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Chapter 1. Economy 
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Well, he does say in this chapter (or one of the others - not sure) that he admires the one who educates, trains and creates work for the poor, more than he admires the one who just 'gives'.

So I guess that's about the same thing as Shaw would say.

(Nice to see you again, Penelope)



Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:01 pm
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Thomas Hood wrote:
Saffron wrote:
How could anyone even suggest such a thing - withholding medications from all because a few might infect others. Even more offensive to me is singling out Africans.


Sorry to rub you the wrong way again, Saffron, but get real. I didn't single out Africans and there's no "might" about it. Infectious sexually-active persons stay sexually active. In much of Central Africa there is no law and order, so any kind of responsible health service is impossible.

But considering your reaction, maybe it would be imprudent for Robert to respond to my question. I will delete it.

Tom


First, sorry to Robert for somehow adding his name in my post. Now, to Tom, I am real. Yes, some or even most infected people will continue to have sex. Only a few will be irresponsible. Should we punish all because a few will be irresponsible?


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Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:51 pm
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Robert,

I couldn't agree with you more that building the institutions of good government is the key to an improved quality of life. I have been especially interested in this subject with respect to Mexico, where I have spent a lot of time. I have come to the tentative conclusion that when the size of the middle class of a country reaches a critical level, it is then in a position (and has the ability) to demand better government and less corruption. The huge population of Mexico (or other countries, by extension) who live in poverty expend their energy on survival and grabbing for the meager amount of "gusto" that is available to them in lives they justifiably expect to be short and tragic. The wealthy have more incentive to undermine government than to build it. Only the middle class has the incentive to create institutions that build the infrastructure of a stable society. What do you think?



Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:43 pm
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DWill wrote:
. . . he appears to realize that these inquisitive people won't be his true audience.
DWill


I know exactly what you mean by that - I find that in my day to day life as a self-appointed groundskeeper at the building where I live and my husband holds the position of superintendent.

The very people who ask a lot of questions of what we're doing with garden patches and trees on the lot (usually asked with judgment behind their questions), are the ones who wouldn't dream of following up by hitting 'google' and looking something up. They seem to have it in mind that nobody could possibly more about the subject of their questions, than they themselves . . . don't do that, do this . . . I asked one of them once - what kind of tree do you think this is?

The 'tree' in question, was the one I was leaning against while hearing her 'judgments' about how trees should be looked after.

She said she didn't know - then I pointed upward to where the smooth trunk went upwards, without a branch on it.

It was a hydro pole!

People that just want to 'know' something, are sincerely interested in the 'nature' aspect of it, are the kinds that will return home from the library with books in hand.

So I can see it now - people coming to visit Thoreau, wondering what he's doing and how he gets by. Yet I doubt any of them read anything he published on the matter. They were probably the people who had nine room houses, with a 'spare' for guests. And a couple of live-ins, just to do the housework and cook their meals.

The poor student, of course, would be intrigued . . . how to live economically. The poor student would be pleased as punch to pick up his works and actually read what Thoreau had to say, what he himself had learned from the experience of living in such a way.



Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:02 pm
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Saffron wrote:
Now, to Tom, I am real. Yes, some or even most infected people will continue to have sex.


OK, we agree on something.

Quote:
Only a few will be irresponsible.


How do you know this? My experience is that most conceal their infection and continue as before. People go to little trouble to protect others even from their colds or flu.

Tom



Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:25 pm
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seeker wrote:
Robert, I couldn't agree with you more that building the institutions of good government is the key to an improved quality of life. I have been especially interested in this subject with respect to Mexico, where I have spent a lot of time. I have come to the tentative conclusion that when the size of the middle class of a country reaches a critical level, it is then in a position (and has the ability) to demand better government and less corruption. The huge population of Mexico (or other countries, by extension) who live in poverty expend their energy on survival and grabbing for the meagre amount of "gusto" that is available to them in lives they justifiably expect to be short and tragic. The wealthy have more incentive to undermine government than to build it. Only the middle class has the incentive to create institutions that build the infrastructure of a stable society. What do you think?


Thanks Seeker, I think your comments are right on the money. You point to a further main problem with the NGO philanthropic movement, and that is the focus on "the poorest of the poor." The poorest have the greatest need, and lifting them from poverty seems at first to have the greatest social transformation potential. Work with the poorest serves the Christian mercy mission to make the last first. However, working with the poorest is a grossly inefficient way to reduce poverty, because the poorest also face major political and social and economic constraints to their advancement, they often live in very isolated and difficult places, and, most critically, local market based solutions are often more effective than external charity in helping them. Much effort and money can be expended to help them with little gain because of the intractable context. Philanthropists insist on helping the most down-and-out groups because this fits their religious ideology and because their donors fund them for this type of work. By contrast, few resources are provided to the middle class, despite the fact that established small firms can use help very effectively to build thriving businesses, providing jobs, goods, services, models, stability, customers and networks, all of which are of benefit to the whole society, including the poorest. It is much more efficient to use existing systems in partner countries (ie existing businesses) but this goes against the grain for givers of charity. The governance agenda for the middle class is improving regulation for doing business, to remove the constraints which hinder them from prospering. An excellent book on this topic is The Next Four Billion by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group.



