Today is Blog Action Day – a day where
almost 9,000 9,400 bloggers around the world get together to write on one single topic in the hope of creating a new awareness. The topic this year is Poverty. And while I could write a thesis on the subject and how its impact is felt around the world by both the poor and wealthy alike (in different ways), I wanted to talk about poverty as it relates to our current economic crisis here at home. I read a quote the other day that went as follows:
That says so much doesn’t it? Here we have the bankers on Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans crying wolf, and the government jumps to attention to bail them out. Over 70% of the population did not want to fund this bailout because they knew it would do nothing for the regular people and only help out the banks and the wealthy. But Congress did it anyway, and is taking $700 billion of our tax dollars and “saving” the banks and CEO’s. However, each and every day in this country, there are people going hungry, children in failing schools, people living on the street, and 46 million without health insurance. Why is it that we don’t hear their cries? Why is it that there isn’t $700 billion to help these people? It is amazing to me that the wealthiest country on earth (well, up until maybe 2 weeks ago) cannot manage to come up with a few million or billion dollars to help those who need help each and every single day, but can manage to “find” $700+ billion to give to banks and CEO’s. I understand that a lot of people have been losing money in the market; I have lost quite a bit myself. And for those nearing retirement, these are scary times indeed. But the collapse is the fault of these banks and mortgage companies that got greedy, and now they are getting bailed out with our money. Poor people? Never mind them, we can’t hear them – we can ignore them completely. This goes on around the world on a daily basis, and just because you cannot see or hear them does not mean they doesn’t exist.
In honor of Blog Action Day 2008, I will be donating any and all advertising income from all my sites to Kiva.org, which is one of the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending websites, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. These entrepreneurs use their loans to start businesses that lift them and their communities out of poverty. If you would like to donate as well, please check out the Blog Action Day Lending Team.