Men’s Meme – Poverty and Wealth

by Sherry Riter in Men's Meme,Tom

Men's meme

Tom has another question to answer for the Families Again Men’s Meme as soon as he can tear himself way from his keyboard, computer and ear phones. He will sit there with these big things covering his ears and tell me that he can hear me “just fine” when I’m talking to him. Oh boy. When he finally gets out here his comments will be in BLUE:

Can a person be so blinded by their wealth that they miss the poverty of the world? And, if so, what can they do about it?

“So are you ready to answer that question?”

“Yes…The love of money, being the root of all evil according to many, is much like other committed love wherein one forsakes all others in their romantic “pursuit”. Quite naturally impoverished situations would be unattractive and avoided if not ignored by a very wealthy person.

Philanthropy is unusual. For example, ironically, according to the U.S. News and World Report, December, 1991, the poorest households gave 5.5% opposed to the 2.9% by the wealthiest households. Could it be that the wealthiest lack a degree of humility leading to compassion that results in charitable giving?

July 2006, from The Age, reported “that the world’s second-richest man is giving his money away to the world’s richest man points to significant shifts in the business of corporate largesse.

Warren Buffett’s decision to donate 10 million Class B shares in his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, worth $US37 billion ($A49.8 billion) at today’s prices, to help Bill Gates run the world’s biggest philanthropic foundation, reflects changes in expectations and approaches to philanthropy.”

However, this picture illustrates the vast difference in the distribution of wealth in the world and it just shouldn’t be this way.

starving children vs. numberless pairs of designer shoes

I do not have special criticism towards Mariah Carey and I love her singing voice, but the picture of her closet with numberless pairs of shoes helps to visualize the dramatic comparison between the amount of money spent on her shoes while others starve to death.

Whatever you say, please do not justify this type of wealth distribution with “it’s just business” because starving to death should not be business. What happened to humanity?

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Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anything Fits a Naked Man March 15, 2010 at 12:27 am

Those last two pictures made my stomach turn. Seriously, how can you call starving a business? Thanks for this, even though it was tough to read!


2 Tim King March 15, 2010 at 4:50 am

Hi, Sherry (and Tom).

There's a serious problem with the statistics you cite. The 1991 news article you cite was probably based on research that showed a U-shaped curve to charitable giving. That is, the lowest-income households gave a chunk of their income to charity; middle-income households gave less; and upper-income households gave more than the middle-income households, but not as much as the low-income households, percentage-wise. This showed that upper-income households gave a smaller chunk of their income to charity than lower-income households. However…

The problem was that this data (now an almost-20-year-old myth) IGNORED all the low-income households that did not give AT ALL. When you look at how many households do give, you find that a much greater portion of low-income households give absolutely nothing, which is what you'd expect. And when you factor that into the curve, you find that low-income households, on average, give a bigger chunk than middle-income ones, but that upper-income households give by far a much bigger chunk, on average, than anyone else, because far many more of them are contributing to charity.

That said, I agree that a person can be so blinded by wealth and power that he dismisses the poverty of those around him. As St. Paul wrote, "the love of money is root to all kinds of evil" (which is how the quote actually reads—which makes much more sense and is a much more reasonable thing to say). This I believe is what happens in countries like Zimbabwe, where those in government there have destroyed the economy and ravished the nation, despite the efforts of charitable organizations from other countries. Or like Cuba, where the Castros are more than willing to play politics with the hunger of their own people (as indeed our government is also), for personal wealth and power.

But when you look at the independently wealthy of the U.S., I don't think you see that same picture.



3 Oh Sew Good March 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I'm guessing she didn't buy those shoes at Payless either. 🙂


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