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Discussion #22 - Poverty Elimination

The cost to provide basic education, clean water/sanitation & basic health & nutrition (for every person in every developing country) - $40 billion per year.

The cost for world military in 2012 - 1.76 trillion ($1,756 billion)/yr.
In other words, we could solve world hunger for less than 1/40th
the cost of military spending. The U.S. alone spends almost half this amount (39%) on their military. (Almost 20 times the cost of eliminating world hunger)! Why aren't we doing this?!!!

80% of all human beings are living on less than $10 a day.
Half (over 3 billion of 7.1) are living on less than $2.50 a day.
There are 2.2 billion children living in the world currently.
Almost half (1 billion) are living in poverty.

Pretend for a minute that you were born into a poor family in Ethiopia. You did nothing to choose this, did nothing to deserve it, just your portal into this physical world. Now imagine for a minute that you (& your entire family) are trapped in this life. Unable to earn enough to eat, let alone save for an escape. As you become more hungry, you have less & less energy, until the day comes when you cannot work much at all. Thus the downward spiral. This is the reality for almost 1 billion people on earth. We can easily solve this problem, almost immediately! Why don't we do it?

A good portion of this basic education should be allocated for birth control techniques etc. (not difficult to do), but it's not necessary for 22,000 innocent children to die every day! World governments can EASILY afford to solve the problem RIGHT NOW, but for some bizarre reason are choosing not to.

We have compartmentalized humans on this planet for many generations, but this is changing quickly. Thanks to the internet, air travel, and other forms of modern technology, the entire world is now starting to see and communicate with each other. Big business is starting to utilize previously untapped human resources. Many people who are not well informed, are very afraid of this growing trend. They are convinced they may lose their good-paying job or career as a result, but if you look at the bigger picture, you realize that growing global financial equality is actually extremely good for everyone. Good-paying jobs in developing countries mean more consumers and more taxpayers, which ultimately helps to create more jobs in the west. It's only if the exported jobs (or jobs performed by those immigrating) are extremely low-paying that this hurts the global economy.

Globalization is going to continue whether we like it or not. It's part of the natural evolution of mankind. We do however, have a great deal of control over how this plays out. We can continue to marginalize massive pockets of the human race, or we can start to treat each other as equals. This too is part of the natural evolution of mankind (if we choose it to be). It really does all boil down to this one basic question; do we believe in human equality or not. If we do, then we should really choose to eradicate poverty right away (as it benefits everyone economically). If we do not, then we can continue on this ridiculous path of elitism (shared by all races and religions) and suffer the consequences. When people ask me where I'm from, I normally reply earth.

While it's true that there aren't enough sustainable resources on earth for all to live in the lap of luxury (and by this I mean things like red meat), there is plenty for all to be extremely happy and healthy. There will never be complete perceived equality, nor does there need to be, as this does create an extreme motivation for some to succeed greatly in life and provide much-needed services in the world. The real tragedy here is the lack of opportunity to succeed (or survive). To me, in this day and age, it seems basically like criminal activity. A form of oppression similar to slavery (a practice still very much alive in the world today). In many countries, even those working extremely hard, long hours are earning ridiculously low wages, and when visible to the rest of the world seem like virtual slaves. The world is fully aware of sweatshops, but not fully aware of the massive scope of this.

Most people are not overly thrilled about escaping their comfort zone to think about this subject, but it's extremely important that many do. This is a global problem that is starting to affect everyone in the world (economically). Ignoring it will not make it go away. If you are the one that (for example) owns the factory, and are presented with all of the options, you are likely to make similar decisions about it's future (assuming you care about being profitable). It's easy for us to sit back on our haunches and think this issue will never really affect us, but the reality is that it already is (and this is just the tip of the iceburg).

Politicians can only get away with doing basically what the "political will" around them will allow. This means that it's on us, the citizens of earth, to choose our course. Obviously, dribbles of charity and humanitarian aid (which are basically just teasing the situation) are not working. They make us feel a bit better about ourselves, but do very little to solve the root problems of extreme poverty.

