A Way To Share

Bernard Kouchner, the French minister for Foreign and European affairs, has proposed to tax certain financial transactions to raise money to better help African countries. It’s a modest sum, something like 5 euros for a 1000 euros transaction, or 0.005%, but according to him it could generate $44 billion and would go a long way to fill the need and make up for the problems ran into by the Millennium Developments Goals which were meant to half poverty by 2015. When we read that World Food Aid is at a 20 year low, and the recession has hit the less fortunate the hardest and that there are one billion hungry people in the world, Mr. Kouchner’s idea gives hope and is worth thinking about if not implementing. The chairman of Unitaid, Philippe Douste-Blazy, for one endorsed the idea in a NYT editorial. No one likes taxes but when they are meant as a way to share, we ought to open our hearts and acquiesce.