Sidebar: Unspeakable Monument

Imagine a public monument to the victims of poverty. Imagine that it resembles the black granite wall of the Vietnam Memorial, and it includes the names of everyone who has died of poverty-related causes since the end of the Cold War twenty years ago.

That would be more than 300 million names, mostly children. To make room for so many names, philosopher Thomas Pogge calculates, the monument would have to be 480 miles long, roughly the distance from Detroit to New York City. To keep
up with the tally of death that continues daily, the length of the wall would have to be extended by half a mile per week.

Source: Thomas Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights (Polity, 2008)