My simple idea for a single law that could transform the world: Bird Lovegod
Here it is: the top 100 publicly traded companies are hereby required to use 10 per cent of their profits for charitable purposes.
They have to either give 10 per cent of their profits to charity, or use 10 per cent themselves to action humanitarian and environmental works.
They are allowed to promote the fact that they do this, and are allowed to be creative in their application.
But they must use 10 per cent of their profits, before dividends or share buybacks, in this way.
How much money would that release? The top two companies, Shell and BP, would be using between £4 billion and £5 billion a year. Each. To do charitable works with. And that’s just the top two.
The top ten combined would generate £20 billion a year. Used wisely, £20bn billion is enough to transform a poor country and save millions of lives from destitution and grinding poverty.
The top 100 companies combined would be using something like £30 billion a year for charitable purposes.
That’s a world-changing amount of money, when used on the ground to actually impact lives, villages, towns, communities. When it’s actually used directly, actually spent, it would be transformative. The poorest countries in the world could be transformed, one by one, raised from dire poverty, given education, medical centers, and transport infrastructure.
If this money was used, without corruption or underhand means, it would transform the world. Country by country would be lifted from poverty
It would just be a cost of being in the top 100 companies. You have to save the world. Hard I know, and many people would be horrified and try to resist it, but there you go. That’s the price of commercial success. You are required, by law, along with all the other top 100 companies, to save the world.
Now imagine this law was applied globally to the top 100 global companies.
The top 10 combined would be required to spend 100 billion dollars, per year, transforming the world. Combined, the top 100 companies, we would be looking at something like 200 billion a year to be spent on healing the world, healing the people, and healing the environment. That’s probably enough to do it.
A tenth of the profit of the most successful 100 companies. Used to save lives, used to house the destitute, to build hospitals, to build schools and train generations of nurses and doctors, to restore forests and clean rivers and seas and do a hundred million restorative acts. Every year. Just 10 per cent of the profit of the world's most successful 100 companies. That’s all it would take.
It would pay for a vast humanitarian workforce across the world. It would transform continents, and it would transform the world, and insanely, as the wealth and education and wellbeing of billions of people was raised, they would actually be able to buy more products and services that would actually feed back into the very companies funding it. Ten per cent of profits of the top 100 companies to save the world. That’s all it would take. That’s what it would take. A single law, requiring it. And because the law impacts all companies equally it wouldn’t impact the essence of competition and capitalism.
Imagine a dying man, who could save his own life, by giving 10 per cent of his wealth to charity. What kind of fool would not?
Bird Lovegod is a Christian commentator and business consultant