Disgusting. That’s the word that came to mind when reading a Washington Post article (“India’s richest man surpasses Bezos on billionaires’ list,” Sept. 17, Page A5) listing the world’s wealthiest people. Especially so when in the same edition was a photo of a food drive for a local charity (“Beans to an end,” Page B1).

Birhan Etsana, 27, uses a nasogastric tube to feed the lone survivor of her triplets, Mebrhit, who at 17 months old weighs just 11 pounds and 7 ounces, at the Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekele, in Ethiopia’s war- and famine-stricken Tigray region, on May 10, 2021. Ben Curtis/Associated Press

Here in Maine, and around the world, there are many millions of people existing in the direst forms of poverty, hunger, homelessness, untreated sicknesses and numerous other needs. I believe it is the endless, greedy collection of vast wealth, the evasion of taxes and the corruption that all too often accompanies them that are complicit, if not the direct cause, of the life of hell that is the lot of so many innocent babies and their families.

Elon Musk, United States, $273 billion; Bernard Arnault, France, $154 billion; Gautam Adani, India, $152 billion; Jeff Bezos, United States, $146 billion. Are these our heroes? Not mine. I cast my vote for the poverty-ridden families around the world who each day scrounge through the dumps and garbage pails to find a bit of thrown-out food to feed their starving kids.

Wasn’t it Isaiah who said if the rich do not share, and hide their wealth, then their doors should be broken down, their riches taken and distributed among the poor? Perhaps that’s a bit much for these times. But isn’t it well past time to do something?

Norman Abelson

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