Tuesday, 12 July 2011

GLOBAL POVERTY & BILLIONAIRE PHILANTHROPISTS

The world’s richest people (a few dozen billionaires) periodially give away to the charities of their choice a part of their wealth, which amounts just over one-quarter of the EU’s GDP. Thirty people own 6% of the world’s wealth, while 80% of the world’s population share 20% of the world’s wealth, making billionaire charity a godsend gift to the earth’s wretched.

About 1000 people on the planet, according to FORBES, own roughly 10% of the world’s GDP, while one billion people do not have access to drinking water largely because a handful of multinational corporations, in which the billionaire philanthropists own most of the stock, own water rights around the world and charge exorbitant rates. Interestingly, countries like India, Mexico, Russia, and Brazil, which have a large percentage of poor, also have billionaires

About two billion people are victims of chronic malnutrition and lack of medicine, largely because the multinational corporations in which billionaire philanthropists own most of the stock, do not make it affordable for people to eat and have medicine. Water, food, health and education scarcity are among the problems that billionaire philanthropists want to address. The economic system, which made the same philanthropists billionaires, created the aforementioned problems in the first place. As I have stated in a previous posting, exploitation of the public by a handful of fraudulent investors determined to continue manipulating markets so they can amass greater wealth is indeed a Constitutional right under free speech protection. 
  
Will global poverty end if the 1000 richest people and the next one million richest donate all their wealth? Of course not! Charity has never been the solution to the problem of unequal distribution of wealth and labor values. The economic system that has been with us for about 500 years in different forms causes social and geographical poverty and inequality on a global scale. As the core of the capitalist world-economy shifts from the US to Asia in the course of the 21st century, there will be increased poverty in the West and relative rising affluence in underdeveloped countries. 

The irony of mostly Western billionaires donating in large measure to non-Western areas is that in the 21st century the West may experience the same Third World conditions. Nor is the solution ‘made in America’ (Germany, France, UK, etc.) because at the core of cyclical crises of capitalism is not to make each country more competitive – lower wages and higher quality products – as the apologists of the system insist and Obama argued recently. At the core of the system rests the assumption that capital chases the highest profits wherever it can secure them with the help of the state. 
  
Can the billionaire philanthropists change the world by giving a portion of their wealth to charity? If the system that is responsible for extreme wealth and extreme poverty created the few thousand wealthy philanthropists as it did the billions of poor around the world, then the system that accounts for philanthropy is the root cause of the problem. If the problem is systemic, similarly the solution can only be systemic. 

If the public health system in sub-Sahara Africa is grossly deficient and must rely on charity to save the children, then should society not ask questions about the weak public sector? What does it say about human values when a few wealthy people have become wealthy through the appropriation process on which the market economy is based; and what does it say about  human values when the fate of many whose labor values create wealth for the few must then depend on the charity of the few?

2 comments:

Arlan Berglas said...

The Billionaire Summit (http://www.aunitedworld.net/buffett/) in South Korea will be a video-teleconference with specific billionaire philanthropists during the World Peace One (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EVjMbqP_ms) Showcase Events. WE are not asking these philanthropists for their money, only their advice on presenting this WE Consciousness (http://www.causes.com/causes/642429-we-consciousness?template=cause_mailer%2Fafter_join&causes_ref=email) to the world.

Thirty-eight US billionaires have pledged at least 50% of their wealth to charity through a campaign started by investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Here is a look at some of those who have signed up to "The Giving Pledge" (http://givingpledge.org/#enter) project.

Arlan Berglas said...

What's the 2012 Global Shift in Consciousness all about? http://www.aunitedworld.net/Buffett/video/view/172145/?topic=74027