Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Money Myth #2: America Can't Feed the Whole World

So I had a conversation with a family member last week, and she is concerned about my newish plan to vote Democrat instead of Republican in the US elections. I told her that my primary motivation for this was that the Democratic party is more likely to help the poor in the USA and around the world. One of her responses is characteristic of the response of many Americans and rich Christians. She said, "But Josh, America can't feed the whole world you know."

This is a myth. If America, or any of dozens of other rich countries, wanted to, we could easily feed the entire world (10 billion dollars) and give everyone in the world clean drinking water (18 billion dollars). Billions of dollars might seem like a lot, but it's just small change in terms of the budgets of most large governments. The USA's total budget for 2007 was estimated at 2.4 trillion dollars. For a mere 1.2% of our federal budget, we could feed the entire world and give clean water to the entire world.

25,000 people die every day because of hunger related causes. 6,000 people die every day because of lack of clean water or lack of efficient sanitation. That's 31,000 a day, and 11,315,000 people a year. 11 million people are dying every year because they lack food and water. We CAN stop this injustice.

What is more, we could do it next year. We have the resources. We have the technology. We have the political means. We simply don't have the desire. We would rather buy junk and build our military strength and build more buildings and institutions for ourselves. America, and most developed countries, could feed the world and save millions at any given time with a simple bill through their parliamentary offices. We just don't want to. That's the simple, ugly truth.

It is time for us to stand together and say, "No one in our world will die of hunger. No one in our world will die because they don't have clean water. Our basic humanity prevents us from allowing this to continue."

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