I had lunch with my friend Justin on Saturday, and he brought up a RADICAL idea that made me even sadder about the bailout just passed by Congress.
Justin was trying to imagine how much $700 billion is, and he said "Can you imagine all the good that much money could do if the rich people getting it weren't so materialistic?" WOW! As I took that thought and chewed on it, my world began to change. Justin again said something profound: "The top 500 richest people in America probably have enough EXTRA money to end world poverty." WOOOOOOW!!!! He's right! And that makes me SO UNBELIEVABLY ANGRY! Especially after Justin pointed out that most of those people literally have more money than they will ever be able to spend or even experience.
This is just wrong. Do you realize that Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Sam Walton could each probably end the AIDS epidemic or African genocide single-handedly? They could probably even keep everything they have in the bank and just accomplish such a feat by selling their extra houses, cars and boats. Keep the biggest one, even, but what does someone need with more than 2 houses???
And so that led me to think about the $700 billion bailout. And do you know what I thought? What if World Hope International, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking and "alleviating suffering and injustice," was given $700 billion? Could you imagine?
What if Congress saw human souls as more valuable than corporate wealth, and decided to give $700 billion of taxpayers' money to World Hope International? First of all, it makes me sick that corporate wealth is more important to them than genocide or AIDS or starvation. Humans across the ocean have no dignity left and struggle to survive each day. Shoot, some of our brothers and sisters in Africa don't even know what hope is any more. But if we did give $700 billion to World Hope, could you imagine the possibilities? GET THIS, PEOPLE - we would live in a different world.
As Justin said, World Hope's first reaction would be "Where do we start!!???" That money would be in such better hands with them. I know it's just a very small corner of the world that reads this blog, but maybe sharing these thoughts will help play a small part in turning the tide on the fight between greed on this side of the ocean and desparation on the other horizon.