Holiday Giving: Charity for US Children?
It’s Down to Having a Pencil and Pad of Paper
Yesterday the mail brought the usual Christmas catalogues, including one from World Vision Gift Catalog. The catalog reads that “85% of every gift goes to program helping children and families overcome poverty in nearly 100 countries.” Throughout the pages, smiling and sometimes sad faces of third-world children tug at prospective donor heartstrings. This organization specialized in donations of chickens, ducks, rabbits and other animals in addition mosquito netting and medicines.
One page in particular was disturbing:
clothing, and more for
kids in America
for U.S. classrooms
It’s not that I didn’t know this was the case, it was the context of being included with children in under-priviledged nations. The United States’ GDP is the largest in the world, signficantly larger than China, Japan, India and Germany, at at figure of
and we can’t support our children with school supplies and clothes?
Where is all that wealth going and why do our children have to depend on charity? The problem lies in wealth inequality.
In 2007 the richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth, and the next 19% owned 50.5%. Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%. Wikipedia
The richest Americans control most of the wealth and add on top of that their financial privilege of supporting candidates that further their own interests rather than the common good where every citizen benefits. How can our $35 contribution to a political candidate match the thousands that someone with wealth can give to the candidate of their choice?
As long as the current distribution system and campaign financing remain as policy, looks as if we will have to rely on charity, pleading for money for even basic school supplies for America’s children. I guess that’s the great equalizer with developing nations, we can all grovel now.