Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mutually Exclusive: Multi-Billionaires & Morality

All men may be created equal, but because of money, their lives and deaths most certainly aren't.

Fortune Magazine, the magazine where the richest companies and people in existence are discussed and ranked in the ultimate terms of modern standards - net worth - publishes its richest men in the world issue every year. Of course it is interesting, though transitory, to know who could build the biggest house out of money in a given year. But for me, this type of analysis beg perhaps the question of our Human Age.

Why is it possible for fewer men than I can count on one hand to be worth close to a fifth of a trillion dollars, while about one out of every seven people in the world live on less than one dollar a day, and moreover, while approximately ten million children under the age of five die each year due to poor sanitation, lack of water, hunger, HIV/AIDS, and predominately preventable-treatable diseases?

Furthermore, it is a matter of fact that Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Carlos Slim - just three people - possess the resources to abolish Tuberculosis, Malaria, and Starvation with just a few clicks of the computer mouse. This is to name a few of the daily preventable afflictions facing the average human. This point, and this posting for that matter, does not in the least intend to censure or undermine Bill and Melinda Gates, as they are wonderful humanitarians, or Warren Buffet, who unbelievably intends to give eighty-three percent of his sixty-two billion dollar fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation when he dies.

My point is that such a pervasive and rapidly-increasing chasm in wealth and the standard of living throughout the world, seems to me to be the most egregious injustice taking and to have ever taken place. I sincerely feel that no man should be able to buy his own island while other men cannot afford to buy food for their children. It seems unequivocally lucid to me that no one should even feign an atom of Morality or Ethics if they are so rich as to be able to quench the thirsty, feed the starving, save those with preventable illnesses, and heal those with treatable diseases, and don't.

I think Robert Frost is right on the money when he says, "The having anything to sell is what is the disgrace in man or state or nation."

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