Food for thought, feed the world

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Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Phil White » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:41 pm

Well, we did decide that this corner of Wordwizard was for discussing anything and everything.

The release yesterday of the new Band Aid single, plus a reference in a recent translation I was doing to the Forbes billionaire list set me thinking.

According to the Forbes list of March 3, 2014, there were 1645 billionaires worldwide with a total estimated wealth of $6.4 trillion. This does not include the wealth owned by monarchs and dictators.

Best estimates say that the world population exceeded 7 billion sometime in the past couple of years, so let's take a round 7 billion.

There are various definitions of the poverty line for absolute poverty, but one of the most commonly used is an income of less than $ 1.25 per day. I shall take that.

Some recent estimates suggest that there are some 1.4 billion people living below the poverty line.

The above figures were selected from the Wikipedia entry on poverty.

Let's just play with those figures a little.

If the entire wealth of the richest 1645 people in the world were simply divided evenly among the entire population of the world, every person would receive $ 914.29.

If the entire wealth of the richest 1645 people in the world were simply divided evenly among the population of the world currently living below the poverty line, every poor person would receive $ 4,571.43. Assuming that the poverty line income figure is actually enough to feed a person, this would be sufficient to feed every poor person for 10.02 years.

If, however, we assume that such vast sums of money, invested wisely on the markets would attract interest or earnings way beyond what we mere mortals can dream of (I have taken a pretty arbitrary figure of 7%) the annual income generated would be $ 448 billion. This would be sufficient to provide every one of the 1.4 billion abjectly poor people with an annual income of $ 320.

Of course, you can argue with the figures here and there, but not with the implicit conclusion.
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Non sum felix lepus

Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:46 am

WoZ
Last edited by Wizard of Oz on Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:49 am

.. you closet socialist you .. I agree with your sentiments but would spend the money in a different way .. the majority of those below the poverty line do not have the necessary infrastructure to "live" a decent life .. housing, clean water, electricity, access to food at cost are all dreams to the great unwashed .. take the money and employ the people direct, NOT through some third party government or charitable agency, to build suitable houses, running water and power to all houses and a food produce system that is sustainable ..

.. but let's face it .. the reason these people are billionaires is because they have exploited the very people you seek to help ..

WoZ a closet socialist too (marches off singing La Marseillaise)
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Phil White » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:44 am

Closet??? Since when???

You are absolutely right, though. Simple redistribution is not the answer. It was just the raw numbers that blew me away.
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:29 pm

I am afraid I will have to quote you somewhere, sometime Phil.
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Phil White » Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:38 pm

I am afraid I will have to quote you somewhere, sometime Phil.
Which bit? "You are absolutely right"?
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by evansbenjie » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:19 am

In my opinion, we can help the poor people by giving them job with fair salary and wages. Once they could have the job, they can earn money out from it wherein they might sustain their basic needs of their family as well.
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:56 am

evansbeniji, what a wonderful world we would have if everyone of working age could have a job with fair wages.

Phil, I liked your raw figures and am quietly awaiting my $914.29. That would be £583.11, just in time for Christmas! To save you looking it up WoZ, your share will be Aus$1,064.32.
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Wizard of Oz » Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:35 am

.. Bob we poor old retired pensioners could use that much so post in out whenever you feel like playing Santa .. oh and you can include my dearly beloed's too .. I will make sure she gets it ......... honestly, I will ..

.. Phil I didn't realise the door was open .. were your parents supportive when you came out ?? ..

WoZ waiting at the letterbox
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Phil White » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:35 pm

Wizard of Oz wrote:.. Phil I didn't realise the door was open .. were your parents supportive when you came out ?? ..
My mother always claimed they had cut me out of the inheritance, as I opposed the principle of inherited wealth. I doubt my father would have done so...

As I approach retirement, I find myself making a pragmatic distinction between a rather modest inheritance and "inherited wealth"...

Like all political animals, I find I am a weasel after all.
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:21 am

.. *big smile* .. Phil you need a good political publicist .. you know the kind who can make the greatest lie and reversal of a election promise by the Prime Minister seem like it is all the fault of the electorate .. the old I-didn't-inhale sneak .. in a flash you will realise that it has always been your inner policy to accept everything that comes your way .. however ............... if there is any left over, like the country manse, I have NO qualms about accepting donations as restitution for the land grabs that saw my forebears shunted out of Scotland ..

WoZ McAus
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Re: Food for thought, feed the world

Post by tony h » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:42 pm

The numbers are always intriguing but as the old joke goes:

If the 10 richest people met and put all their money on the table there wouldn't be enough to share between them.
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With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

End of topic.
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