Journal 3/22/10 - Poverty and Philanthropy
Poverty is a worldwide issue that has been around since the beginning of time and affects millions of people in our modern world today. Philanthropists constantly take sides with the poor in the war against poverty, however sometimes it seems like we will never completely eradicate this way of life. I just recently read an article about how giving to poor women will eventually end world poverty. At first glance, I was skeptical but continued to read. Basically, the article states that women will "give you more bang for your buck." As made evident by the recent events in Haiti, women, unlike men, are less likely to fight and become violent during food distributions and less likely to sell rations on the black market. Also, women are naturally more caring and have that special motherly instinct. When women are given microfinance loans, they create successful businesses that give back to their communities and when given food, women make sure their children's bellies are full before their own. Now does this mean that we should purely give to women and forget about men? No. Men still are in dier need of just as much help as women are. However, I do agree that if funds were primarily directed towards women before men, then attempts to reduce poverty would be much more successful. As sexist as some may call it, the facts and proof are there to back up this philosophy. When I actually take a little more time to stop and think about this article, I become more and more persuaded that giving to women would dramatically help the world's poverty situation.
Another piece of literature that we read in class dealed with giving abnormal proportions of Americans' salaries to the poor and donating up $50,000 of one's own money. Now objectively, this idea seems very effective, but the actuality of something like that happening are slim to none. America today is more materialistic than ever and extra cash in a family's budget does not go straight to UNICEF. Instead, it's spent on fancy nights out, new clothes, cars and maybe even a beach house for sporadic gettaways. This idea does have a strong hint of socialism though. Basically this solution aims at taking the better portion of wealthy people's salaries and giving it straight to the poor. This may seem all nice and dandy of an idea, but like I said, this is so unlikely to happen that the radical solution might as well just become a figment of imagination. I think that poverty will persist to exist and no matter what humans do about it, but I do not necessarily think that it is a hopeless cause to give to the poor. We should help as many people as possible, but the numbers are already so extreme and out of control, and multiplying by the second of everyday, that it would be nearly impossible to make a significant dent in the world population of the poor, no matter how much effort humanitarians and philanthropists may give.