Chris Busby" />
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Monday, September 25, 2023


G8 leaders: Let them eat cake

In the footsteps of Marie Antoinette, the G8 summit leaders ate extravagantly while discussing the hunger of others.

The G8 summit is a meeting of the leaders of some of the most powerful and wealthy nations in the world to discuss pressing global issues. On the opening day of the summit a total of 24 dishes were served in 14 courses. The menu included such delicacies as Kyoto beef, caviar, truffle soup and crab. In the same day these same leaders stressed the need for wealthy nations to reduce excess food consumption.

The problem of world hunger is a growing issue, yet the blame cannot entirely, or even mostly, be placed on the shoulders of the wealthy nations of the world. It is easy to blame prosperous countries for not giving enough wealth to the less fortunate, but first let’s take a look at the facts. Population growth, in places such as China and India, is a strain on the availability of resources worldwide. This is not to put the blame on either country, they are only doing what any other nation would do: increasing imports based on market demand.

Another factor in world hunger is corruption in developing countries. Dictatorships and violence often thwart the efforts of international organizations trying to help. One only has to look at situations such as in Myanmar, where aid organizations were ready and willing to help but the government severely limited and eventually stopped foreign aid from helping the victims of the cyclone disaster. The hurdles wealthy nations face in distributing the aid they provide can hinder others’ efforts to help.

Probably the most important reason wealthy nations do not do more is the fact that most, including the United States, have a democratically elected government. Elected officials must discuss the right issues in order to obtain power. They must talk about topics that affect the populace; and must essentially pander to the will of the people. The reality is most Americans do not think of starving children in Africa before they think of the security of their own jobs. In times of economic recession, as we have now, politicians do not address the needs of developing countries because, frankly, the people they talk to do not care. They may find the plight of others to be sad, yet the plight of their own wallets inevitably seem sadder. The government of any nation cannot focus on the needs of another before their own.

So now we turn back to the leaders at the G8 summit and truly they seem more like Marie Antoinette than ever. They live a lavish life and sympathize with the poor, yet do little to help. They are in a situation where true power does not lie in the hand of nine world leaders, but in the global economy, war, population growth and the self-interested mindset of the average person.

Busby, an english sophomore, can be reached via [email protected].

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