Sunday, August 1, 2010

Freeway Multi-car Collision. Three Apparent Lessons.

Sunday, August 1, 2010, 4:00 PM. A friend sent me three pictures from an accident on H-1 Freeway, Honolulu-bound, near Aiea minutes after it had occurred. Here are a few lessons from the three cell phone pictures received.

(1) This police car is parked at the wrong angle. The police car that blocks and protects the accident scene should be parked in a direction that guides unaffected drivers to the safe way around the scene.

(2) The police officer is talking to involved drivers on the freeway. On a freeway scene all unharmed persons need to be relocated to the shoulders immediately.

(3) This truck appears to be the start of the multi-car "spin outs" on the slick pavement. Notice the old, worn, dirty and off-road style tires. A vehicle with proper highway tires might have not caused this half dozen vehicle collision.

Poverty of Dollars is Largely a Statistical Creation. Poverty of Spirit is Real.

Walter Williams of the Jewish World Review makes a powerful argument that poverty as applicable worldwide is almost absent in the US. He says:

"Material poverty can be measured relatively or absolutely. An absolute measure would consist of some minimum quantity of goods and services deemed adequate for a baseline level of survival. Achieving that level means that poverty has been eliminated. However, if poverty is defined as, say, the lowest one-fifth of the income distribution, it is impossible to eliminate poverty. Everyone's income could double, triple and quadruple, but there will always be the lowest one-fifth."

The real malaise in the U.S. is poverty of the spirit which leads to many ills in our
modern society:

"Yesterday's material poverty is all but gone. In all too many cases, it has been replaced by a more debilitating kind of poverty — behavioral poverty or poverty of the spirit. This kind of poverty refers to conduct and values that prevent the development of healthy families, work ethic and self-sufficiency. The absence of these values virtually guarantees pathological lifestyles that include: drug and alcohol addiction, crime, violence, incarceration, illegitimacy, single-parent households, dependency and erosion of work ethic. Poverty of the spirit is a direct result of the perverse incentives created by some of our efforts to address material poverty."

Read his full article "Where Best to Be Poor" for a fuller argument why material poverty is almost largely absent in the U.S.