This Article is About
copenhagen consensus project
traditional menus
unemployment figures
nutritional food
climate change
ill health
developing world
stumbling block
malnutrition
$ 75 Billion, How To Spend It, The Question – How Would You?
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$ 75 Billion, How to Spend It, the Question – How Would You?

Penny Saved wrote an article that reached me today, it explained the Copenhagen Consensus Project. I'm not going to repeat what she said, but I'll definitely link her article to mine, with a recommendation that you read it. Her first link gives the results of the project and is of such interesting reading that I felt the need to impart my honest feelings on the subject.

The Panel set up to judge the submissions rank and rate the donations that would be made, if the funds were available. My concern was the lack of submissions for a basic re-education of the populace of the “developing world” or so-called developing world, that have lost the ability to feed themselves. Something that for years they could do, was plant and grow food, enough to see themselves through the year.

I agree drought and climate change have on occasions put this under-strain, yet not to such an extent that the complete cessation of agriculture, by these families, necessitated. Basic food, nutritional food, was in the past produced, basic diets followed and traditional menus made. The young taught to produce the crops and prepare the food, are now leaving the homes to go to the cities in the hope of enrichment.

Nothing wrong with that you say, and I agree, but those left in the rural areas seem to have forgotten the tricks of the trade and now sit back and expect those that have left home, to earn and supply. Now you must agree that won't always happen, with unemployment figures at an all time high, and a lack of basic education a stumbling block in many cases. So those now return home hungry, to those who are also hungry. Hunger and malnutrition, lead to ill-health and the further spread of disease. As well as being more susceptible to minor diseases that become epidemic and life threatening.

Why then not spend money to help production of self-sustaining food production? Why the demands on governments to create work for the unemployed, instead of spending on educating the populace to produce their own food? An over abundance of production in some areas, could be bought back by governments to feed those who have had their crops struck down by natural droughts. The self sustainment could be aided by constructing dams and other water supplying mechanisms, that would make sure that the crop was not a failure.

Families in the past lived by this simple farming method, and got by in a far healthier way than families today. I do not suggest that those that wish to better themselves be discouraged from doing so, but the realities of the developing countries is such that subsistence farming the only way for progression to take place. The idea that one can go from zero to hero overnight, a non entity, and developing countries would be better encouraged to produce food and not to think the western way of life is attainable immediately.

Western governments have been too quick to release the reigns of third world countries, to allow the self-governance before they were stable enough and really ready too. This embarrassment being covered by donations of financial aid to governments, from their earlier administrators, to aid feed the masses. The monitory donations do not reach those that need it, but rather fill the pockets of those clever enough to see the loop holes in the systems, and the hungry, ailing masses remain so.

The saying, “give a man a fish and he feeds himself for a day, teach him how to fish and he feeds himself for life.” should this not be how $75 billion spent over they next four years?


Street Talk

Joan S  

We've been living in an age of specialization, made possible by the industrial revolution. Machines have taken over a lot of the drudge. That's good. Greed has always been present, so that's not new. Because of the economy, and because of hunger in the world, (all countries, even the US, not just third world countries) I think more than ever, we need to get back to the basics of survival, such as knowing how to obtain food from the earth ourselves. AJ has the right idea. Plant it, can it, cook your own meals, and clean your own house, make your clothes. No, you don't have to do all that, but it's smarter if you know how. You will have the tools to survive. What worries me about allocations of large sums of money, such as the one you describe is that it gets into the wrong hands, is misused, even if only through ineptitude. We've all seen $75 billion wasted and far more than that. These people need hands on help and encouragement to take control of their own lives. But alas, that doesn't always serve the goals of greedy politicians who have another agenda.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Just the point I'm trying to make, spend it on education, educate those that you can to feed themselves, clean your own house etc. and sure hunger starvation etc is not unique to Africa, it is world wide, yet all our governments are prepared to spend more money on developing ways to kill each other, rather than feed those that need it. I don't know if you clicked through to Penny's article, it is a hypothetical 75 billion and certain people send in their suggestions as to how they would spend the money over a 4 yr period. Some of the suggestions are outstanding, I merely wrote this as an input to how I feel. I can only speak from what I know and here in the old days the people virtually fed themselves without working. They grew their own crops, saved enough for next years seed and ate or traded the rest. Today you don't see any lands being worked, merely starving people sitting around doing sweet blow all and expecting handouts from those that work... a sad situation as to what it was...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Joan S  

