Poverty is sure to rise if savings by billionaires of any society swells substantially. The higher the savings or concentration of wealth the higher the poverty. But the higher the charity the lower the savings because the more the charity the more the parity in a society. When the poor people save they die, the mid-income group save they develop capital for investment but when the rich people save they destroy the society by being mercenery and selfish.
According to Oxford Dictionary of Economics ‘The excess of income over consumption. This is a way of acquiring asset; for the economy as a whole it is the only way, since while individuals may gain or lose assets through inheritance or gambling, these cancel out on aggregation.’ So it is obvious that poor people who have not ‘the excess of income over consumption’ can’t save anything. A poor man can’t survive let alone save for investment.
Savings spells death for the destitute because they are poor and fail to earn their daily bread. If they, in spite of their poverty and pecuniary crisis, resort to savings they will be malnourished. Naturally an under-fed or half-fed man or woman can’t save anything for future investment. If they try to do so it will be self-denying and tentamount to suicide. Malnutrition will certainly end up in different health condition and the situation persisting for years will complicate the condition, leaving them to suffer from debilitating diseases and morbidity, even risking death.
Savings by the rich people turns equally dangerous for the society or country they live in. Aparently the act of savings is a good habit but if rich section of the society stops charity works and giving away alms, food, shelter to people in need it will spell destruction for the fabric of the society. Who doesn’t know that capitalism sows the seeds of its own destruction. Small capital is eaten up by the bigger capital while the biggest corporate will put an end to big capital. So in this system today’s comparatively richer people will be rich one soon, rich people will be higher middle class, and someday lower middle class only to end up being poor. It will be tentamount to denying of the society which comprises its poor section and the disabled.
Though savings are dangerous for the poor themselves and for the society if it is practised by the rich people but it is always good for the both high and low middle-class people. They can save if they try heart and soul like Della of the Gift of the Magi. O’Henry depicted Della’s — a representative of lower middle class —savings delineately. She saved penny by penny by bargaining with butcher, grocer and others vendors. Though the short story writer didn’t explore why the salaries of the professionals like Della’s husband Jim had been diminishing day by day like those of crores of underpaid job holders, we can assure you of mindset of the present day corporates.
Charity plus good intention is in proportion to savings. A household usually puts into saving what remains in excess and give away a portion of the savings when it feels to feed or help a poor neighbour in crisis. So concentration of wealth by the rich is in proportion to poverty in a society. In absence of parity in wealth distribution begging goes up in a society and impoverished people particularly the disabled are prone to beg. A 2012-report on begging shows about 26 per cent of the handicapped people have been forced into begging by their own family members, says a study on street beggars. It also says there is a correlation between poverty and begging among physically disabled beggars. The study titled “Poverty, Disability and Street Beggars: Reflections from Dhaka City” also shows that beggars spend about 53 per cent of their income to arrange food for their physically able family members. If the policy makers want to heal this wound of the society they must harness the profiteering mentality of the industrialists who thrive on the bank loans in our country.
Since the inception of Bangladesh in 1971 there was a few research on the contribution of khairat, dan, sadakah, sadakatul fitra, jakat, donation and charity to the society at large. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities also need to be put under scrutiny in comparison with the wealth amassed by the local or multinational corporates. Though till 1996 as many as 77 articles and 27 books were written on these topics there is space and scope for more research. The place of charity or donation was deleted when the present-day economic system of the world in 1956. Till 2003 every household in the US on an average spent 1.7 in charity but the data on the contribution of charity in Bangladesh is missing from the data generator BBS.
But roughly there are four lakh mosques, 27000 educational institutes, thousands of orphanages, waqf states and temples and churches — most of them are established by people’s charity. Though there is no wage board or service rule or day off or other benefits for the domestic helps in our country. Same is the case with the several lakh mosques — their Imams and Muezzins and Khadims. Over ten lakh people are provided all through the year by the mosques and several lakh more during the Ramadan for khatam tarabih in a country infested by high unemployment. Both the contribution of quomi and mosques are never reckoned in raising the literacy rate of Bangladesh.
Usually a practicing Muslim gives away at the rate of Tk 2.5 per cent of their yearly savings ( over 7.5 tolas of gold or 52 tolas of silver) at the end of a fiscal year. The direction of jakat is enshrined in the holy Quran repeatedly often juxtaposed with the direction of salat. Apart from giving away mandatory charity (jakat) a good Muslim is not supposed to refuse a help seeker. And a good Christian is supposed to spend one tenth (tithe) of his income for religious causes. So charity is humanity and there is only alternative to charity is charity. For parity in wealth distribution it is a must. Without charity the humanity will fall and fail.