With each passing day, we are drawing closer to a world without extreme poverty… this is just awesome! But what is also awesome of equal or greater proportions is that as we eliminate poverty, so too will we be eliminating war! This is because poverty is war, meaning a life in poverty is a root grievance that leads many people to take up arms.
First, as we discuss poverty, it is important to note the different degrees of poverty we have in our world: relative, moderate, and extreme.
Relative poverty refers to the poorest people living in wealthy nations. Welfare moms, drug addicts, and homeless people might come to mind when we think of poor people. But relative poverty should not be confused with the more severe kinds of poverty… they are worlds apart.
In America, for example, relative poverty would mean living on less than about $30 a day. In our world, moderate poverty means living on less than $2 a day, and extreme poverty means living on less that $1 a day. 2.7 Billion people live in moderate and extreme poverty in our world today… about 40 percent of our world’s population.
If we imagine how we might fare if we had to endure extreme or moderate poverty ourselves, it can be easy to see how life in extreme poverty might lead to a less than favorable roles in life. Criminal, extremist, and violent organizations can all find an ample supply of recruits looking for their slice of the pie.
We already have the means to change this, we have the resources to end extreme poverty within a year. Estimates show that we could end starvation around the world for $195 billion a year. This may seem like a lot, but it is less than 15 percent of our world’s military budgets.
But no matter, thanks to the cyclical nature of world improvement, the battle against poverty will continue to get easier. This means that, within one or two decades, we will be ending extreme poverty forever. And as we do this, we will also be removing a primary force contributing to war. Hooray!