Your brother's keeper?

Who Is responsible to help reduce poverty?

The real answer, certainly according to the Christian faith, is that it is “our responsibility.”

The recent plight of the homeless community in Kelowna highlights the challenges but also demonstrates the good that people are willing to do to assist those in need.

In reading the articles, it appears as though City Council may be overwhelmed and under prepared for a problem that has been around for decades. 

At the same time, I have been reading a recent autobiography of Sir Richard Branson and watching a series about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It is clear that as some people succeed at a higher level, they feel compelled to help make the world a better place. Bill Gates even challenged other wealthy individuals to sign a pledge to give away 50% of their worth. 

After juxtaposing the two very different approaches to alleviating poverty (government vs. private), I was further confused when I read an article and forum on offshore banking.

There were several comments in the threads that alluded to the fact that these “greedy billionaires” were stealing money from their governments that would otherwise be used to reduce poverty.

I was curious because:

  • The government in Canada/B.C. and municipalities are exactly the same governments that have almost no plan for homelessness or poverty.
  • Many “greedy billionaires” have signed pledges to use half their wealth to help reduce poverty and,
  • Our current Prime Minister has run exorbitant and unpredicted deficit budgets to the point where he has guaranteed that my children will be poor despite paying their taxes. 

Perhaps if governments were willing to create a long-term, non-partisan plan to tackle the many challenges they face, and involved important stakeholders like businesses, citizens and even a few wealthy philanthropists they may see some progress and buy in.

Sadly, the political world is too polarized to demonstrate any sort of political sustainability to us.

In the meantime, the issues of poverty, homelessness and rampant drug issues are downloaded to the community that is least prepared to deal with them.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business.

He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the U.K. in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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