We recently had one of those TV marathon evenings to collect money for ‘The Poor’. The poor and needy. Not our own of course, but the poor and needy who live in what we call ‘The
Third World’. Which I find a strange term as we only have one world, albeit in differing stages of development due to geography, human resilience, determination, invention and ability.
I make no apologies for my living in one of the better evolved places on this earth, mainly because all that I have, I worked for. Nobody gave me anything. I think I would have survived
no matter where I was born because I’m a stubborn old git and always have been. Even when I was a stubborn young git.
But I digress..
Back to the point. According to a rather well developed and well written website that I found it necessary to visit, ‘poverty’ is defined as having to live for less than $2,50 a day.
The website goes on to explain that nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day and that more than 1.3 billion live in extreme
poverty having less than $1.25 a day.
I presume that the latter are included in the former and I also allow myself to assume that the $2.50 / $1,25 they mention is per person.
Just to clarify the figures for my non-English speaking readers, 3 billion is 3,000,000,000: Three thousand million.
Now, back to my original train of thought and my opening gambit. Our telethon, or whatever you may like to call it, raised a healthy 98 million Danish Crowns. That’s about 14.65 million
U.S. dollars. Not bad for a country with a population of 5.6 million, if you don’t count todays immigrants, who probably didn’t get to see the TV…
So, let’s do the maths.. 3,000,000,000 poor people divided by USD14.650,000 gives about 0,0045 USD per person. Which will keep the poor of the world going for about two minutes at the
minimum amount required to call them poverty stricken. And, after these two minutes, they’ll go back to being poor and hungry. Still, they did have a good two minutes at our expense and I’m
sure they are grateful for this generosity and our philanthropic efforts to ease their burden in these times of general hardship.
Pardon me, but what a debacle this is. It’s like giving a starving man a bean. Pointless. It solves nothing.
I don’t have the answer to world wide poverty. I know that simply throwing cash at it doesn’t help. How do I know? Because we’ve been doing it for donkeys years and those people are
still poor. What is worse, is that they will continue to be so.
We have reached a saturation point. The world is overpopulated as it is.
Perhaps reducing the population might bring down the numbers. The fewer there are, the more there is to go round.
Perhaps getting some industry going in these far off places would help. Or farms? I daresay that providing a clean water supply would help too.
Of course, if the ‘third world’ gave up tribal war and starting building instead of destroying everything around them, that would help too.
There is one other aspect of this generosity we have displayed. It sends the wrong signal to our politicians. If we have so much money to simply give away, then we still have money to be
taken in taxes. Which simply encourages them to continue giving large portions of our wealth away to pointless projects in failed states governed by their fellow fat and corrupt politicians
and despotic dictators.
For the record, I did not donate. I’m too busy looking after myself and those that are dependant on me.
Like, all those ‘refugees’…
Footnote: I had to edit this as I found I’d got my maths wrong. Corrected now!