Thursday, October 16, 2014
Blog Action Day 2014, #INEQUALITY, #BAD2014
When I registered to participate in this year’s Blog Action Day, #BAD2014, with the theme of Inequality, I had in mind one thing but something else kept popping up. Several references, an article, something on the radio, a snip of conversation, all about Income Equality. So I had to follow where the universe was leading me. And I'll probably be stating a lot of obvious things.
An article, in my local newspaper, by David Sirota really sparked my interest. He asked why income inequality is not a big issue? Why are people not making a really BIG deal out of it. What was revealed, for the United States, is that most people are not aware of how BIG the gap is between rich and poor. A new study by Harvard University and Chulalongkorn University was noted. Data from 40 countries was analyzed. They found that everyone underestimated the gap. Here’s the information for the U.S. - People thought that the ratio of income between a CEO and a worker was 30 to 1. Well, guess what folks, it’s more like 350 to 1. HUGE! Because people aren’t aware of this, the desire to take action isn’t there. People feel that it doesn’t impact them directly, but economic inequality, if not dealt with can create problems in the area of criminal justice, economic growth, personal and public health, and even our high infant mortality rate. Who knew, well some people, of course, but not enough.
People working in minimum wage jobs cannot support themselves, let alone families, and provide them with adequate nourishment and health care. Just not possible. This is a direct correlation to income inequality. The cycle of poverty surely can’t be broken, under these circumstances. Oh dear.
The Sirota article ends with the fact that “Americans mis-perceive just how unequal their country has become.” Here’s the link to the list of 10 countries with the worst income inequality. Some of the countries on the list will surprise you. Unfortunately, the United States is one of them. Surprised?
Unfortunately, ah, I use that word again, the author of the article offered no solution. One thing I do think would help would be to raise the minimum wage, have every job provide a living wage, so that people could afford a place to live, enough money to feed themselves and their families, and have affordable health care. Our entire country would be better off if everyone was healthy, housed, educated, and not hungry. (tso - to state the obvious!)
Oh dear, again, I’ve just made myself blue. I think I’ll go make something. That always cheers me up and makes me grateful for every advantage that I’ve had. Really.
And I'll vote. Hopeful me is thinking that someday we can make a difference. What was it that Margaret Mead said? - “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Oh Margaret, I sure hope so. Now where do we start!
Any ideas? Any one?