A preview of the unpublished book A CIVILIZATION WITHOUT A VISION WILL PERISH: AN INDEPENDENT SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH by David Willis. CHAPTER 1: INDIFFERENCE (Part 42). This blog is a continuation of the review of The End of Poverty: How We Can Make it Happen in Our Life Time, by Jeffrey Sachs, published in 2005
History will be our judge
Future generations flipping through these pages will know whether we answered the key question. The evidence will be the world around them. History will be our judge, but what’s written is up to us. Who we are, who we’ve been, what we want to be remembered for. We can’t say our generation didn’t know how to do it. We can’t say our generation couldn’t afford to do it. And we can’t say our generation didn’t have reason to do it. It’s up to us. We can choose to shift responsibility, or, as the professor proposes here, we can choose to shift the paradigm.
This book is about ending poverty in our time. The $450 billion that the United States will spend this year on the military will never buy peace if it continues to spend around 1/30th of that, just $15 billion, to address the plight of the world’s poorest of the poor, whose societies are destabilized by extreme poverty and thereby become havens of unrest, violence, and even global terrorism.
The share of U.S. GNP devoted to helping the poor has declined for decades, and is a tiny fraction of what the United States has repeatedly promised, and failed, to give.
All parts of the world have the chance to join an age of unprecedented prosperity building on global science, technology, and markets. But certain parts of the world are caught in a downward spiral of impoverishment, hunger, and disease. Our task is to help them onto the ladder of development, from which they can then proceed to climb on their own.
Safety and prosperity depend on collective decisions to fight disease, promote good science and widespread education, provide critical infrastructure, and act in unison to help the poorest of the poor.
The wealth of the rich world, the power of today’s vast storehouses of knowledge, and the declining fraction of the world that needs help to escape from poverty all make the end of poverty a realistic possibility by the year 2025.