Poverty is also, of course, not limited to developing countries only. There is a huge and growing problem in many of the richer countries as well, including the US. Poverty in these countries had a huge increase in the great recession of 2008. Many jobs were lost (permanently) as companies had to restructure to stay competitive. Also, many small businesses were lost due to the credit crunch, as bailouts were given to larger companies and not the smaller ones. Much of this form of poverty is strongly linked to the widening wealth and income gaps in these countries, which are effectively wiping out their middle classes.

There is a growing trend of formerly highly successful and educated individuals (and families) that are being forced to live in their cars (or similar). There are even "safe parking" programs popping up in various states and cities in the US. These programs utilize church and business parking lots at night for the specific purpose of providing a safe place for recently homeless people (or families) to live in their car. While these programs are providing a much-needed and valued service, they are also on many levels quite a disturbing trend.

These programs are growing in numbers quickly, and while the solution is not ideal, it's better than the alternatives, which are shelters or living on the streets. Many recently downsized individuals still have their car or van, and find it far cheaper than rent or a mortgage. This situation is actually just the tip of (another) iceberg, as many middle and upper-middle class families can normally live comfortably for many years off the equity in their main asset, their home. This has actually quietly been happening quite a bit in recent years, and it's especially upsetting for families and individuals who have lived most of their lives in relative luxury and comfort, to be ultimately forced into this situation. Much of this problem is being driven by globalization and technology, as many of the formerly decent-paying jobs become outsourced or automated to increase or maintain company profits.

Although the arguments and attitudes of "Social Darwinism" are basically the way the world works now, there are just far too many aspects of life that are simply beyond our control. The very definition of a fair economic situation is where everyone has an equal chance at financial success. While this has obviously never been the case so far in human history, it should still be the ultimate goal of world governments. Not to coddle the already rich elite.

Almost 100 years ago, a well-known fellow by the name of John D. Rockefeller commented that if the masses had any idea about the reality of the scope of economic inequality that exists, there would be a massive uprising. Now, with the information highway and many other forms of modern communication, it's not going to remain a secret much longer. (When he passed away in 1937 at the age of 97, he had a net worth of $336 billion in today dollars). He basically made his fortune by maintaining a monopoly on selling oil (in the US) for many years. While individuals like John are normally extremely industrious and ambitious people, there is always a huge element of luck (and often corruption) involved.
Discussion #22 - Poverty Elimination

The cost to provide basic education, clean water/sanitation & basic health & nutrition (for every person in every developing country) - $40 billion per year.

The cost for world military in 2012 - 1.76 trillion ($1,756 billion)/yr.
In other words, we could solve world hunger for less than 1/40th
the cost of military spending. The U.S. alone spends almost half this amount (39%) on their military. (Almost 20 times the cost of eliminating world hunger)! Why aren't we doing this?!!!

80% of all human beings are living on less than $10 a day.
Half (over 3 billion of 7.1) are living on less than $2.50 a day.
There are 2.2 billion children living in the world currently.
Almost half (1 billion) are living in poverty.

Pretend for a minute that you were born into a poor family in Ethiopia. You did nothing to choose this, did nothing to deserve it, just your portal into this physical world. Now imagine for a minute that you (& your entire family) are trapped in this life. Unable to earn enough to eat, let alone save for an escape. As you become more hungry, you have less & less energy, until the day comes when you cannot work much at all. Thus the downward spiral. This is the reality for almost 1 billion people on earth. We can easily solve this problem, almost immediately! Why don't we do it?

A good portion of this basic education should be allocated for birth control techniques etc. (not difficult to do), but it's not necessary for 22,000 innocent children to die every day! World governments can EASILY afford to solve the problem RIGHT NOW, but for some bizarre reason are choosing not to.

We have compartmentalized humans on this planet for many generations, but this is changing quickly. Thanks to the internet, air travel, and other forms of modern technology, the entire world is now starting to see and communicate with each other. Big business is starting to utilize previously untapped human resources. Many people who are not well informed, are very afraid of this growing trend. They are convinced they may lose their good-paying job or career as a result, but if you look at the bigger picture, you realize that growing global financial equality is actually extremely good for everyone. Good-paying jobs in developing countries mean more consumers and more taxpayers, which ultimately helps to create more jobs in the west. It's only if the exported jobs (or jobs performed by those immigrating) are extremely low-paying that this hurts the global economy.

