Poor miss out on entertainment's billions

There's an account in the Bible, just before Judas plans to betray Jesus, where a woman comes up to Jesus and pours expensive perfume all over his feet.

At seeing this Judas calls out: "Why this waste? Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?"

Interestingly Jesus sides with the woman and disagrees with the Judas protest.

You could call "the Judas protest" the protest people make that money should be spent on the poor, but only when that money is going to be spent on worship.

This protest has hit fever pitch recently over the apparent $1.5 billion pledged (not given) to rebuild the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Firstly, the Catholic Church doesn't own Notre-Dame, the French government does.

Secondly, Notre Dame cathedral, one of the finest buildings of the medieval era still standing, and more than 850 years after construction began, was until the recent fire, one of Europe's most visited sites with about 12 million tourists a year. That's almost half Australia's population.

Recently American baseball spent more than US$1 billion in less than a month on only three players' contracts; Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.

Where were the protests of: "Why wasn't this money spent on the poor?"

Last year U.S. basketball star LeBron James' career earnings passed the $1 billion mark, but there was no great outcry in the media for the poor.

Of course, if he'd decided to build a church for a fraction of his earnings there would have been angry protests of "What about the poor?"

Yet, how do all these people, so suddenly concerned about the poor now, know these billionaires restoring Notre-Dame aren't also helping the poor?

In my experiences of raising money for the poor I've discovered it's those further down the income scale who give less both in amount and percentage.

I'm musing the Australian Taxation Office might even agree with me on this.

In a 2017 report entitled "Taxation Statistics" the ATO revealed charities rely on the super rich, but individual taxpayers who made tax-deductible donations gave just 0.4 per cent of their taxable income.

This means, of those Australians donating to charity, the average amount donated is less than half of 1% of their annual taxable income.

It appears this seemingly massive crowd of protesters for the poor do not end up putting their money where their mouth is.

In a world as ephemeral as 2019, soon everything we do, type, say and photograph will be deleted, and we will be cremated, and our ashes scattered.

Therefore should we condemn those trying to preserve one of the most inspirational and visited architectural human triumphs on the planet that may well last for another 850 years of inspiration?

Last year's French World Cup soccer team were paid a combined annual salary of $1.1 billion for entertaining us for only twelve months and we cheered them like gods.

But when a couple of billionaires, not paupers, pledge their own $1.5 billion as a gift to inspire the world for another 850 years, the crowd screams "Foul! What about the poor?".

The latest Marvel movie "Avengers: End Game" that lasts for 181 minutes, is set to make another $2 billion for Marvel as did "Avengers: Infinity War" last year.

Shouldn't Marvel be giving this $4 billion to the poor?

The Sydney Football Stadium after only thirty years is currently being rebuilt from scratch for $700 million and Olympic Stadium after not even twenty years, is to be redeveloped for $800 million, even though both stadiums were in perfect working order.

Nobody seems too concerned this particular $1.5 billion of taxpayer money isn't going to the poor.

The Olympic Stadium is to be redeveloped for $800 million. Nobody seems too concerned this taxpayer money isn't going to the poor.

Wre live in a world where there is more money than we can even conceive and the global debt alone is currently at $244 trillion.

Yet you would swear this $1.5 billion to restore Notre-Dame was the last few coins on earth.

If the roof of the Sydney Opera House came down - well I don't know what would be left if it did - but if it did, I have no doubt we would happily spend $1.5 billion repairing it without any thought for the poor.