I’ve been thinking about it for a while. In South Africa, it’s illustrated so graphically – the difference between the rich, in their houses on Clifton Beach, and just around the mountain, for instance, the shacks that line the N2.
For a long time, I’ve been wondering why governments around the world aren’t doing more to alleviate the plight of the poor. Why they don’t focus on job creation, education and everything else that is required to end poverty forever.
And then it hit me. Governments need people to be poor.
Let’s think about it for a minute.
Government officials earn huge salaries. They have hot and cold running assistants, who do everything for them. They enjoy fame, and fortune.
The poor are the oil that greases that particular wheel.
Think about this: If poverty was forever eradicated, if everyone was, say, middle class, or better, and self sufficient, what need would there be for government? What would justify their enormous salaries, their jetting around the world, their expense accounts?
Without a cause, which is, invariably, the plight of the poor, governments would become what they were originally intended to be: servants to the public only.
The only time we would genuinely need their services would be in the arbitrary – and gone would be the rockstar lifestyles, the giant salaries, and the hordes of bodyguards.
That, my friends, is why governments, here and abroad, whatever their shade, whatever their ‘message’, will forever be guilty of double speak. On the one hand, they will identify with the poor. On the other, they will do everything in their power to keep them that way.
Frankly, the day that anarchy, or at least a much, much smaller government, devoted to service rather than ruling, becomes a real possibility, is the day we can all truly say we are free.
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