9 years ago

You Can’t Fight Poverty With a Concert

On September 24th Benjamin Cohen and Elliot Ross from The Nation wrote a brilliant article on how Global Citizen’s celebrity-packed festival aims to keep mobilising millennials against poverty. 

It truly it pointless if you strip away politics from the fight. The key questions are these: 

  1. How did those in extreme poverty get to be so poor? 
  2. What continues to impoverish them? 

The causes of debt are a result of many factors, including:

  • The legacy of colonialism — for example, the developing countries’ debt is partly the result of the unjust transfer to them of the debts of the colonizing states, in billions of dollars, at very high interest rates.
  • Odious debt, whereby unjust debt is incurred as rich countries loaned dictators or other corrupt leaders when it was known that the money would be wasted. South Africa, for example shortly after freedom from Apartheid had to pay debts incurred by the apartheid regime. In effect, South Africans are paying for their own oppression.
  • Mismanaged spending and lending by the West in the 1960s and 70s. (globalissues.org) 

In effect, due to enormous debt repayments, the poor are subsidizing the rich.

Total debt continues to rise, despite ever-increasing payments, while aid is falling. For example:

  • The developing world now spends $13 on debt repayment for every $1 it receives in grants.
  • For the poorest countries (approximately 60), $550 billion has been paid in both principal and interest over the last three decades, on $540bn of loans, and yet there is still a $523 billion dollar debt burden. (globalissues.org) 

Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. And debt simply kills, some 11 million children die each year around the world, due to conditions of poverty and debt

Poverty Facts and Stats

  • “Every generation since Truman has failed the world’s poor. We, in 2015, look like we’ll do so again.” A-One-To-Read!

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us by Paul Verhaeghe 

  • An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traits has changed our ethics and our personalities – The Guardian 

World Leaders have committed to 17 Global Goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change. The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done. In all countries. For all people – VIDEO



Photo credit: (globalissues.org)