Global Priorities

The people who are in charge of multi-million dollar companies are strange creatures. They earn millions yearly which project them into the 20% of the world’s richest who also consume 76.6% of the worlds resources (World Bank Development Indicators 2008). What I don’t understand why is that these people are rich, bloody rich. They can afford anything they want in the world, they spend their money on the most trivial things to boast how rich they are or even indulge on the most pointless things.

Their money could be spent on better things that are actually worthwhile and meaningful. It’s not only the rich which could re-prioritise their spending (I’m about to pick on myself as well here…) but all of us living in the middle class. As a collective body people spend US$8 billion on cosmetics alone,  US$105 billion in Europe is spent on ice-cream alone. People spend US$400 billion on narcotics worldwide. This is an outrageous amount of money just being spent on trivial luxuries.

Did you know that it only costs U.S 6 billion dollars for basic education for all? U.S 9 billion dollars on clean drinking water and basic sanitation for all? U.S 13 billion  dollars on basic health and nutrition for all? (Estimate costs are from 1998 and the money needed is additional to what is already being spent. Though this is from 1998 I would say the money needed would have only decreased minimally or grown minimally for 2010). The money spent on buying ice-cream is enough to give basic education, clean drinking water, basic sanitation, basic health and nutrition for everyone.

There are 164 billionaires in total around the world today in 2010. The richest is worth $62 billion that one man can single-handedly can pay for all of those things I already mentioned and even have a few billion to spare. How amazing would that be if he spent it on aid alone? It’s funny how when people have the money and capability of solving an issue they do very little or nothing at all. Why is it so hard to help out another human being who is considerably less fortunate than you?

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett two of the richest people in world are trying to persuade fourty of the Forbes list US billionaires to donate half of their entire fortune to charity. If all decided to join the pledge then they would accumulate a total donation of US$600 billion, more than enough to solve the worlds problems. The catch is that more then half of the people on that list have declined to donate their money.

If this pledge is realised and actualised then well charities around the world will have an excess of money coming their way for aid. We may even reach our Millennium Goals by 2015.



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