Observations about the state of affairs

February 4, 2004

I have decided to try to see the world a bit differently than before. Actually I cannot switch back anymore. Some time ago I started to watch movies by thinking how they are made up. After a while it really started to irritate that one could not enjoy the plot since almost all the scenes started to look like fakes (or set-ups…). The same has happened to me with  our ‘real’ life.

Here’re some statistics that indicated something I haven’t realised before. Our developed world do not lack resources—only the will and commitment.

Social / Economical GoalAdditional annual investment
Elimination of hunger and malnutrition$19 billion
Reproductive health care for all women$12 billion
Clean drinking water for all$10 billion
Universal literacy$5 billion
Immunizing every child$1.3 billion

Source: State of World 2004

Just to give some reference points for the order of magnitude of the issue: Microsoft has some $50bn in its free cash reserves. Bush’s Mars programme is estimated to top $400bn. US annual defence budget is $400bn without Iraq costs. EU’s annual budget has a ceiling of 1,24% reaching last year around €100bn (some $120bn). UN’s target for Overseas Development Aid is 0.7% of GNP annually for developed nations. So, EU alone would cover with its current member’s current Overseas Development Aid programmes easily the whole annual requirement of $50bn….Money is not the issue. More on this topic later but here’s one way to see the reasoning for the status que – EU’s CAP.

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