So, let’s talk about the 1% – for just a minute. I’m not a proponent of holding a gun to their head and forcing them to give up their wealth, but what if the 100 richest folks in the U.S. agreed to “End World Hunger”? What would it cost? What would it cost them?
The Borgen Project says it would only take $30B / year to end world hunger. I think that number is a bit low, and perhaps naive in the sense, that you cannot solve all the logistical problems of getting the food to those who are starving very easily (think about the true scenario in Black Hawk Down, the famous movie from some years back where we tried to go in and take out a War Lord in Mogadishu, Somalia who was stealing all the grain that was being delivered to the port for the poor, and then selling it himself and making a fortune). But you certainly could make a very large dent against world hunger.
The other issue is though, the age old problem of “If you give a man a fish, you have fed that man for a day; if you teach that man to fish, you have fed him for a lifetime.” How do we solve that problem, the systemic problem of folks not being able to produce enough food in their local area for themselves (and at the same time, since they are poor, they cannot afford to buy food) ?
I wonder about these things a lot. As a Christian, I believe we are supposed to think about them a lot. So what would it cost us? If everyone in America gave, it would be $30B / 300M or $100 / year for each and every person in America. I know we all don’t earn wages, so let’s just say it winds up being about $240 / year per wage earner, or $20 / month. Actually not so bad. If the wealthiest 100 men did it, it would be: $30B / 100 or $300M / each and every year, which would be quite a bit more than us, but is it comparable?
The guy on the bottom of the list for the U.S. has $5.2B according to the Fortune Mag. list of the wealthiest in the world. I see George Roberts (#291 in the world rankings) at the #100 spot for those wealthiest individuals in the U.S. So, if they each gave $300M / year, it would hurt this guy at the bottom certainly more than Bill Gates at the top (who currently has $79.4B and is #1 in the world’s wealthiest). But is there a good argument for asking them to voluntarily do this? And can we take the program and “Teach people to fish?”