Live Below The Line: Why I’m a little torn on this one

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Photograph by Eva Schuster

I have no doubt I’m going to have very few friends on this one, given I’m disagreeing with everyone.

To start, I agree that extreme poverty is a huge problem. I agree that something needs to be done about it. I also agree that organisations like the Global Povery Project are doing some really good work. I am a supporter of the Millennium Development Goals, and while it’s unlikely that we’ll see all of the goals met by the end of 2015, it’s great that we’re so much closer than we were at the start of the millennium.

I sort of agree with this tweet that was sent out yesterday:

https://twitter.com/toryhipster/status/249973771262369792

Okay, sure, it’s about awareness and all that sort of thing. What I don’t get is how you pretending to be in poverty for five days leads to a decrease in extreme poverty. Then, at the same time, it’s great that money is going to projects like the Global Poverty Project, who can then actually do something toward reducing extreme poverty. My only issue is this really just looks like, as said in that tweet, rich kids playing poor. I know a bunch of people doing Live Below The Line, and I know that for a lot of these people that’s not the case, but that’s what it looks like.

There must be so many better and more practical things that can be done in order to reduce extreme poverty. There’s nothing practical about starving yourself for a few days.

And before the LBL people start ripping in to me (I’m sure this won’t stop them, but I’m going to say this anyway), I have supported LBL regardless. I have donated, because I believe in the end goal. Sure, you can say the ends justify the means, but I am not entirely sure about that.

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About Daniel Farrell

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Posted on September 25, 2012, in New Zealand Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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