Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day 2008. Here at Business Pundit, we’re joining thousands of bloggers using this special day to talk about one topic: Poverty.

So. Ahem. Here’s my chance to launch a kickin’ day of poverty discussion, and what do I find online? That people are fascinated by labia reconstruction and Madonna’s impending divorce.

I bet that a fair share of the world’s 400+ million chronically impoverished people would be captivated by those two seminal pieces of Internet news. That is, until they have to go find food or water.

Poverty is news today, whether people are writing about it or not.
Everyone losing money in the stock market has poverty lurking in the shadows of their minds. When we stock up on food, avoid going out at night, and grow victory gardens to skirt high prices, we’re really trying to avoid one thing: Poverty.

Is it avoidable? Possibly. But it’s part of the human condition, older than Job and likely to stick around until humans go extinct. It has and will always be an issue.

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The challenge for the people who have money–which include many poverty-paranoid citizens of the United States–is one of conscience: Should I give them some of my money?

Well, should you? Do you feel like you deserve your wealth? Do you feel the need to hoard it, lest it disappears? Do you expect to have it all your life, and know that poor people are just dragging you down?

Would you expect someone from a rich country to send you money if the tables turned?

Poverty is complex, confusing, and perpetually relevant. That’s why it needs to be blogged about, today.

  • i would donate if i could. it makes me feel better.

    for now though, i turn to sites like freerice, kiva, and goodsearch, as ways to help alleviate poverty online.

    saw this post via the front page of blog action day. it’s great that you’re participating. :)

  • adam

    That last question is interesting: would you expect a rich country to send you money? Well, not really. America wasn’t founded by the panhandling type. Most Americans grow up with a performance-based work ethic. So when we’re down, we work to get ourselves up. We don’t need help. Most of us acknowledge the impediments of our environment, but the idea that our ability to accomplish is hemmed in by that environment is debunked from early childhood (watch any episode of Sesame Street). You can be anything you want if you “believe in yourself,” or whatever.

    Of course, there are Americans who would (and do) seek outside help before trying to fix anything themselves. But I suspect they are fewer in number than the bootstrappers. If that ever changes, I predict America would cease to be the world’s wealthiest nation. Whether that’d be a good thing or a bad thing is another discussion.

    Maybe that’s why we have a hard time dealing with poverty. We hold the poor accountable for their own situation. Sometimes that’s a valid assessment, but not always.

  • hi, Give something for help the hungry people in Africa and India,
    I created this blog about them: