Although talks of a downtrodden economy and a repressed workforce continue to linger, the United States is in fact supremely wealthy. Responsible for over $15 trillion in GNP for 2012, the U.S. can produce nearly 22 defense and military budgets at the current yearly expense of over $680 billion.
“When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die,” Jean Paul Sartre famously said.
As simple a tenet as it may be, it is one that often welcomes plenty of philosophical questioning and governmental debate. Extreme poverty–in many countries in which homelessness isn’t even an “issue” as much as it is a way of conditioned generational life–can be seen as cracks in the spine of a familial structure in need of a tune up. Dissension in the domestic arena most certainly leads to extreme division in the global arena. One must trust oneself before truly trusting his or her neighbor. Thus globalization becomes a concept that must be rethought.
In the 21st century the United States has thrived economically overseas. The private and public sectors have taken advantage of global business practices and many industries have intensified profits. Global business audiences and increased profits are top priorities, causing the moniker, “capitalism” that so often gets tagged to the United States’ back. Ninety-five percent of all potential consumers of U.S. goods and services live outside of the United States and–to benefit domestically those that cultivate these organic goods or that manufacture these useful products–the U.S. needs to invest in poorer areas and transform them into developed and consuming areas.
True globalization means that every nation must have the same opportunity for wealth, medicine, technology, and education. Simply having Coca-Cola stands and McDonald’s locations in poor nations does not scream globalization if over half of the nations’ population cannot afford any of those products. Over 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation and around 1 billion children are deprived of multiple services essential to survival and development. It takes a foundation of food, water, and security to ascend into the need for production and consumption of resources (see Maslow’s Hierarchy).
In The End of Poverty, economist Jeffrey Sachs concluded that extreme poverty can be eradicated by 2025 with a global budget of about $175 billion. That is about 25 percent of the annual military expense budget and was about 1 percent of the United States GNP in 2012. The 30 countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) can handle the annual share. This number turns out to $5.8 billion per nation per year potentially to eradicate extreme poverty by 2025; the same budget the United States allocated to an attack submarine in 2011. In other words, a tiny relative sum that can potentially ease–if not eliminate–hunger, malnutrition, and overall lack of welfare is a small investment in a potentially enormous economic pie for the United States. Once this happens, globalization will start to be truly undertaken.
– Sagar Jay Patel