The UN is Calling for a World-Wide Safety Net for the Poor

UN experts warned that most people around the world do not have adequate social protection from things like illnesses, disabilities, unemployment, and high food costs. So the UN is proposing a $20 billion global social safety net to help people living in the world's 48 poorest nations. Developing nations are being asked to contribute 2/3ds of the cost to this social welfare program - while rich nation are asked to foot the remainder of the bill. The UN's special rapporteur for food explained that this is a good investment for the world - saying: "Acting preventatively is much less expensive than intervention on an ad hoc basis. It costs eight times more to act in famine. By having safety nets in place, it will not be so necessary to intervene at an emergency stage." Here in the United States, we've forgotten this lesson while our own social safety nets are under unprecedented assault by billionaires like Mitt Romney and Ayn Rand followers like his running mate Paul Ryan. We need to understand that access to food when you're hungry - access to a job when you're poor - access to shelter when you're cold - and access to healthcare when you're sick are not luxuries that the well-off should grant to the poor among us. They are basic human rights.