Latest News & Current Events

World Income Inequality – Bill Gates disputing the myths

The worlds growing income gap has reached alarming proportions, the 85 richest individuals hold as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population. This was revealed in the latest study prepared for the World Economic Forum in Davos which identifies the large and growing income gap between rich and poor as the biggest risk to the global community in the next decade, along with extreme weather and unemployment.

Forget the top 1%, if you are not in the 0.01% you might feel a little depressed but according to Martina Gmür, Senior Director, Head of the Network of Global Agenda Councils, World Economic Forum “The year 2014 is absolutely not the year for complacency. The global economy may be recovering from the global economic downturn but this survey shows there is an incredible amount of work to be done to turn the world to a sustainable footing, economically, politically and environmentally.”

Bill and Melinda Gates through their foundation have been working to create a world where extreme poverty is the exception rather than the rule, and where all children have the same chance to thrive, no matter where they’re born.

In the 2014 Annual Gates letter, Bill notes that, “By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful”.

The Gates letter is focused on debunking some of the myths that slow down their work and Bill Gates has been working hard to get the word out, including a Jimi Fallon Viral video skit

Here are the three myths that Gates hopes you will help dispute.

Myth One: POOR COUNTRIES ARE DOOMED TO STAY POOR.

The bottom line: Poor countries are not doomed to stay poor. Some of the so-called developing nations have already developed. Many more are on their way. The nations that are still finding their way are not trying to do something unprecedented. They have good examples to learn from.

Myth Two: FOREIGN AID IS A BIG WASTE

The bottom line: Health aid is a phenomenal investment. When I look at how many fewer children are dying than 30 years ago, and how many people are living longer and healthier lives, I get quite optimistic about the future. The foundation worked with a group of eminent economists and global health experts to look at what’s possible in the years ahead. As they wrote last month in the medical journal The Lancet, with the right investments and changes in policies, by 2035, every country will have child-mortality rates that are as low as the rate in America or the U.K. in 1980.

Myth Three: Saving lives leads to overpopulation

The bottom line: Saving lives doesn’t lead to overpopulation. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Creating societies where people enjoy basic health, relative prosperity, fundamental equality, and access to contraceptives is the only way to secure a sustainable world. We will build a better future for everyone by giving people the freedom and the power to build a better future for themselves and their families.

Read the full Gates letter here


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