December 29, 2009

World's Poor Want Capitalist Exploitation - Researchers Baffled

PRINCETON, NJ - After years of extensive field research, two college professors at Princeton are planning to release their stunning findings: the poor in nearly every country want the capitalist system that has produced such carnage in the US.

In 2007, Dr. Raymond Finkel and Dr. Lois Einhorn, both faculty members in Princeton's Anthropology Department, were given a 3-year, $5M grant to study the causes of poverty in the world.  "The obvious answer was that poverty was caused by not having money.  However, we wanted to dig deeper." says Dr. Einhorn.  Dig deeper they did, by flying around the world and interviewing some of the poorest citizens of Africa, South America, and Asia.  These impovershed families gave an answer that shocked and baffled the researchers: they actually wanted American capitalism.

"All of our academic training has convinced us that capitalism - actually, the US in general - is a broken system.  It is elitist.  It is racist.  It is unfair.  But these poor, uneducated people actually thought it was a great system." explains Dr. Finkel.  He went on to list the numerous findings.  "They thought stable and inexpensive energy sources were important - coal, gasoline, fuel oil, and electrical power.  We couldn't make them understand how the private companies behind these things were making obscene profits, and how unjust that was.  Many feared enslavement from armed bands that roamed and pillaged at will.  I tried - vainly - to explain how businesses practically enslave people when they hire them as workers."

Dr. Einhorn scoffed as she related some of their concerns about lack of medicines and vaccines, "I've seen the documentaries.  I know that many Americans disagree that we have it so great.  When I tried to explain to these misguided people how bad the US system is and how they did not want those insurance companies and big pharma controlling their health care, they didn't get it.  They just wouldn't listen to reason."

Nearly everyone they interviewed expressed a desire to live in the US, which also was a surprise.  "Everyone we talked to said they'd love to live in a McMansion, drive a Hummer, and shop at 'big box' stores or even Walmart, after we explained what these things were."

Dr. Finkel was especially concerned that even the more educated people - "ones who should know better" - thought capitalism was a great idea.  "They would often refer to it as a 'meritocracy'.  We've asked for additional funding to figure out what that is."

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