After I published Part 1 of this essay, I heard from a friend who thought I was being too harsh in my treatment of the wealthy. She also stated that the best way for those in poverty to have a chance to demonstrate their abilities and intelligence, and to achieve monetary success, was for them to obtain a quality education. While this was not the point of Part 1, I do agree with her that a quality education is a key to ending poverty. Since the poor are unable to provide themselves with a quality education, the funds to provide this education must come from elsewhere. I see two options: philanthropy and/or taxes. Both options rely on the wealthy (or at least those who have incomes well above poverty levels). Therefore, if the relationship [>power = >possessions = >intelligence = >human] I describe is invalid, all of those with the most power and possessions would not consider the poor to be less worthy, less human, than themselves and would willingly provide the funds, whether via philanthropy or taxes, so that the poor could obtain the quality education they need to achieve monetary success.
As with every relationship, there are exceptions. As I mentioned to my friend, Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of the Virgin Group, does invest his money to improve the lives of the poor. In addition, Branson is working to ensure that his businesses operate in a sustainable manner in order to lessen the burden to Earth’s biosphere. If all of those with great power and possessions/money would follow Branson’s lead, the relationship I describe would be invalid. But I suspect I will be waiting a long time.
PS. Happy Birthday Sir Richard and President Mandela! (July 18, 2012)