Wealth is relative term. Joe is educated, he lives in a free country and can willfully say and do almost anything as long as it is not harmful to others. Therefore, he would be wealthy in places like much of the middle east and Africa, and some places in Asia. In America, countless individuals and their families in America that have created their own wealth are considered offensive by Joe. The obvious few (Gates, Zuckerberg) and tons of others that are semi-obvious but too numerous to list here had an idea and took a risk and became wealthy. No one put them down hoarded them out of opportunity.
I acknowledge that most of the world’s wealth is held within a tiny percentage of entities. But I would propose that the lack of freedom to pursue wealth is the global problem, not freedom from wealth as Joe proposes. Joe’s starvation example is flawed because the grain hoarder has no market in which to sell his/her grain because of oppression. But if the villagers were free to pursue their interests to earn a living, then the grain hoarder would have a market to sell his or her grain. He/she would not hoard the grain because currency is a much better commodity than grain in any society. I’m not suggesting that this would happen overnight, but Western Europe and North America are shining examples of that system over the long term. Starvation is occurring (i.e. lack of food wealth) because of oppressive governments, not hoarding. If modern, democratic societies were installed in starving countries, I propose that markets for all forms of commerce would start (freedom to pursue wealth), albeit slowly and with some challenges. “Ending hoarding” is very ideological, and frankly tyrannical, because it implies government intervention by telling “hoarders” how to spend their money. Joe wants global fairness, and I agree wholeheartedly. But to me, it’s obvious that the best option for global productivity is freedom to pursue individual objectives and interests (as proven by western countries primarily) vs. a tyranny that employs policies of telling it’s citizens how to spend it’s resources (in effect is taking wealth).
The countries with extreme poverty rates are the countries with the least freedom. It is not debatable. And many demand equitable societies but it’s impossible and no society will ever be financially equitable. Why? Because human beings have different interests. Interests lead to different choices, and different choices lead to different work/careers. I have no problem with a doctor earning a lot more than me. He/she made different choices than I did, and their value to society is greater than my contributions. I accept that. Someone that takes bigger risks deserves all the wealth they can get their hands on because their risks lead to greater innovations that make life easier for society (railroad barons of the 19th century, automakers of the early 20th century and Bill Gates of the late 20th century). I don’t care how all those people spend their money, because their existence made my life better and I acknowledge that their risks were greater than mine.
I think Joe needs to demand freedom, not handouts. Freedom will lift all societies. Joe wants to take from some, and that is not productive, dare I say it’s destructive.