Globalization is going to continue whether we like it or not. It's part of the natural evolution of mankind. We do however, have a great deal of control over how this plays out. We can continue to marginalize massive pockets of the human race, or we can start to treat each other as equals. This too is part of the natural evolution of mankind (if we choose it to be). It really does all boil down to this one basic question; do we believe in human equality or not. If we do, then we should really choose to eradicate poverty right away (as it benefits everyone economically). If we do not, then we can continue on this ridiculous path of elitism (shared by all races and religions) and suffer the consequences. When people ask me where I'm from, I normally reply earth.

While it's true that there aren't enough sustainable resources on earth for all to live in the lap of luxury (and by this I mean things like red meat), there is plenty for all to be extremely happy and healthy. There will never be complete perceived equality, nor does there need to be, as this does create an extreme motivation for some to succeed greatly in life and provide much-needed services in the world. The real tragedy here is the lack of opportunity to succeed (or survive). To me, in this day and age, it seems basically like criminal activity. A form of oppression similar to slavery (a practice still very much alive in the world today). In many countries, even those working extremely hard, long hours are earning ridiculously low wages, and when visible to the rest of the world seem like virtual slaves. The world is fully aware of sweatshops, but not fully aware of the massive scope of this.

Most people are not overly thrilled about escaping their comfort zone to think about this subject, but it's extremely important that many do. This is a global problem that is starting to affect everyone in the world (economically). Ignoring it will not make it go away. If you are the one that (for example) owns the factory, and are presented with all of the options, you are likely to make similar decisions about it's future (assuming you care about being profitable). It's easy for us to sit back on our haunches and think this issue will never really affect us, but the reality is that it already is (and this is just the tip of the iceburg).

Politicians can only get away with doing basically what the "political will" around them will allow. This means that it's on us, the citizens of earth, to choose our course. Obviously, dribbles of charity and humanitarian aid (which are basically just teasing the situation) are not working. They make us feel a bit better about ourselves, but do very little to solve the root problems of extreme poverty.

Poverty is also, of course, not limited to developing countries only. There is a huge and growing problem in many of the richer countries as well, including the US. Poverty in these countries had a huge increase in the great recession of 2008. Many jobs were lost (permanently) as companies had to restructure to stay competitive. Also, many small businesses were lost due to the credit crunch, as bailouts were given to larger companies and not the smaller ones. Much of this form of poverty is strongly linked to the widening wealth and income gaps in these countries, which are effectively wiping out their middle classes.

There is a growing trend of formerly highly successful and educated individuals (and families) that are being forced to live in their cars (or similar). There are even "safe parking" programs popping up in various states and cities in the US. These programs utilize church and business parking lots at night for the specific purpose of providing a safe place for recently homeless people (or families) to live in their car. While these programs are providing a much-needed and valued service, they are also on many levels quite a disturbing trend.

These programs are growing in numbers quickly, and while the solution is not ideal, it's better than the alternatives, which are shelters or living on the streets. Many recently downsized individuals still have their car or van, and find it far cheaper than rent or a mortgage. This situation is actually just the tip of (another) iceberg, as many middle and upper-middle class families can normally live comfortably for many years off the equity in their main asset, their home. This has actually quietly been happening quite a bit in recent years, and it's especially upsetting for families and individuals who have lived most of their lives in relative luxury and comfort, to be ultimately forced into this situation. Much of this problem is being driven by globalization and technology, as many of the formerly decent-paying jobs become outsourced or automated to increase or maintain company profits.

Although the arguments and attitudes of "Social Darwinism" are basically the way the world works now, there are just far too many aspects of life that are simply beyond our control. The very definition of a fair economic situation is where everyone has an equal chance at financial success. While this has obviously never been the case so far in human history, it should still be the ultimate goal of world governments. Not to coddle the already rich elite.

Almost 100 years ago, a well-known fellow by the name of John D. Rockefeller commented that if the masses had any idea about the reality of the scope of economic inequality that exists, there would be a massive uprising. Now, with the information highway and many other forms of modern communication, it's not going to remain a secret much longer. (When he passed away in 1937 at the age of 97, he had a net worth of $336 billion in today dollars). He basically made his fortune by maintaining a monopoly on selling oil (in the US) for many years. While individuals like John are normally extremely industrious and ambitious people, there is always a huge element of luck (and often corruption) involved.