Today Bono called for a Global Marshall Plan in a piece in the New York Times.
The “Marshall Plan” was implemented shortly after the end of World War II. Following victory, the allies, the United States in particular, were left with the choice of leaving vast swaths of humanity destitute, or investing a small percentage of gross domestic product to rebuild the societies so that they would become free and stable democracies that we would be less likely to go to war with again. It worked.
Even at its height, the Marshall plan never took more than 2% of the United States GDP. a Global Bill of Rights would take only 1% of GDP from every country. It’s fitting that “The Takeaway” on NPR did a piece today on the Four Freedoms speech given by President Roosevelt in 1941.
In that speech, Pres. Roosevelt provided a social formula that is equivalent to E=mc2. If there is Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and Freedom from Want, “for everyone in the world” then we all live in Freedom from Fear.
Let’s face it, since the Four Freedoms speech we have left giant cesspools of poverty around Earth and bad things have arisen from them, whether it’s Jihad movements or Zika virus. It’s time to see things through the eyes of Franklin and Eleanor, as Bono does. Take a small step by signing a pledge to support the idea of a Global Bill of Rights, which is in effect a Marshall plan for humanity. As with climate change, it will actually cost us less financially to take the right path, rather than continue down the wrong one.
One of my favorite lines in a movie came at the end of “Charlie Wilson’s War". Wilson, a conservative congressman from Texas, had just helped defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan, in part with lots of American money. When it came time for tin Marshall plan for Afghanistan, he couldn’t get a dime. His closing is true of the fall of the Soviet Union, and numerous other instances as well: “We won the war, but we fucked up the end game.”
Let’s listen to Bono!