Throughout my whole life, regardless of my situation, where I was, and how old I was, I’ve always remembered a single idea being in the forefront of my mind – saving the world. I think that everyone is moved greatly often enough about the tremendous pain that exists in our world, and perhaps wishing, even fervently, that they were Superman, or the scientist who cured cancer or AIDS, or an ambassador to the world. I would think that anyone has those feelings at least a few times throughout their life. It’s not silly – it only means you have emotions and empathy.
Especially lately, I’ve been so greatly affected by the intensity of the lives that people lead. Poverty, hunger, sickness, pain. It’s all out there, and so many of the people who come across this post will be completely separated from it. I know I am. I’m lucky. I don’t think that’s fair.
A common theme in the United States right now has been the idea of taxation and the incredible power that the richest people in our nation possess. The immensity of the wealth of the richest people in our country outweighs that of a significant part of the world. Our richest hold more money than a number of countries. I find that disgusting. People say that there’s nothing wrong with making a profit. I say in this case, there is.
Profit is made at the expense of other people. When I deliver a product or service to another person in exchange for monetary gain, I transferring that person’s wealth to myself. Everyone needs food. Everyone needs water. Everyone needs shelter. Everyone needs health care. (Try however much you want. I’m not wavering on that last point.) These items are not commodities. The most frustrating aspect of our economic system is that food, water, shelter, and health care are traded as though they are luxuries and privileges. They are absolutely not. They are rights.
Before the establishment of the Bill of Rights in the United States, opinions could be punished. Who was most likely to have their opinions voiced? Those with clout and money. Guess who is most likely to have food, water, shelter, and health care? Those with clout and money. This is why one of my favorite documents is Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights (Google it, if you’ve never read it. Wonderful stuff.) The items that I have outlined should be rights, not privileges. No discussion.
I think that most people would probably agree with me on those points, or at least to the statement that everyone deserves those things. I want to tie in the idea of the Bill of Rights here. “Rights” to speech, religion, assembly, etc. were once privileges. They were bought and sold in a market of cultural standing and influence. Food, water, shelter, and health care are all items that are currently bought and sold in a market of dollars. It needs to stop.
The very concept of a person’s well being as a commodity is absolutely revolting to me, and it frustrates me that such a thing is the sad state of our existence. It is the reality, and there is something that can be done about it. There are so many problems in the world right now, and I believe that if we are to start anywhere, it needs to be in our integrity. We cannot claim to have integrity while treating natural human rights as though they are privileges. I do not believe there are many options available as to how we can go about implementing these as true rights. My solution is one to be run by a global organization, perhaps overseeing the distribution of these items through branches that are involved in more specific areas. Maybe the United Nations can handle it. Maybe we need to rethink the entire concept of international law, but the situation is unimportant. The implementation is unimportant. There are solutions, and it must be done. We cannot maintain our moral integrity if we don’t.
This requires that the wealthiest nations play their part. They ought to play the only part. We can feed the whole world. It is possible, and there’s science to back it. There are so many complexities involved in increasing the food production adequately, and I am not qualified to make the statements on exactly what needs to be done. Environmental, work, and efficiency concerns must be addressed. (For example, the world cannot sustain the stupidly omnivorous diet that Americans pursue. We eat way too much meat. More emphasis must be placed on plant-based foods.)
I needn’t go though each of my points and explain how each is possible. As I said, I’m not qualified to answer each of the statements, but I have read enough to know that while global population will need to be addressed in some way or another in time, we do have the ability to give food, water, shelter, and health care to everyone in the world. Why not?