Sickness and starvation in a world of wild consumption and great waste.
What a shameful blot on this rich era in history.
It is astounding and unbelievable; while we constantly strive to excessively accumulate possessions, create massive mountains of garbage, and distribute widespread pollution around the globe - a billion or more people are poor, sick or dying because of deplorable poverty.
Faced with continuing hunger families in desperation will take drastic measures to survive. They may live in small shacks, scour back alleys and garbage dumps for food, submit their children to long days of tough working conditions, or even sell or submit them to prostitution.
The problem is a continuing one. If living conditions are so bad that the children cannot get educated, then they will have no footing on which to begin a better and fairer living standard than their parents had. While compared to these third world countries' young, our kids mostly only require the will and direction to get a basic high school diploma or perhaps a technical or university education.
Poverty is a rut that can be impossible to climb out of without help.
Why must there be this terrible imbalance of a world of overabundance and wastage, and a world of misery and hopelessness?
Everyone knows something of the hardship and inhumane conditions in which so many others live. Some do not, or are just unconcerned; "it's of their own making." But it is not a newborn child's desire to wear rags, live in a shack, go hungry all day, be sickly and perhaps die young.
Yet for most of us who are not poor in well established societies, there is ample money floating around even with the financial setbacks of recent years. We still eat well, have comfortable homes and many frivolous possessions.
There is something seriously lacking in the connection between these two worlds.
Generally we don't relate. Why not?
Popular conversations aren't about the needy and desperate, the slums and the desperation. The talk around the office and with friends and neighbors is about entertainment, sports, politics, and the latest need-to-buy purchases. These topics are interesting and popular as they are encouraged on us by the media which, over many years have been busy designing our social characteristics, in the name of commerce. Very convincing and constant merchandising only encourages us further down a path of self interest.
We are too wrapped up in our own lives of having plenty, and yet still not enough. We are addicted; we want better and more with no end in sight.
Media need fixing with more government funded, commerce independent, public broadcasting. We, and particularly our kids, need to have less of the brainwashing that dilutes our finances and our apathy to all the people of the world.
Is taxation a solution?
In a first world country taxing the rich more and the poor less will alleviate its internal poverty immensely. For a world wide solution tax again may be one solution. So many do not contribute to charities because they have simply not thought much about it, or have not got around to taking a few minutes to help. A general charity tax levied on citizens' incomes would create funds both for their neglected and for those of the world. Aid for the poverty-stricken would then be mandatory and would come from all who were able to contribute in taxes.
Resources: Global Issues Always a comprehensive and enlightening source for poverty and social, political, economic and environmental issues that affect us all.
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