a 
   survive or perish situation.  And if they have a wife and 
   children who are dependent on them, even more so.  In the 
   wealthier countries of the world there may be organizations or 
   societal resources that people can turn to in such situations 
   but in the poorer countries of the world there may be none.  
   And all this leads us directly to the topic of poverty in some 
   of the poor countries of the world.  Large portions of the 
   world's population live very close to the edge of survival.  
   They may not be in a desperate situation but they are not far 
   from it.  They may live in a hovel and earn barely enough to 
   survive.  Good jobs are not usually easy to find even in 
   wealthier countries and making enough money to survive on can 
   be a real problem in a poor country.  A good education is a big 
   help in this world in regard to making a living but obtaining 
   it requires a lot of hard work and perseverance stretched over 
   many years, one has to earn it, and in many poor countries 
   schooling is not even available to many children (especially in 
   Islamic countries).  In many countries one is fortunate if he 
   has had the opportunity just to be taught how to read and 
   write.  All people in this world have not had the same 
   opportunities as those of the wealthier countries of the world.  
   In the poor countries of the world life can be harsh and cruel 
   with large numbers in a survivalist mindset, thinking in 
   strictly selfish ways, predatory ways, and making their living 
   by illegitimate, dishonest and dishonorable means. 

   One reads about sex slavery in Europe, southeast Asia and in 
   other places.  Women are held hostage in situations from which 
   they are unable to flee and are forced to engage in 
   prostitution.  How did they get there?  Poverty often underlies 
   it.  In southeast Asia their poverty-stricken father may have 
   sold them to someone who promised to give them a job.   Or in 
   Europe they, themselves, may have been tricked by someone who 
   promised them a job in some foreign country.  Often they are 
   poor and uneducated and got into the situation due to a 
   desperate need for money.  What is the solution to this 
   problem?  I don't know. 

   I am a philosopher.  I am interested in the problems and 
   dilemmas and traps of life and their solutions.  So what is my 
   solution to the dilemma of the person caught out in the cold 
   without food, shelter or money?  I don't have any answer.  When 
   I think about it I just realize how very fortunate I am to have 
   been born in America.  Here in America we at least have the 
   opportunities given us by a robust economic system (like the 
   opportunity for a good education) --- even though many people 
   here don't take good advantage of them or appreciate them.  I 
   often think that the person that people ought to be most 
   grateful to is the man who creates jobs --- the businessman, 
   the entrepreneur and the industrialist.  Here in America our 
   economic system functions well.  And a strong, well-functioning 
   economic system provides a good strong foundation for all kinds 
   of other good things. 

   May 2002

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