SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
RE: The Arithmetic of Compassionin Post / Views Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:42 am
by Stacie Schwartz • 5 Posts
My mind did a backflip after reading that $9,000/year is the appropriate income so that I do not take income from someone else. I wanted to dismiss the figures in The Arithmetic of Compassion right then and there, but David Ulansey (author) warned me against saying “that’s impossible.” So I read on.
It’s frightening to believe that a European cow lives on $2.50/day while 75% of Africans live on less than $2/day. When the suggested maximum world income of $6-9,000 is put into that perspective, it starts to make a little more sense. If a quarter of the world’s population lives on $456/year, that starts to prove how every additional dollar in my pocket is one less dollar in the poorest pockets since there is only so much pie to divvy up.
The outrage in this article reminds me of the things I heard around the time of the 2007-2008 financial crises. Once Americans started realizing that bank executive bonuses were dozens of times the average American salary, people were indignant. Every news show started featuring stories on bank executives robbing retirement funds and stealing homes from the sick and elderly for their own financial gains, and we marveled at the sickening incomes that were not enough to satisfy people like Bernie Madoff. The average American salary is dozens of times higher than $456/year, so given this perspective, the outrage seems justified. When will we be satisfied?
There was one sentence in this article that I particularly liked, “…I like to remind myself that Eskimos live in houses made of ice, but their lives are filled with just as much love and beauty, and their children laugh and play with just as much joy--perhaps more!--as our own.” Lately I’ve been thinking about (and I know this is not in keeping with a $9,000/year income) owning a home. Everyone wants bigger and grander, but I think a bit of wisdom that can be immediately applied from this article is the idea of just finding or using enough of whatever one requires, rather than wanting it all. In my life, maybe that means looking for just enough space so others can have a little space, too. I can’t imagine waking up tomorrow in a world where The Arithmetic of Compassion is immediately applied, but everyone can downsize their requirements in the meantime.
RE: The Arithmetic of Compassionin Post / Views Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:28 pm
by No name specified • ( Guest )
The first aspect of this article that grabbed my attention the research done by Nicholas Stern that reported that a European cow receives $2.50 a day in subsidies, while 75% of Africans live on less than $2 a day. Ulansey uses this statistic to emphasize that while most Americans would consider the equitable annual income of $6,000 to be extreme poverty, other parts of the world would consider it to be extreme wealth.
I was further astonished when Ulansey went on to say that even if each person consumed at 6,000 dollars a year, it would still be far too much because it would mean that we are using 100 percent of the earth's resources. Doing this, he writes, does nothing to prevent 1.the extinction of biodiversity from the planet and 2.drastic climate change rendering the earth uninhabitable. Not only does he emphasize how inequitable the current global system is, but also the disastrous effect the continuation of such a system will have on our livelihoods.
I took interest in the first piece of information because I have a strong interest in Africa in general, particularly Southern Africa where I spent six months last semester. The apartheid was eradicated almost twenty years ago, yet the effects are still very much felt today. Thirteen percent of the population holds seventy percent of the wealth. Because the majority of South Africa's population were deprived of formal education for so long, their economy is flooded with unskilled labor, resulting in a weak economic and a very unstable foreign exchange market. It is not enough to ensure that everyone has equal rights; what about equal opportunity?
Furthermore, I think that consumption is something about which I seldom think. As an American, I have been raised to take what I want, as much as I want, whenever I want it. I believe that my generation especially is part of an instant gratification culture from which we cannot escape. After reading The Arithmetic of Compassion, I realize how badly there needs to be a heightened awareness about the need to conserve what the earth gives us so that the generations that follow have a sustainable world.
I studied in my course about the optimum utilization of resources but the result of over utilization could be dangerous at huge level. If we divide the Gross World Product ($65 Trillion) on per person it will be $9000 annually. But, i am very much surprised and shocked to know the expenses on an European Cow is higher than an African. This is shameful movement for entire Homo sapiens. Fair trading could be helpful to raise the standard of the people who are leaving behind poverty line i.e. 1.4 billion people across globe. Giving equality in the area of economics standard,race,religion,society and rights could reduce the pressure on Earth.The over utilization of Earth i.e.150% seems to be bad & tough, future for every living beings and itself Earth too. So, leaving behind the selfishness, money, high desire we must take care for the equality of humanity, maintain the balance of Earth which will lead a comfortable life even in future. Thinking about ourselves only is a temporary solutions and entertainment but looking for other could be a permanent. Concluding my thoughts after going through 'The Arithmetic of Compassion' i believe caring Earth and other people will be fruitful and desirable for the upcoming generation and time. So, DEAL FAIRLY !
RE: The Arithmetic of Compassionin Post / Views Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:19 pm
by Gaurav Prakash • 2 Posts
This topic itself strikes the mind first as the topic says " THE ARITHMETIC OF COMPASSION " . As both these terms are different from each other since Compassion is the understanding or empathy for the suffering of others, it is the emotion that we feel in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help , it is often regarded as having an emotional aspect to it, though when based on cerebral notions such as fairness, justice and interdependence, it may be considered rational in nature and its application understood as a activity based on sound judgment and Arithmetic is something to do with calculation or we can say that playing with the magical numbers which is something related to practacality . I was really shocked by the connection shown by the author and center shocked by the data shown in this . After reading the full data it was really mixed fleenings were there as european cows receives $2.50 per day as a subsidies whereas 75 % of the african people get less than $2 .
We would consider $6000 per year as a ver low income for us to fulfill our dreams and the get the high end living but if look at the other aspect of this we would find that it is also very high as we will be consuming what earth can produce with its 100 % efficency . At present our PPP (purchasing power partly ) is 9000 units , in terms of dollor it is $9000 per year a human speceis earn ,which if look at is 30 % more we are consuming of what earth can produce . This we are not realising now but is gonna hurt all of us extremley bad .
If we look at the other datas of the case we would find that though each human being is earn $9000 per year still our half of the population is living wid only $2.50 per day or say $900 per year which we can look at the difference n find out how pathethic the condition is n how vast is bridge of living standards has been created . Still 1.4 billon poppulation is below the official poverty line .
By looking at all these data and getting through the author's thought i think it is reasonably the neccesity of time to curtail our consumption and making the earth a better and safer place to live on .We can not get the pills of the earth out more than what it can produce as it will hamper the enviornment both physically as well as psychologically . So i agree with the author that we should follow the solutions shown by him and keep EARTH SAFE and ITS CREATURES HAPPY.
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