Why Not Teach People How To Become Wealthy?
February 13, 2011 5 Comments
This post is in reply to this post http://goodnewsforisla.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/day-58-billions/ and other articles in a similar vein.
To quote from the above post:
Here are a few facts about billionaires and the wealthy (taken from ‘The Hole In Our Gospel ‘by Richard Stearns).
1) Today’s 1,123 billionaires hold more wealth than the wealth of half the world’s adult population.
2) The wealthiest 7 people on earth control more wealth than the combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 most heavily indebted (poor) nations.
3) The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for just 5 percent of the global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of the world’s income.
These facts are staggering when you consider the disparity between the wealthy and the poor. If only those that were extremely wealthy would share their wealth, perhaps the poor wouldn’t be as poor. The sick could be cured. Thirst could be quenched, and hungry tummies fed.
Please consider the following points:
(1) Billionaires hold about one percent of the world’s house hold wealth( source:http://www.ppionline.org/ppi_ci.cfm?knlgAreaID=108&subsecID=900003&contentID=254950).So what would happen if all the world’s rich gave away their wealth?Something like this…..The world’s richest man Carlos Slim Helu has a estimated networth of less than US$60billion.There are some six billion souls on earth.So if we were to distribute his money amongst all the people of the world,each person would get an additional US$10.And if instead of all the people if we were to give the money to only the poorer 50% ,each person would get US$20.Still money but not that much…..
(2)The combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 most heavily indebted (poor) nations is more than the wealth controlled by the the wealthiest 7 people on earth.I believe the most important word here is INDEBTED.The interesting questions are indebted to whom?And how did they get into that position in the first place ?Why are they still in that position?Perhaps like a person with a poor credit history,what is needed is a change in behaviour to get out of debt perhaps accompanied by a second chance in life debt-free….i.e something along the lines of writing off-debt.
(3)The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for just 5 percent of the global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of the world’s income. Be that as it may be how does that affect wealth?In many high income areas of the world,the daily expenses too are huge. For more on how income and wealth are really related to each other check this out http://wealthymatters.com/2011/01/26/the-definition-of-income-and-wealth/.
While the wealth of the world’s wealthiest people is somewhat finite,wealth itself is not.Anything of positive economic value is an asset.So sand or silica which has been round from antiquity is not particularly valuable but from the moment man learnt to make computer chips from it he has figured out a way to create an asset from next to nothing.Aboriginal art and contemporary art could both be extremely valuable.Wealth can be created and can be created by ordinary people doing ordinary things.In large measure wealth creation has to do with imagination and creativity.And while beople can be born into families with vastly different wealth positions,there is not that much difference in the human ability to be imaginative and to create value.In fact due to a regular exercise of ingenuity people from more straightened circumstances might be in a better position to create value and literally become wealthy.
Perhaps a better way of giving to the less privileged would be to give of one’s time, impart skills and teach people how to become wealthy.After all wealthy people can best teach others how to become wealthy.Perhaps money could flow into organizations that teach wealth building skills.Basically why not develop the ability of a lot of people to help themselves,teach them to fish so to speak rather than distribute a few fishes to people.Of course,people who are in extreme distress need to be given the basics.So it’s important to reach food to the famine stricken and medicines to those in need but why not go a few steps further and teach people ways to become wealthy?Why not go into the causes of the indebtedness of nations and find ways to help them work off debt or even write off debt.Excessive debt can be debilitating.Bankruptcy and liquidation give people a second chance to start life debt free.So why not offer the same chance to the poorest indebted nations.Otherwise isn’t relief and aid similar to providing the bare essentials to keep the slave alive while the slave’s master profits off his bonded labour?