Ever heard of the UN's Millenium Development Goals? Neither had I until I read this column by Ollie North, a man I trust and admire. Here's the skinny:
For years, the UN has been pushing for a global effort to bring the Third World into the modern world. On the surface, their intentions seem wonderful. They call their objectives the Millenium Development Goals and it consists of 8 specific things they hope to achieve. These are: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop a global partnership for development. The target date for achieving these goals is 2015.
Here is the website if you want to learn more.
Now, I am all for doing these things. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone who isn't. But my cynicism immediately kicks in when I hear talk of such things because doing these kinds of things costs money, and lots of it. And where does the UN hope to get such money?
Before we get into that, I also want to point out my past criticism of the UN. It's no secret that I despise that institution. In my mind, the idea of a multinational global union that works for the benefit of all people is a pipe dream. Each individual nation is going to seek its own self-interests, regardless of what's best for the world. So bringing nations together for a common goal amounts to herding cats. Then there's the Third World influence which seems to dominate the UN, as well as the influence of dictatorial regimes like Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba, who have no interest in democracy and basic human rights. They all get one vote in the UN General Assembly, as does the United States despite the fact that we pay 25% of the UN's annual budget revenue. So I often wonder how the UN expects to fight for human rights issues when many of its member nations aren't interested in these issues. Then, you have to factor in the corruption, and the UN is arguably the most corrupt institution in human history. There's a lot of money going into that body, and the people who pay this money aren't getting much return on the investment.
My point is that if we want an effective global union then it must be a group of nations with a common goal and a common interest. This body should be comprised of ONLY nations who practice democracy and equality. At least then, we would find some common ground while also speaking with a loud voice. It would encourage those outside nations to clean up their acts in order to be a part of the global community. Seems so common sense to me.
Now, back to the Millenium Goals. The UN hopes to achieve these with a familiar plan - redistribution of wealth. It will require the wealthiest nations to pony up big time so that the poorest nations can be provided with the necessities required to achieve the goals. The US cost? Annually, 0.7% of its gross national product. That's $100 billion a year NOT including the 25% of the UNs annual budget that we already fund.
While you try to close your jaws, you can also think about this. Despite his inexperience, Barack Obama HAS proposed some legislation, and one of his key legislative pieces is the Global Poverty Act of 2007. In addition to Obama, it has 29 cosponsors. Here is what the bill says:
"To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day."
Basically, this bill is an endorsement of the UNs plan and it requires the US government to find a way to get the UN what it needs to accomplish it. What does that mean to you and me? Simple, the IRS will be collecting taxes for the United Nations. Frame it anyway you want, but that's what will happen.
I am a "by your own bootstraps" kind of guy. I sympathize with people who struggle but I believe it is ultimately their responsibility to free themselves of that struggle. Society's responsibility is to ensure they have the freedom to do so, without someone else's boot on their neck. Freebies are nice, but are more often than not squandered. It's only when things are earned that they are valued. This rings true whether you're talking about a single individual or an entire country. Many nations have pulled themselves out of poverty, look no further than China for such an example. So the idea of taxing the wealthy to give to the poor is just as fruitless on an international level as it is on an intranational level. How much has this nation spent on entitlements and social programs since the 1960s? And how much have we accomplished? Just look at the statistics and you'll see again that there has been little return on that investment.
Obama calls himself a citizen of the world, and his Global Poverty Act is his crowning piece of legislation. It passed the House in September 2007, and now has to pass the Senate and be signed by the President. Once that happens, the American people will be paying heavier taxes to the UN - a corrupt and inept institution - for the benefit of those nations who won't take responsibility for themselves. No wonder this man is loved by the world moreso than by his own country, his loyalties at times seem to be misplaced. $100 billion a year can do a lot right here in America.
Redistribution of wealth does not work and it never will. Think about that on November 4.