December 17, 2004

Motivating Factors

I think many people would agree that poverty is a major concern; a social ill that needs to be, if possible, eliminated. The cause of the disease, and the cure, are in dispute, but that it is a disease that impacts on society as a whole. Is there anyone who disagrees with this basic premise?

Neither the cause nor the cure is simplistic. Different people are impoverished for different reasons. A hard working soul could be hampered by great illness in the family, which eats into any earnings. Bad luck, poor choices, lack of intelligence, few talents, or working skills, laziness, severe disabilities, severe disfigurement, etc. etc. all make a difference in the one's potential to earn, save and increase one's income.

The poor, most likely, will always be with us.

But what if poverty did not mean destitution. What if all people, regardless of the reason they were impecunious; that is they simply lacked money and the means of accessing luxuries (I recognize what would constitute a luxury is open to debate.) What if, the basic necessities of humans were a given: the best health care, regardless of income, decent housing and food (again related to optimal health), the best education in accordance with the abilities of the individual (which would include access to up to date books and other tools needed to learn a sellable skill or talent)?

What would you put your talents towards if you knew you couldn't starve or that you wouldn't be homeless? What would motivate you, in such circumstances, to, (in the absence of forced labor), to take on a task that wasn't of great interest to you? Would such tasks start claiming a higher salary? Would the majority work only when a new book or pair of earrings was wanted? How would that affect those who wanted more and worked for more? Would their gains be less appreciated (by themselves)?

I am not asking how we could achieve such a world, I am asking if such a world would work? Would humans still develop and advance?

Posted by Rachel Ann at December 17, 2004 08:37 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?