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"The World's eighty five richest people own the same amount of wealth as do the poorest 3.5 billion "
What is to be done to alleviate this?
Not that this is a justification, but adjust the numbers for population growth and so it will have always been. In fact it's probably better now that it ever has been.
But there is cause and effect that Oxfam and other Charities ignore when employing their shock tactic advertising.
The big question for me is are those 85 people actually happier than every single person of the 3.5 billion? And don't forget 3.5 billion represents half of the world's population.
Here's another consideration, distribute the wealth of those 85 people across 3.5 billion people and temporarily 3.5 billion people will on average be twice as wealthy as they are now. But 85 people will now have no substantial wealth.
Now, it might be good to ask Oxfam how many jobs are directly and indirectly maintained by those 85 individuals - i.e. how many people would immediately be put out of work if you stripped those people of their wealth, and therefore how many people not currently in poverty would immediately be plunged into poverty.
Also ask Oxfam how many of those 85 people run altruistic trusts and foundations such as those run by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, two of the richest people on earth who have done more in the last ten years to move towards the eradication of malaria than Western Governments have done during their entire existence. It would be interesting to see Oxfam's response.
I admire the work Oxfam does, but the shock tactics they, and other Charities employ does more harm than good in terms of getting people like me to contribute to them.
Because I am lucky enough to afford to I contribute a reasonable amount of my monthly salary via standing order to three Charities. But not to the likes of Oxfam who deliberately set out to mislead.
Another thought to end on. What is wealth? The world is some 14 billion years old and the earliest humans emerged 1-2 millions years ago. Up until probably 300 hundred years ago the vast majority of the world's population had no concept of wealth when measured in the artificial construct of monetary terms. Is an African plainsman who owns 50 head of cattle more or less wealthy than a dollar billionaire who owns no cattle?
The richest 85 people will control a lot of money but they won't own it. It will be invested and put to work in different parts of the global economy.
I still think that there are sufficient resources in the world to ensure that death by starvation could be eradicated. I don't say that there is a 'magic bullet' type solution, there isn't but 'where there's a will there's a way'.
All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.
A great starting point would be eradication of institutionalised corruption in the countries where action is required. Then the same needs to be done with Western governments and associated institutions as well.
Those two items are critical precursors to any redistribution of wealth/resources.
I'm sure a lot of people maintain the same "Where there's a will there's a way" feelings.
Unfortunately none of those people ever offer up any practical suggestions as to how it could be achieved. Plenty of people are always happy to point out the issues, but funnily enough they never actually come up with any properly considered plan as to how it can be achieved without bloodshed and transfer of hardship from one demographic to another, always thinking that having identified the issue, it's someone else's problem to come up with the masterplan and implementation. I include myself in that group of people who is entirely unable to come up with practical solutions.
Are you the exception?
The problem is that the west would effectively need to invade those countries in order to see that distribution of food took place. Are we really up for this ?
Starvation is caused so often by local instability - be it political or environmental.
The UK's commitment to overseas aid is seen as a political hot potato (no pun intended) because most of the aid isn't getting where it's intended and it's seen as gesture politicking by the Conservatives - to rid themselves of the 'nasty party' image. All rather futile without military back up to oversee distribution. And very annoying for poor people being deprived in Britain when rich people in poor countries get what is meant to be theirs.
Those who are interested in eradicating poverty could engage in direct action here at home. There are said to be people in Britain who are malnourished.
In fact I think it should be mandatory that all declared socialists are taxed at 90% and limited to an estate of £180k maximum to be sure that they believe in what they say and what they direct the rest of us to do.
A serious point about the original poster (as in the poster in the window, not SoftPlucker - this stuff gets confusing).
We've all already given.
A quick squizz at Oxfam's 2013/14 accounts shows that 44% of their income came directly from Government and other (i.e. tax funded) Public bodies. Oh and 69% of their total income goes to charitable causes.
I've no issue with Government using the likes of Oxfam for implementation of foreign aid projects. Even at 69% efficiency that'll be far more efficient than Government could achieve. But I'd be far more willing to donate to them if they were upfront with a message saying "hey, top up the Government contribution to help solve world poverty" rather than trying to shame me into it with shock tactics.
The UK's commitment to overseas aid is seen as a political hot potato (no pun intended) because most of the aid isn't getting where it's intended and it's seen as gesture politicking by the Conservatives - to rid themselves of the 'nasty party' image.
Good points in general Kev that echoed what I wrote earlier, but since when has the Foreign Aid "hot potato" been a purely Conservative issue? That's been the case with every single Government since before you and I were born.
Reg - Charity ought to be voluntary - not done on the quiet by government. British people have proven themselves to be the most generous givers so don't need any telling. (I amended/added to my previous comment btw)
It's become a Conservative issue since they ramped up aid payments using borrowed money during a period of austerity.
A lot of people make a fuss about UK foreign aid. Regarding a point in my original post, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid out more than the UK in 2013. And no doubt will again in 2014.
The better the rest of the world is made, the less attractive the UK becomes for economic migration.
The proper and realistic guard against migration is for it to be selective (as it is in most countries) with serious border controls.
The work of Buckminster Fuller. Read it.
Maybe we should go further. Just set a comfortable population limit, say 50 million and toss out everyone who doesn't meet the selection criteria irrespective of country of birth including if country of birth is the UK. Then run a further selection on who's allowed to procreate.
Oh damn - Huxley already thought of that, and unwittingly predicted the goals of a new Germany at the same time. Or maybe Adolf read it and thought it was a good idea.
Won't be one of the 85, but nonetheless:
Reg - I think I'm going to take your good advice and grate some cheese.
I'm voting Ukip because I'm sick of leftists - not the immigrants themselves, whom I don't blame one bit for coming here.
Well done you and your silly insults !
Sick of leftists and conservatives? Well I guess there was only the Lib Dems left in the mainstream so maybe I don't blame you.
Unfortunately for me, there's only one party I could trust with the economy (and no, UKIP is most definitely not it, and not Labour either), and I want to stay in Europe, so I really only have one choice, Hopefully the Tories will have enough defectors to UKIP before the election that those left will have a sensible, united, and moderate policy on Europe.
I guess one positive about UKIP though is I suspect if they ever got into power their approach to the Unions would make Maggie look like a saint.