Monday, June 7, 2010

The world isn't getting any better. Part one: poverty.

Poverty. It is everywhere. But the sort I am talking about is third world poverty. According to UNICEF, 24000 die each day due to poverty. So I've come up with a solution....
Pay more tax. This is the exact opposite of what we want. On the last election we spent our vote on whoever promised us the biggest tax cut (of course we never got a tax cut really, and the little one we did get will soon be destroyed by the raising of G.S.T). But we shouldn't be a selfish nation. What would this extra tax go toward? Some of it would go to the normal things, roads, prisons, the poor, hospitals, ect ect but with more money they could do a better job (who likes waiting for three hours in a hospital waiting room, with blood poring out your head, which you hurt when you crashed your car on a bad road? nobody!). But a large chunk of this tax would go toward poverty. In September 2000, the 189 countries of the United Nations agreed to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty,” specifically hunger and the “major diseases that afflict humanity.” This was going to be achieved by a program in which twenty-two countries promised to donate 0.7% of their country's total income (this apparently will generate $195 billion). But New Zealand still hasn't achieved this, in fact we haven't even set a goal. You think that in ten years we could have got close, surely? We currently donate 0.29% which is quite a way from the ideal 0.70%. But, even if we did make it to that goal, I don't think it is enough. It should be at least : 1%. But, we could do 10%. If we really were going to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty,” specifically hunger and the “major diseases that afflict humanity.” then we would donate 10%, or at least 2%. And we would sort out poverty very quickly. However, if New Zealand did that on its own it wouldn't save the world. But imagine if America did it? Or if all twenty-two countries did it? What would happen then? There wouldn't be a child dieing every second. Thats what would happen. Children would have food to eat. Thats what would happen. Children would have schooling. Thats what would happen. Those children would grow up, and know how to get decent jobs. Thats what would happen. And after one generation the world would be a better place. Thats what would happen. But it would cost a lot. And we would have to be prepared to accept this. But if we really were going to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty,” specifically hunger and the “major diseases that afflict humanity” we would.

3 comments:

  1. ouch I have just been convicted by this statement! Here is the big question though, what can you and I do about this today? How best, with our insignificant resources can we make poverty history? I am feeling more and more challenged on this topic in the last few weeks. Thinking of researching a plan that I could develop to eradicate poverty one village at a time. There is no point throwing money (well short term it does save lives, long term its pointless) at people if we can't set up a sustainable future for these people. In order to do this, a plan needs to be developed that can turn a community around, it needs to be a model that we can implement all over the world encompassing education, health, food, means of revenue, trading systems etc. My dream in life would be to create that model and oversee its implementation. Just a small dream aye!

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  2. Check out my latest post http://lizzieholly.blogspot.com/

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  3. Wow, sorry I didn't see this Liz, I haven't be very "onto it" with this wee blog.
    It's a interesting problem poverty. It's quite hard to make a permanate differance, I have wondered at times, always when a little frustrated, wether the best solution would be to overthrow those countrys and then sort poverty out from there. Bad idea, oviously, but there is need of some sort of drastic change. Sometimes I wonder if it is over our heads and that we can't beat it. But your idea sounds good, "Give a man a fish ect." Mmm, you should think about it some more.

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