City Desk

So, Did We Fix Poverty Yet?

Blog Action Day, an annual event where bloggers collectively weigh in on some matter of import, happened yesterday. Last year the event failed to do something about the environment—if some game-changing idea about climate change or alternative energy or whatever got blogged about that day, I must have missed it. (Did one of the presidential candidates say something about it? John McCain's blinking hypnotized me, so I only half paid attention.)

This year the subject was poverty—an important issue, to be sure. Blog Action Day has a "featured posts" section, presumably including the best ideas for addressing this catastrophic problem. Here's what Freelance Switch suggests:

For example, if you’re a web designer or developer, you could help a non-profit or charitable foundation with designs, or a web site. Many of these organizations don’t have the extra money needed to stay competitive in the online world. Many need help with branding too, so donating a logo or site designs are always welcome.

Not sure how a donated logo design feeds a starving child, but OK.

Web Worker Daily figured that maybe Web work would help. Of course, that has a few issues:

Despite its advantages, web working isn’t a solution that applies to everyone. First of all, it only applies to entrepreneurs and knowledge workers. Manual laborers can’t have the option to work on the web because their physical presence is required.

The remainder of the suggestions, best as I can tell, are earnest pleas to donate time and money to worthy causes. Which is indisputably noble, but not exactly reflective of the new-idea-generating powers that BAD was supposed to support.

So, did a good idea for fixing poverty come out of BAD? If not, why is anybody participating?

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