Hearts & Minds/End Poverty Campaign
We can help billions of people - and ourselves...
The End Poverty Campaign is a comprehensive program. It makes innovative use of free and fair trade, microfinance and other social entrepreneurship innovations. These fairly new, low-cost and proven methods have already helped hundreds of millions of people lift themselves from poverty.
AN URGENT PROBLEM: A billion people go hungry worldwide, 1.2 billion live on less than a dollar a day.
This threatens mass migrations, epidemics, political chaos, war and terrorism. All this endangers us, too.
Public opinion of the USA is at an all-time low in many parts of the world. This makes it easier for terrorists to recruit against us, so this is surely also a very serious national security concern.
WE MUST TAKE THE LEAD This should include many of the very valuable Millennium Development Goals that Jeffrey Sachs outlines in his excellent book, The End of Poverty. But we can accomplish even more.
The USA must be seen taking the lead to create a much better, more just, safer and sustainable world. This will bring virtually unlimited benefits for us and all future generations.
We can do this at a remarkably small cost to us.
WE CAN END EXTREME POVERTY You can support increased charitable giving and comprehensive legislation to end poverty worldwide by 2012. This is readily achievable in just five years - if the United States and the other developed nations spend just 1.5% of GDP national income.
That's just a penny and a half on the dollar. It's what the USA spent for the Marshall Plan. That changed the course of history for all of Western Europe after World War II - also in just five years.
This expense is far less than we spend on weapons that can never fully protect us in today's grossly unjust world.
There are plenty of proven techniques and resources to accomplish an essential goal. The price is low, the time frame realistic. We, too, will benefit in greater prosperity and security.
We can gather the best experts to make sure we use the most effective methods. We can adapt the methods most likely to work in each location.
A MAJOR PRIORITY Like the 1960s goal of putting men on the moon, this is a visionary, inspiring goal.
And this project has greater humane value than sending men to the Moon or Mars. With millions of lives at stake - perhaps our own, too - it's much more urgent.
WE NEED TO ACT NOW TO END GLOBAL POVERTY!
Wise giving and effective legislation will create and fund targeted, well monitored programs with strong incentives for proper management. Aid should be conditional on cooperation and transparency by the host nations' governments - or go directly to the people.