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8 or so bees in my bonnet

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scary stats [Jun. 8th, 2003|11:18 pm]
8 or so bees in my bonnet
[music |yeah well what the hell do we do now?]




*6 percent of the world's population controls 50 percent of the world's income.

*The 3 richest people in the world have assets that exceed the combined gross domestic product of the 48 least-developed countries.

*The world's 225 richest individuals, of whom 60 are Americans, have a combined wealth of over $1 trillion--equal to the annual income of the poorest 47 percent of the entire world's population.

*Of the 4.4 billion people in developing countries, nearly 3/5 lack access to safe sewers, 1/3 have no access to clean water, 1/4 do not have adequate housing, & 1/5 have no access to modern health services of any kind.

*Americans spend $8 billion a year on cosmetics--$2 billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide basic education for every person in the world.

*Americans & Europeans spend $17 billion a year on pet food--$4 billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide basic health & nutrition for the entire world.

*Europeans spend $11 billion a year on ice cream--$2 billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide clean water & safe sewers for the world's population.

*Americans consume an average of 260 pounds of meat a year. In Bangladesh, the average is 6 1/2 pounds.

*The average African household today consumes 20 percent less than it did 25 years ago.

*Of $3.6 trillion of all goods exchanged globally, fair trade accounts for only 0.01 percent.

linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: recrea33
2003-06-08 03:28 pm (UTC)
spend our way out of a downturn i should expect
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[User Picture]From: paladin3
2003-06-08 08:54 pm (UTC)
a few comments...

first off, the phrase "fair trade" does not imply the plain english meaning of the words. Fair trade implies that both parties enter the deal voluntarily and agree to the deal...but as your link indicates...in actuality the 0.01 figure comes from an organization that proposes substantial changes in the existing model.

I'm not meaning to criticize the model they advocate (or the existing model) but just to point out the language is somewhat misleading and disingenuous.

Secondly, many of the above points talk in what I perceive to be invalid comparisons...you cannot realistically compare trivialities in a multi-trillion dollar economies with serious needs in an undeveloped one.

I think it would be interesting to also include numbers relating to how much aid Western countries provide to underdeveloped ones and then indicate a) how much of that aid actually benefits the people of the country versus being taken by corrupt entities in power in those countries and b) of the aid that does get there and from the businesses that are there and trading with those countries, how much of an improvement has already been made. For example, what was the average amount of meat consumed in Bangladesh before Western trade entered the picture?

Finally, pointing out that there are some very rich people out there and some very poor countries doesn't really make much more than a duh point. The goal for capitalism would be to build up other economies to participate...not to penalize the rich for their successes.

p3
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From: amatrixangel
2003-06-08 10:38 pm (UTC)
The goal for capitalism would be to build up other economies to participate

Considering that it's capitalist policies/countries which soak up most of the world's resources to keep them eating Maccas, then if all the other countries 'caught up' we would see the end of the world quicker rather than sooner. Rainforests in Brazil?

The few are living off the many. That's d'uh too but should we as a species continue it this way? When there's nothing left for 'them', there will be nothing left for 'us'.

Fair trade implies that both parties enter the deal voluntarily and agree to the deal

However, do the IMF and World Bank provide a level playing field? (Rhetorical question ;)

I think it would be interesting to also include numbers relating to how much aid Western countries provide to underdeveloped ones

Well for example, it's the United States which provides the most cash compared with the others for aid. It's also the lowest country when it comes to percentage comparison to GDP.

It's the old story however; is this aid from Western countries coming from the goodness of their hearts to help fellow people around the globe or with strings attached? (Another rhetorical question ;)

Without interference in their countries politics? Without keeping them perpetually poor with constant debt in order for economic control over that country? Not to say to them, "Look, don't grow sugar cane, 'we' don't need it. Grow wheat instead and then give it to us for your back payments (or plug in a few more oil wells ;)

not to penalize the rich for their successes

Keep some wealth sure. But learn to share maybe. How many condos does one person need? A mute point maybe.

There is one thing I will absolutely agree with you on. Simply throwing money at people (aid to countries) has never worked in the long term. What will work is to help them to help themselves and then those places will prosper. Add to that the West being not so greedy during the meantime.
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[User Picture]From: recrea33
2003-06-09 12:01 am (UTC)

this is our new well, do you want to buy our new carvings?

i guess maybe aid is a two headed monster
we don't have to worry about our economy cause
we're getting lalala billion from the big boys

i do think that targeted aid is valid and nesescery(i'm sorry i can't spell)

but we weren't taking about aid were we?
we were talking about fair trade
those are two completey different things

(i worked for six hours making this thing and
i'll only get paid $2)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: amatrixangel
2003-06-09 12:18 am (UTC)

Re: this is our new well, do you want to buy our new carvings?

Well so far 'fair trade' has only resulted in keeping the status quo and resultant 'aid' needed to those countries. Thus bringing in the aid issue.

I for one appreciate wholeheartedly the amount of time you've spent on this post. It's an eye opener when presented in such a manner not to mention makes us in the West what we really are: a bunch of criminals.
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[User Picture]From: recrea33
2003-06-08 11:49 pm (UTC)
all fair points of course.
but do you have a better solution?
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From: amatrixangel
2003-06-09 12:13 am (UTC)
I don't know about p3 but I sure do. Unfortunately it involves a lot of violence (or at least a few less nukes, Maccas and SUVs ;)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: paladin3
2003-06-09 05:13 am (UTC)
it hasn't been on top of my list for US foreign policy...but I'm willing to discuss it and try to construct one you and I might agree to. :-)

The first, most basic problem (at least in my mind) is the corruption of many of the governments. If aid or helping hands do not reach the people affected, there's not a lot to be done effectively.

So. What measures can we use to fix that problem? I'm willing to support force in some circumstances, embargoes in others and diplomacy in others. Heck, I'd even tolerate UN actions... :-)

We can even move regionally to resolve problems in say, Africa first, then moving east until everything is addressed.

p3
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[User Picture]From: recrea33
2003-06-09 06:00 am (UTC)

free money anyone?

the world was quite all right before you arrived thank you. dreamtime.
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