Dick Baynton: Poverty, Prosperity and PPP

Dick Baynton

According the World Bank and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) there are 767 million children in the world that live in poverty meaning less than $1.90 a day. There are also about 2.1 billion (28%) children living on less than $3.10 per day. About 1 million children die annually from malnutrition and another million die from disease like dysentery caused by inadequate sanitation.

Currently, there are 18.5 million (about 6%) U.S. citizens living in poverty at about ½ of the 2017 poverty level. Should logic make us believe that 94% of the population can’t rescue the 6% of our struggling citizens? Part of the answer is found in the Heritage Foundation’s estimate that as of 2014 President LBJ’s ‘Great Society’ generated costs of $22 trillion in current dollars. And yet poverty here and around the world remains a problem; should common logic conclude that poverty will always be with us?

What are the prerequisites of advancing from poverty to prosperity? We can probably all agree that some of the critical elements are education, personal commitment and living in any nation with a good and healthy economic environment. There are several approaches to curing poverty and none one of them solves the problem completely.

One method is to open the floodgates of ‘entitlements’ for government funds. The bad news is that ‘government funds’ come from the pockets of tax-paying citizens meaning more funding of people in poverty parallels higher taxes. A second approach is to open up avenues of employment for able-bodied men and women of working age (18-65).  Another method is to urge all U.S. welfare recipients to participate in whatever predicament they are in. For example, during WWII all citizens were urged to plant victory gardens; why couldn’t welfare recipients earn income points for simply planting, cultivating and harvesting vegetables for their own tables?

Let’s turn to the situation of prosperity; prosperous citizens. These people are housewives, teachers, garbage truck drivers and loaders, police, fire & EMS, factory workers, professional athletes, clerks and military members. Many of these self-reliant folks are only slightly above the poverty line while others enjoy the benefits of jobs; small business owners and others who succeeded in bringing home some great earnings and salaries.

Then at the top of the ‘net worth’ heap are 11 million millionaires and 560 billionaires. It is easy to believe the cynical story that many of these wealthy people are money ‘hoarders.’ The truth is that most of these people are investors and employers who hire the millions of workers to generate profit for reinvestment and payrolls for those who toil in jobs to support families.

Now, what is PPP? It stands for ‘Purchasing Power Parity’ which means that comparing the cost of a ‘basket of goods’ purchased in one country with another country using a common currency.  Let’s say that basket of goods costs $87.50 in the U.S. and costs £68.50 in Britain; that means our two countries enjoy parity on that ‘basket’ of goods. The reason is that the British (UK) pound is currently valued at $1.2774.

As a humorous but practical use of PPP, a franchisee of MacDonald’s created a Big Mac index to rate the world economies (all in U.S. dollars) and published annually by ‘The Economist’ using the cost of a ‘Big Mac’ burger in 2018: Switzerland $6.54, U.S $5.51, Canada $5.07, Europe $4.74, Australia $4.52, Britain $4.23, Japan $3.51, China $3.10, Mexico, $2.57, South Africa $2.32 and Egypt $1.75. Have fun making sense of those ‘Big Mac’ PPP numbers. LOL

Our country believes that every citizen, born here or naturalized is equal and our progress in gaining wealth is due to personal, lawful self-determination. Here in the United States we have a Constitutional government that has flourished for 242 years+. Our nation is the most diverse country in the world. Internally, however, there is a deliberate power shift to downgrade our nation to government dependency. Those of us who believe in the freedoms we have enjoyed over spilled blood in wars and conflicts over race, culture, language, customs and economic standing must stand against those who want free everything, unlimited immigration and massive government control through sophistry and demagoguery .

Drain the Swamp!

Dick Baynton


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