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:00 am
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Hi Carley :smile:

I have been pondering on the spread of aids in Africa. If you read the diaries of Samuel Peppys - about Georgian England - STD's seem to have been 'shared' around with impunity. It wasn't until forces spoke up for the lower classes and demanded that this was not acceptable, that people began to attend 'clinics'.

I also realise that it is a whole different ball-game organising government legislation in enormous countries like Africa (or even the USA) or Russia. It is comparatively simple in a small island.

I was interested in Seekers' hypothesis also. There have been some wonderful reforms to our Society by individuals of both the middle classes and also by the Wealthy and Aristocratic. Looking at our history, the work of social reform seems to have been carried out by the concern and compassion of the person, rather than the person's class, or position in society.

I do believe that things began to change radically for the better, in this country, when an education system was set into place for 'all' children. People, once educated, became 'aware' of 'how' to help themselves. And aware that there was no need to just accept the 'status quo'.

I have been reading about people in large parts of Indo-China, whose boy children get a very meagre education indeed, and for a little girl to receive any education at all, is unthinkable. I, personally, believe that overseas aid would be well-spent on setting up schools and colleges, but of course there are always those in power, who do not wish to see this happen.


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Oh, well I didn't read all the posts yet, so I wasn't sure what sex/aids had to do with this chapter . . . I'll be listening to it over again, and reading through the text version as well.

Right now, I'm just enjoying the audio - listening.

I wasn't able to post here for a few days . . . finally got 'synchronized' or whatever.

I figured it just as well - I needed to listen to the story a while, forming my own reaction to it before I got caught up in discussion.

We're doing War & Peace at Barnes n' Noble, so that's kept me busy for a while . . .

But I couldn't resist 'Walden' . . .

B & N are going to do Walden and another one of his stories in their Classics section next month.



Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:50 am
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Carley - Ophelia has tempted me with B&N a week or two ago. I must take a look.....

PS - I think I love you!! :kiss:


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Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:56 am
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DWill wrote:

. . . he sees modern farming as step down from hunting/gathering and does not seem to favor keeping domesticated animals. I'm not sure I quite understand his attitude here. The yeoman farmer was Jefferson's ideal American, but not so for Thoreau. It would even seem that Thoreau is less in favor of farming than of commerce! And yet he had had ideas of buying farms himself, so he may have contradictory feelings. In "Economy" he presents his interest in farms as in the past and representing a narrow escape for him. Still, I wonder about a seeming lack of sympathy and support for the farmer.
DWill


Well, if Jefferson favoured farming, then everybody else should, right?

I wonder if society is any better for 'farming' really . . . I, for one, am glad I don't have to take up a gun and go out to shoot my meat and wouldn't want to work that hard for my vegetables.

But the thought's intriguing . . . what would it be like if (by some catastrophic event) there were only a few of us left on earth and we had to make do with what we could grow ourselves and hunt?

About his having been down on too much commerce . . . well, that's easy to figure why he felt that way.

Look at us today . . . we can't simply have one family growing the carrots to trade with he who hunts the buffalo . . . we've got to go out and tie our butt's to office chairs and create documents upon documents upon documents upon documents.

Seems kinda' silly when you think of it.

How many of our modern day jobs are really necessary?



Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:11 am
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Thomas Hood wrote:
DWill wrote:
When I was a child, there were almost 1000 farmers in the county. Today there are less than 50.
Tom


That's shocking, Thomas . . .

It amazes me when we drive to what used to be the 'outskirts', the 'rural' parts of the city . . . when I was a child, everything past Victoria Park & Kingston Road (this is Toronto) was 'country' . . . now? It's still 'Scarborough', but it's all high rise, condo's and businesses like fast food joints, tattoo parlours . . .

A lot of us are living in cubes and buying produce that's grown in a greenhouse!

There are people who are moving away from this scenario though . . . growing food, raising animals for meat and trading with each other.

Of course, government doesn't like that - they're fast to move on it when they figure somebody's living in such a way that denies them money for their coffers.

There was a big schmoz made about a community who were drinking milk straight from the cow - no pasteurization!

The law moved in on that one!

In my opinion, as long as the barns are clean, the milking equipment, etal are in good working order, what can happen to milk if it's going to be consumed right away?

Things go wrong with food and drink, even under the strict regulations of the laws that govern the processing and distribution of same.

Look at the current nightmare with Maple Leaf's meats!

