Not a utopian daydream
Martin Drinkwater (Letters, 15/5) believes government debts to the banks prevent us from funding global poverty and Karl Bernhard (Letters, 17/5) backs him up and adds that personal debts to banks also prevent public generosity.
While the banks do have a lot to answer for, I do not think our debts are a sufficient excuse to prevent us addressing our global responsibilities.
The opposite is true. Spending money to reduce global poverty will improve trade and the economy and help us pay back our debts. This thinking is not utopian idealism, but comes from such authorities such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. They have warned that the widening gap between the rich and the poor is stifling the global economy.
Australians, to our credit, despite increasing personal loans, are immensely generous. More than 1.5 million donate to overseas aid projects each year. We sit proudly as the sixth most generous nation according to the World Giving Index.
There are also calls for the banks to help more in this process. A miniscule tax on each international share transaction could raise more than enough to deal with poverty at home and abroad. Many believe it would have the added bonus of taking some volatility out of the market.
In this 100th anniversary year of Nelson Mandela’s birth, we need to think more creatively about life-affirming solutions to global poverty and the economy, and be that generation he believed we could be, to end global poverty, just like slavery and apartheid before. His comeback to those who said this was a utopian dream was: “It always seems impossible until it is done.”
Paddy Cullen, Gosnells