- The white mans burden, William Easterly
- Globalisatie, Wayne Ellwood
BY SOFO ARCHON
“Poverty is the worst form of violence.” ~Gandhi
Being used to the economic system that we have been brought up in, we never stop for a moment to question its existence and think what are its actual impacts on our lives and on Earth. We believe that it exists as it is for our own benefit. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth, and below you’ll read exactly how our economic system is causing tremendous harm to yourself and the world:
1. It causes poverty
Although we have the technological capacity to provide food and shelter for each and every human being in the world, our economic systems prevent us from doing so. In our economic system, money is not enough for each and every human being. Money is scarce, and hence economic inequality among people is inevitable. According to statistical reports, 40% of the global wealth is owned by 1% of people, while over 1 billion people are starving on this planet, which is unbelievable, considering that there is enough food for everyone and that starvation is not caused by a lack of resources.
2. It gives rise to greed
In our economic system, money is needed by people so that they can survive, but since money is scarce, and inevitably some will have more and others less, almost all of us are in the endless competition of earning money. But since nobody can guarantee us that we will have enough money in the future, we always want more and more, and no matter how much money we collect, we always feel financially insecure, and that’s exactly why you see that even millionaires, who can live in comfort and luxury, always desire to earn more money — exactly like drug addicts always desire higher and higher drug doses.
3. It triggers violence
In a world where there is such a big wealth gap between people, it is inevitable that there’s going to be violence and conflict. Poverty is breeding violence, especially when both rich and poor people are living close to one another, showing how the sense of injustice deeply affects us humans. Statistical studies have repeatedly shown that an increase in unemployment is usually followed by an increase in violence. Obviously, when a person doesn’t have enough to live decently, he or she feels compelled to act violently towards those that have more than himself or herself. In addition, child abuse, both physical and emotional, along with increasingly difficult levels of personal stress, which are likely to be experienced by impoverished individuals, have a direct correlation to both premeditated and impulsive acts of violence.
4. It creates disease
Our socioeconomic is tremendously affecting our health, but most people don’t recognize this fact. Due to the poverty that prevails worldwide because of the inequality created by our socioeconomic system, over 1 billion of people are dying, with about 1.5 million children in poverty stricken societies being killed from diarrhoeal diseases each year, which could be easily preventable and treatable. Studies have shown that people living in poverty are more likely to develop physical diseases such as heart disease, due to poor health habits that occur in lower income environments, because of the lack of funds for better nutrition, medical attention and education. In addition, they are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses, such as depression, due to their high levels of stress caused by their harsh conditions of living.
5. It is destroying nature
The way our economic system works is causing irreparable harm to our planet, destroying the environment we live in day by day. This happens mainly due to the fact that our economic system is based on consumption. If people stopped buying so much stuff as they currently do, fewer sales would be made, which means that fewer jobs would be needed, hence more unemployment would be created. If this happened to a great extent, the economy would very soon collapse, hence our socioeconomic system is continuously urging us to endlessly consume. The more we consume, however, the more waste we create, and where does the waste end up to? It ends up on Earth, killing the sea life, destroying the soil, polluting the atmosphere, poisoning the food that we eat, and causing environmental destruction in so many other ways.
“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish has been caught, and the last stream has been poisoned, will we realize that we cannot eat money.” ~Cree Indian proverb