Elon Musk is already solving world hunger

The U.N.'s "solution" to world hunger is just more of the same.

Three weeks ago, a twitter exchange occurred between Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, and David Beasley, executive director of the U.N.'s World Food Programme(WFP).

This back and forth was the result of an article from CNN, stating that just 2% of Musk's net worth could "solve world hunger." The article itself was somewhat misquoting Beasley, who said it would "help" solve world hunger. Several users pointed out that the U.N. already spends this much on world hunger. In fact, in 2020 the U.N. WFP raised $8.4 billion towards this goal.

Let's place all that aside for the time being and talk about the plan.

The U.N. has released its "detailed" expense list, as long as you don't want to know exactly where each dollar will be spent, but only want to know how much they will spend in each country in general..

The original point was that $6.6 billion from Musk would "solve" world hunger. That's an important point. In fact, it's the most important point. Mainstream and social media are making grandiose statements about what could be done with other people's money. We constantly see users post about how Musk and Bezos could "solve world hunger," or any number of other political/philanthropic wishlist items. The difference is that this time they were called out. Rest assured that if Musk had not publicly responded to this claim, it would have been left alone and plenty of people would have seen the headline and gone on believing the premise that a seemingly small chunk of wealth could stop the biggest killer of human beings on this planet.

The U.N.'s plan is simple: Buy more food and give it to people. That's it. There's the plan.

What does it mean to "solve" a problem?

World hunger is a problem, and if there is someone at risk of immediate death, it should not be minimized that something can be done in the immediate to address that situation. It should also be understood that world hunger is a consequence of a problem. To solve world hunger, the root cause must be addressed. Anything other than addressing the root cause is just more of the same that we've been doing for quite a long time.

So why are people starving? You could answer that question by asking what would happen in your life to arrive in that situation. Maybe you would answer that by saying, "I'm hungry because I can't afford food." But of course that is not the root cause. Why can't you afford food? Probably because in some way you lost the means to earn a living. Maybe the entire economy collapsed around you. In this case, the problem is not that you can't afford food, the problem is the lack of ability to produce or provide goods and services for others. Maybe you even have the ability to produce, but you lack the ability (through regulation or otherwise) to trade with others. If you can't trade, then the widget you create has no value since it cannot be traded for money, or food.

Someone could "solve" your immediate problem of hunger, but once you've consumed, the root cause still exists. You will be hungry again tomorrow. "Give a man a fish, you feed him today. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime." The U.N. pretends to solve the problem of world hunger by giving a man a fish. Elon Musk, on the other hand, is actually working to solve the root cause.

Elon Musk is already solving world hunger

Aside from producing valuable goods such as Teslas, Musk is working towards a way to really feed the world.

Since we've realized that the root cause must be solved, we have to state the real problem. The real problem is that many people around the world are hungry because they do not have a way to produce value, and trade that value with others. Musk's Starlink will actually help solve this problem.

Thousands of Starlink satellites have already been deployed. When the network is finished, high speed internet will be available around the world. This may not seem like the solution to some, but it is. Small villages will have the means to obtain education in any field. They will be able to code, start businesses, or work online for any number of established businesses. I can't overstate this: Internet access will change the lives of millions of people. When those people have a way to trade their time for value, their economies will explode. It won't happen overnight, but it's going to happen.

This, while it is not the immediate help that some need right now, is the way to truly solve the problem.