(If you're not Canadian and don't know what I mean, google on jit and you'll see)



Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:21 am
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MARK COLVIN: A leading health expert has infuriated HIV positive people in the Pacific region by suggesting that people with HIV and AIDs should be quarantined on an island away from other people.

Dr Sitaleki Finau has held senior medical positions in Australia and New Zealand. He's currently the director of health on the small island nation of Niue. He says his suggestion would be in the interests of people with HIV and AIDS.

New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie.

KERRI RITCHIE: Dr Sitaleki Finau has an impressive CV.

Born in Tonga, he did his medical training in Queensland, and since then he's become a professor at New Zealand's Massey University and has held many senior medical positions in the Pacific.

Dr Finau believes people living in the Pacific with the HIV virus should be isolated, similar to leper colonies.

SITALEKI FINAU: It can be on their own island or on a compound. We still doing this various by say isolating as we speak. There's six people in the island of Chutt (phonetic) who are being quarantined for six months, because they have multiple resistant drugs for TB. So it's being done. And then we have camps for refugees, we have reservations for Indigenous people.

KERRI RITCHIE: Dr Finau says there are about 13,000 people with HIV in the Pacific.

He doesn't believe current awareness and prevention programs are working.

SITALEKI FINAU: There is a certain amount of choice in amongst it. And one of the curious things after all these years in the Pacific, I have never heard of a sex worker who's infected, telling the client not to have sex or to wear a condom because I've got HIV.

There doesn't seem to be anybody taking responsibility for the fact that they're carrying HIV viruses.

KERRI RITCHIE: Maire Bopp Dupont is from the Cook Islands.

She contracted HIV while at university and has founded the Pacific Islands AIDS foundation. She's one of around 100 Pacific Islanders who have travelled to Auckland for a three-day conference on HIV.

She's insulted by Dr Finau's idea.

MAIRE BOPP DUPONT: When it comes from someone like that, there really is no excuses. I mean it's very well known today that the isolation of positive people is not a way forward and it doesn't' achieve anything if not, taking us back in our prevention efforts.

KERRI RITCHIE: She says many people in the Pacific have been working hard improving HIV/AIDs awareness. She believes the doctor's comments have put their efforts back 10 years.

MAIRE BOPP DUPONT: In the Pacific, but also everywhere else. Isolation of positive people means that somewhere they've done something wrong, there's a scene attached to it, and therefore, and also a danger of what they have is contagious. So it's three ideas that are completely wrong.

KERRI RITCHIE: But Dr Finau says his idea is in the best interests of those with HIV. He believes isolation will actually make people feel less stigmatised.

SITALEKI FINAU: What we need is for them to have some mechanism in which they can live without feeling the stigmatisation. And that's basically separating them away from the so-called 'people adrift', so that they can do their thing, without having to look over their shoulder because they have a secret.

KERRI RITCHIE: Bruce Kilmister is the CEO of the support group, Body Positive. He says Dr Finau's quarantine idea is ridiculous and should be ignored.

BRUCE KILMISTER: I heard those comments 20 years ago in this country and I mean the gay community joked about it and said, "As long as the island we're isolated on is called Manhattan, we don't mind." But the reality is, it still represents stigma and discrimination, and even further, isolation, and that just will not deal with the problem.

KERRI RITCHIE: Maire Bopp Dupont believes Dr Finau's isolation idea would have terrible consequences.

MAIRE BOPP DUPONT: It will usually result in violence against positive people, or a person who might be assumed to have HIV within the community. Violence meaning being beaten up, being thrown out of churches, thrown out of villages, of homes, being treated like animals. I mean, we've got lots of stories like that.

MARK COLVIN: Maire Bopp Dupont from the Cook Islands, ending Kerri Ritchie's report.



Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:22 pm
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Penelope wrote:
Carley - Ophelia has tempted me with B&N a week or two ago. I must take a look.....

PS - I think I love you!! :kiss:


That's so sweet, Penelope - but I ain't your type, y'know?

:laugh:



Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:27 am
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Well, I guess I've finished reading all the posts.

Maybe I oughta' go back to bed and try sleeping . . . it's 4:29 am here in Toronto, and I'm puttering around at the computer.

Gotta' get a decent sleeping schedule going.



Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:29 am
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WildCityWoman wrote:
Oh, well I didn't read all the posts yet, so I wasn't sure what sex/aids had to do with this chapter . . . I'll be listening to it over again, and reading through the text version as well.


Carley, the HIV matter began through a discussion of real charity, but there is a deeper connection. Tuberculosis was epidemic in Thoreau's time, and he had it. During much of his adult, he was, I suppose, infectious, and he is implicated in the death of Horace Mann's son, although the son's mother had already died of TB, I believe.

My grandfather was confined in a TB sanatorium by law, after he infected others, including me. I know from personal experiece that infectious persons will not "act responsibly," as some suppose, unless compelled by law.

Tom



Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:57 am
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