Some folks argue that certain rich people will give to the poor in enough numbers that will make up for lack of virtue attributed to their fellow wealthy counterparts. Bill Gates, for example, seems to be the perfect example to contextualize their argument. The world needs the super-rich, the argument goes, so as to balance the scale of poverty and prosperity. Those who utilize this line of reasoning call their words, statement of philanthropy.
I should like to argue differently. I say, it is good that certain rich people willingly accept the moral obligation to give back to the world. That is all good and always welcome. But the world needs something else to balance the scale. There is too much evidence to prove that individual acts of altruism are simply inadequate. To permanently and in a wholesale manner remove poverty from the planet, help should come from the governments. What is more, the wealthy nations ought to take the lion’s share of this systematic contribution. If and when aid comes through the state, all citizens who earn above the mid range national income of their respective countries will contribute something as part of their duty-ethics—enforced by the law.
As it stands now, the fate of millions of people around the world hangs on the decisions of rich countries such as the US contingent upon the strategic interests of the giving nations. The fact of the matter is that rich nations have never given enough and that speaks badly about their ethics of state philanthropy. The Europeans and the US have benefited from the world’s resources, including its cheap and sometimes free labor (i.e., slavery) for the past five hundred years, but given back very little.
Given the planetary condition that humanity finds itself in, with all the cross-migrations and interdependencies that get more complex rapidly, the rich must give back systematically or the whole ship will go down like the Titanic.