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In the last few months, it’s become obvious to me that we really can end extreme poverty in five years – if we can only build the political will.
Why didn’t I think of it before? Why didn’t any anti-poverty organization think of it before?
There are several reasons:
1) Connecting the dots is a lot easier after someone else does it. Agriculture, the wheel… these inventions are obvious now, but many generations of more or less genetically identical humans failed to think of it.
Similarly, people have been talking for many years about the need for a Marshall Plan for the poor nations. It seems most never connected that the Marshall Plan was a specific 1.5 percent of the USA’s GDP (national income) over a specific five-year time frame, that it should be relatively easy to sell this idea based on an earlier, proven success – even though it’s more than double what most other experts have been asking for.
Hearts & Minds just connected the dots.
2) Hesitation to rock the boat.
Most experts and organizations already agree with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These ask for 0.7% of GDP – much more than most wealthy nations ever gave before.
People can fear that asking to too much will only hurt their credibility.
To this I answer: Asking for something short of the truly visionary may never work. As I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, the MDGs are only a continuation of a 0.7% of national income that the nations have pledged – and most have never kept – since 1970.
More thoughts on what’s wrong with the MDGs.
3) People fear that the public will never support more ambitious goals. But many surveys show that the public regularly, greatly overestimates the amount of money we spend on foreign aid – so why not urge them to support a lower amount than they expected? That’s all we’re asking 🙂
4) Surveys regularly show at least 70 percent of the American public supports global anti-poverty programs – if they’re effective. All we need is to show that many programs are really effective. The programs Hearts & Minds supports have already helped hundreds of millions of people.
And you can join us to help hundreds of millions more people:
– how you can help make it happen
Every person makes a big difference. It’s easy to Join Us.