‘I was always poor in economics,’ with this preamble I decided to touch upon a relevant subject, the widening gap between the rich and the poor all over the world, applicable to countries as well.
A few countries were colonial powers and could fortify their economic strength from captured assets, physical and human both! European colonial era extended between 16th and the 20th century, stretching across Asia, Africa and the Americas. Increased local resistance and costs led the colonies to be freed, but not before scooping out the most precious resources and assets by their masters.
Many countries, could taste their freedom in the middle and later part of 20th century. Plagued by decades of broken spines, poverty, and steeped in corruption, many former colonies are in troubled economic condition today. Though there are exceptions like Singapore, they can be very few and far between.
Of the US $ 2,50,145 net worth of the world, US’s share is US $ 85,901 billion. I decided to dig into the distribution of this capital in the US. Senator Bernie Sander’s speech “Democratic Socialism in America,’ delivered to the students at Georgetown University on 19 November 2015 (yesterday) was a revelation.
Sanders defined the phrase ‘Democratic Socialism,’ as one believed to be guaranteeing it citizens’ material well being in order to truly protect their freedom, citing Franklin Roosevelt. He admitted that many in the US are unable to feed their families, unable to retire with dignity, and slog over 60-70 hours a week.
Sanders also cited that 0.1% of the American families numbering 160,000, each with a net worth in excess of $ 20.6 million, owned as much as the rest 146 million families or 90%, consisting of the entire poor and the middle class’s combined wealth. He stated that ‘he was very very nervous about this.’
I would not dare use the phrase ‘equal distribution,’ but a reasonable distribution of wealth is necessary to maintain a ‘responsible world order.’ The unstoppable mass arrival of people from poor countries to the affluent nations cannot be contained unless steps are taken to ensure a dignified living for all citizens of the world. Wars and internal strife would end in most disturbed areas, when the dignity of life is restored to the people.
The affluent western nations selectively allow refugees on a regular basis to address their need of cheaper labour. I have seen such unauthorized workmen, underpaid and without recourse working in many factories spread across Europe. US could be no different and a peep into the book, ‘The Working poor- invisible in America,’ by David K Shipler, a Pulitzer prize winning author could reveal the malady in the US.
Rich nations of the globe are becoming like overcrowded urban cities in India, bursting from its seams, as the rural parts are deprived of infrastructure, opportunities and growth. The unrest, the hate crimes, the racial hatred, now witnessed in increasing ferocity will only grow unless remedial measures are not taken urgently.