I have to read Penny's article. Why can't some of these smart people with good ideas be in positions of power where they can implement some of their ideas? I totally agree with you Rob. You make complete sense to me. Education is key. Maybe if people had enough food to eat and shelter, then there wouldn't be a need for war. Wars are always traced back to greed and fear.

  
  about 1 decade ago
Lemuel  

It's easy to be greedy when you have $75 Billion. I wonder what the rich are doing with their money after building multiple lifetimes with their wealth that their children, grandchildren, and next generations won't have to work anymore. They should give some to the poor. In poor countries, poor children are always hungry because their leaders are not really honest in handling aid coming from other countries, and even money of their government are misused by politicians in power. Helping the poor is one of the most noble acts a person can do in his entire life. Great article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yes Lemuel, corruption now rules the world, in first world countries money drives the rich and they own the governments, I just feel at some stage the system is going to crash...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Lemuel  

For sure. Greed has no boundaries and can easily control a person if he doesn't have solid foundation. Good family values are very important. Speaking of good values, I have a friend who is no where to be found when it's his birthday (we always come looking for him). Then, just a few months ago I found out that he always celebrates his birth in the orphanage bringing food there and eating with the orphans.

  
  about 1 decade ago

What a magnificent thing to do, it's people like him that give one hope for mankind... you should write an article on him... inspiration...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Good article. The saying does prove true. When you feed someone who is just sitting around waiting to be fed again you're not really helping enough.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree Cynthia, I would rather sweep streets for a small income than sit around and hope someone will feed me.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Waiting around doesn't seem to be good for humans. From what I've observed, people who just sit around don't get happy or productive they just get fat and fatter and ornier and ornier.

  
  about 1 decade ago

Food and water issues are number one in my book. Another great take Rob

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Shawn, I also agree on this one, give them water and teach them how to grow their own..

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree. Handout generate more handouts. A hand up instead of a hand out is more appropriate in my mind

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks John I agree

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Very good and well balanced article Rob, you've covered some very broad issues quite succinctly.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you Penny, merely my opinion.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Dear Rob, I will definitely give you my like one more time for an excellent article. Please forgive my comment but western governments should shame for so many things! I would rather not express my opinion further...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

How right you are Maria......

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Golfspice  

For the millions out there in developing countries with no jobs or education. If I had a magic wand, I would firstly prioritise needs (not sure how), and supply food and resources which would be properly managed (somehow without corruption) I would also spend on basic infrastructure (water supply, sewerage, accommodation) and education to enable self sufficiency through agriculture (back to basics approach). Tackling unemployment would be next. Might need more than $75 billion!!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yes, the figure is maybe a bit small to solve all the problems in one go, but if one only had the money..... one can dream of what we could do...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

If basic needs were met I wonder if the issues of unemployment might take care of themselves? Think of motivation levels and mental state in a population that doesn't even have the ability to take care of their own basic needs. A mother whose children are healthy and well fed is more likely to be thinking "now what more can I do to make their lives better?"

  
  about 1 decade ago
AJ  

Don't forget all the jobs that would be created just meeting the basic needs. Building the basic infastructure would create tons of work, and lots of workers would be needed for farming and harvesting, preserving and cooking the food. Perhaps I am naive, but I think by tossing a pebble down the hill it could amass to a big stone once the process is done.

  
  about 1 decade ago
AJ  

My garden obsessed mind is upset! People who once were able to grow for themselves are no longer able to do so because those who were taught moved on for hopefully better opportunities. Why was there only a select few who knew how to garden? Everyone in the society should be taught, and all should work together in order to create the most food possible to sustain them. UGH!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

AJ so many lived simple lives in this country, with their own piece of ground happy to produce the food they needed for the year, the youth are not interested so they move to the city, the older generation now too old to work their plot rely on the young to feed them. There isn't work for all so they start to get hungry and return home. But those aren't interested in working the land. They feel they voted for the majority rule government they must now supply them with food. Working the fields is too much work..

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I realise there's a lot more to this issue but it's a bizarre thought that working the land for food is too much work. Put in some effort or starve... hmmmm....

  
  about 1 decade ago
AJ  

I'm with Heather. Sounds like too many expect things handed to them rather than working for it. Same problem in the US. Where did this idea of entitlement come from?

  
  about 1 decade ago

I see you two have been busy again, I agree with Heather in a way, civilisation has taken so much away from the old days of looking after oneself with the basics and being happy with what you got... today though everyone thinks they can be rich... without working for it, and happenings from the past are seen as now you must feed me and I do nothing attitude... I could write dozens of articles on the political changes and attitude changes in our country, but I'm not really into it...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Barbara9  

interesting article

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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