8 years ago

How To Feel Good About Global Poverty

“The imperative for every country, every company, and every individual to constantly grow their material wealth is destroying us, in the most real and painful way.” 

On September 25th-27th, 2015 a final document will prepared for adoption in the UN Sustainable Summit. In what is called in political wording: Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post 2015 Development Agenda (IGN) began on January 2015 and ended August 2015. Adweek.com called it:

  • “The United Nations Is Working on the ‘World’s Largest Advertising Campaign’ With the goal of tackling society’s greatest challenges in 15 years.” 

The obvious marketing campaign is to sell us on the new global plan to finally do something about poverty. Let’s have a look at the facts shall we. The world has never had so much wealth. But where is all that wealth going? For every dollar of wealth created, 89 cents goes to the richest 10 percent of people. Just three cents goes to the bottom half of the world’s people. (Guardian). Have a look or read of the following relevant pieces of information in regards to this complicated topic:

FACT: 4.1 billion people (PovcalNet) (Poverty: the official numbers) currently live on less than $5 a day. 

  • Global wealth has increased from $117 trillion in 2000 to $262 trillion this year. That comes to $56,000 for each adult on earth. But the fortune is far from evenly distributed –  (Economist) 
  • 95% of all income from growth has gone to the richest 40%? (World Economics association) 
  • TheRules.org explanation – How is poverty created? (VIDEO),
  • How to feel good about poverty (VIDEO) 
  • Swedish Director Bosse Lindquist – Give Us The Money – Why Poverty? VIDEO
  • How the Rich Keep us Poor (VIDEO)
  • Wealth Inequality in America (Viral Video – 17m.) 
  • New Oxfam report says half of global wealth held by the 1% (Guardian),
  • The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid Isn’t Working by Robert Calderisi. (Amazon)
  • Treasure Islands (Book) 
  • Tax Free Tour – VPRO Backlight – VIDEO About tax havens used by multinationals to park an estimated trillion dollars without paying tax. 
  • The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time by Jeffrey Sachs (Amazon). 
  • “The Trouble With Aid” BBC 2012 (Iplayer). 

Well, as Marking Kirk (head of strategy for The Rules) put it so eloquently in his september 2nd FastCoExist article: 

  • “Heads of State from all over the world will descend onto New York to formally sign it. There will be fanfare, celebrity endorsements, concerts, and photo ops, and a general air of “let’s all celebrate what we’ve achieved so far, and what we can do together next.” 

Which is completely true of course.

Kirk’s final assessment in the article is even better:

  • “Maybe this would only be problematic, something that could be fixed by tweaking the growth model while keeping the basic imperative in place, were it not for the second part of the problem. The imperative for every country, every company, and every individual to constantly grow their material wealth is destroying us, in the most real and painful way. The consumption-driven mechanisms we use to achieve it, and the GDP measure we use to define it, have us locked on a path to ruin by actively encouraging us to treat finite natural resources as if they were infinite, and prioritize the growth of the money supply over everything else. Said another way, the perceived moral imperative for economic growth actually contradicts the laws of nature.” 

Have a read of of Kirk’s How To Feel Good About Global Poverty article here where he narrows down the 3 important questions: How is poverty created? Why is growth the only answer? Who’s developing who? A-One-To-follow! Photo credit: TheRules.org.