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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 720)...

    Regarding all the recent campaigns for the 'make poverty history' appeal and so on... Feeding an increased population? something we all know the connotations of...so naturally it begs the question. Is this good or bad for the whole situation? With aid, would the African population rise even more and take us back to where we started? I would donate, but I'm too ill-informed.

    ...and the response:

    "Making poverty history" is, of course, an appealing idea. A few years ago the United Nations had a similar idea, and, after studying the matter, realized that it was beyond their resources. The causes of global poverty run deeper than you can reach with a few dollars from your own pocket. It's rather like homelessness in the United States; giving every homeless person you see ten bucks isn't going to change the economic conditions that made them homeless in the first place. This is not an endorsement of stinginess or indifference, however. Even if you're not going to make homelessness disappear with your ten dollars, your ten dollars will be appreciated. The same is true of poverty on a global scale. It's not my place or my intention to make up people's consciences on such matters.


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