Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Failing to End Hunger is Liberal's fault.

After nearly 30 years of working with tens of thousands of people and hundreds of organizations to end hunger, I must now admit publically, what we did, didn’t work that well. There was some progress. There used to be 42,000 children dying each day from easily preventable malnutrition and infectious diseases. Now there’s only 25,000 a day. Still about 7 times the daily death toll attributed to Nazi Germany’s death camps. But still not enough deaths. Enough to change the minds of those in power.
Who’s in power? Those who vote on appropriation and authorization bills, those who run organizations who try to influence those who vote, and finally, those who raise the children who often don’t have the income, literacy, health care, nutrition or legal status to raise health children the votes could help.
Humanitarian logic and compassion simply failed to achieve the achievable and affordable year 2000 goals set in at the 1990 at the World Summit for Children. And, now, the similar achievable and affordable Millennium Development Goals set in 2000 for 2015 are unlikely to be met.
Short of waiting for the second coming of Christ, I do believe there are two other means available for motivating those in power.
One is to make easily preventable human death and suffering against the law. Essentially, effectively protecting inalienable human rights. If the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were a globally enforceable document……massive child death and disability would be eliminated because those in power who allow it would be held accountable. And knowing they would be held accountable…they would do what is obviously urgently necessary to stop such deaths and human destruction.
But since so few hold world law dear enough to advocate for it… the more likely path to the end of hunger -- is for those in power (and those who influence those in power) to understand that there are serious threats to their own freedoms, security and prosperity if they fail to end persistent hunger and lethal poverty. If people were clear about the economic, security and liberty costs of failing to meet such basic and inalienable human needs, the paltry resources needed to provide them would be made immediately and those who oppose it would be made immediately embarrassed.
For less than 1/6 of what Americans spend gambling each year…world hunger could be eliminated, and half the world’s infectious diseases could be wiped out. The latter done with the simple provision of clean water and safe sanitation, costing about 1/100 of what our great nation spent ‘liberating’ Iraq.
Ending preventable childhood hunger, disease and disability really isn’t an issue of money. The amount needed is embarrassingly small compared to current ‘rescue’ packages. The proven solutions are cheap and available. All we lack is the political will to do the doable. And we lack it because progressives still believe their humanitarian instincts are adequate for mobilizing the political will.
There are now a billion hungry people in the world hoping something will change. They are not alone.



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