It’s finally happened. A country where half the population has no functioning toilet has sent a 1300 kg lump of technology on a 200 million kilometre journey to Mars. And there is outrage.
India has joined the space race, spending the massive sum of £45M to secure its place as the 4th largest Space Agency on the planet, a market worth in excess of £2B a year. Now call me old fashioned, but that seems to me to be one of the best investments any developing nation can make. Yes, there is grinding poverty in India, along with a crippling caste system, bonded labour and rural tyranny but instead of simply handing out a few rupee notes to peasants under the guise of “aid”, India is determined to trade its way to prosperity, grabbing a slice of an ever growing cake.
In just 50 years, one BILLION people have been moved out of extreme poverty (assessed at $1 a day) throughout the world, not by hand wringing Liberals throwing them diversity coordinators or Common Purpose training courses, not by Bob Geldof or Russell Brand forcibly redistributing our wealth to toothless Somalis but by simple, honest trade. The global supply chain, driven by evil capitalism and the pursuit of profit has now raised their incomes to around $10 a day, enough to feed a family, educate their children and put a roof over their heads. We buy asparagus from Peru in November, the components of our mobile phones come from raw materials mined in Africa and are assembled in China, whilst our socks made in Bangladesh are putting food on the table for a people used to NGO handouts. Everybody is winning.
Except, of course, an entire “well meaning” global industry of left wing Aid Distributors. Oxfam are in meltdown as their God given right to alleviate poverty via women’s lentil cooperatives is being undermined. Thin people are no longer thrusting their skinny brown hands out for another bowl of rice, flown half way around the world by Blue Peter viewers and delivered by fake celebrities in front of cameras, they are demanding the right to bring their products to markets or sell their labour to the highest bidder. Micro financing instead of recycled bottle tops is securing the freedom from poverty for billions and the sandal wearing Socialists are furious. What point is there in an Eritrean being self sufficient if he is going to be drowned by global warming anyway? If only there was a way to raise more taxes to redistribute to skinny people in return for their compliance and obedience, the world would be so much more “equal”, wouldn’t it?
Don’t be fooled. No matter what charity campaigns you’ll see this Christmas, the greatest gift you can give to your fellow World citizen is to simply buy their stuff and demand more of it. Don’t worry about putting food in their bellies or a roof over their heads, they’ll do that with the profit they make – just as you do at home. Ignore ridiculous protectionist “buy British” doctrines, get out there and demand what you want. Billions are standing by for the chance to supply and pull themselves out of poverty – even if it means having the guts to go to Mars to get it. Now that’s equality.