The Sustainable Development Goals: Eliminating Poverty
Eliminating poverty tops the global goal list and remains one of the biggest challenges we face. Although many people are now better off than before, 18,000 children still die each day from poverty-related causes across the globe.
The good news is that as a result of exploding technology, this planet is now producing an unprecedented amount of wealth. The bad news is that the wealth is being distributed very unfairly. Today, the top 1% now owns more wealth than the bottom 99%. The 6 wealthiest people on the planet own more wealth than 3.7 billion people – half of the world’s population.
This growing gap between the very, very rich and everyone else is not only immoral, it is bad economics and leads to global instability. When poor people around the world are unable to feed their children, or have to watch them die of preventable diseases, they will not – and should not – rest easy.
We need to focus international attention on global poverty and demand solutions from our elected officials.
It is unacceptable that huge multinational corporation escape trillions of dollars in taxation by resting their profits in tax havens around the world.
“This growing gap between the very, very rich and everyone else is not only immoral, it is bad economics and leads to global instability.”
It is unacceptable that Wall Street and giant financial institutions push for trade agreements that increase corporate profits while preventing sustainable economic development in developing countries.
It is unacceptable that the fossil fuel industry opposes the efforts of poor countries to move to sustainable energies like solar and wind.
It is unacceptable that the pharmaceutical industry forces countries around the world to pay unaffordable prices for prescription drugs while they make outrageous profits.
The reality is that today we are moving toward a global oligarchy in which a very small number of powerful corporate and financial interests exert enormous influence over the economic and political life of the planet. We must demand that our elected officials write policies in the interest of the vast majority of people. Listen to us, not the lobbyists.
The fact is that the worldwide disparity is getting more extreme every year, and it will impact all of us – even those on top. Nearly a century ago, the economic instability caused by a great concentration of wealth brought about one of the worst depressions in history, and for years the entire world suffered – from the bottom of the income ladder to the top. The next depression could be even worse, given the interconnectedness of today’s markets.
“We must revitalize democracy around the world, resonate the voices of the many rather than the few, and create a global economy which works for all the people of the world.”
Developing fairer policies on trade, health care, taxation, education and the environment with a goal toward ensuring that people have enough income to feed, clothe, house, and educate themselves and their families would be a big step toward eradicating poverty and the travesty of losing 18,000 children on a daily basis to poverty-related causes.
We must revitalize democracy around the world, resonate the voices of the many rather than the few, and create a global economy which works for all the people of the world.