"Poor people die not only because of the world's indifference to the poor, but also because of the ineffective efforts of those who do care."--William Easterly
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint, when I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist"--Helder Camara
The Skeptic's Guide To Global Poverty, compiled by Dale Hanson Bourke, is a must read introductory analysis of Global Poverty, articulately summing up all its many facets, taking on the toughest frequently asked questions by everyday people about this crisis--how bad it is, why so many people are poor, who's responsible to help, the misconceptions, how poverty happens, how it grows, what the contributing factors are, and how best to help. This pithy 100 page book provides a vast amount of overwhelming statistics and information on everything from third world poverty to American poverty, AIDS to Malaria/Tuberculousis, hunger to gluttony, debt relief to trade reform, governmental responsibility to private responsibility, capitalism at its best to capitalism at its worst, economic factors to environmental factors, and social factors to political factors.
Dale Hanson Bourke remarks:
Being poor, it turns out, is much more complicated than lack of money. Poverty runs deep into the family and community, robbing individuals and whole societies of life-saving information, health-care, food, and water. Poverty robs individuals not only of security and health, but also dignity. A poor person is often too busy surviving the present to spend much time thinking about the future. Yet, the poor have dreams--especially for their children--much like ours... But just as knowledge is power to the poor, it is also power to those of us who are relatively rich. We can make a difference, but we have to understand more. We need to be smarter about poverty.
This book provides an excellent beginning to the understanding of this dire complex issue, the kind of understanding that breeds focus, direction, and action.
The following are some of the statistics from the book that I found most revealing/shocking:
- Poverty and hunger claim 25,000 lives EVERY day
- Nearly HALF of the world's population live on LESS than $2 a day
- The combined economies of ALL 48 sub-Saharan African countries are about the same as the CITY of Chicago
- Over 80 percent of Americans believe the government gives 20% of the federal budget to foreign aid, when the US gives LESS than 1 percent and only a small part of that 1 percent goes to alleviate poverty
- The GDP of the poorest 48 NATIONS is less than the combined wealth of the world's three richest people!
- 20 percent of the population in the developed world consumes 86 percent of the world's goods. America makes up 6 percent of the world's population and consumes 43 percent of the world's resources!
- 6 million children under the age of five die every year of malnutrition
"'He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?' declares the LORD."--Jeremiah 22:16