It is strange that the majority of people in the West seem to tolerate a system that increases wealth, but in tandem with the increase in poverty for the majority. The number of millionaires increases, millionaires become billionaires, corporate bodies see their coffers bursting at the seams, and yet more and more ordinary people slip further down the slippery slope of poverty. In recent years poverty has galloped at an ever increasing pace across Europe, which is a large slice of the so called affluent West. We have seen Greece descend to the realms of a third world country, Spain, Italy and Portugal are skidding along a few paces behind. It is not just the southern European countries that are seeing their populations being pushed back to the poverty of Victorian times. Ireland is hot on the heels of our southern neighbours, and here in the UK we have seen an explosion of food banks as people struggle to survive. Countries that somehow are not usually associated with poverty, have seen their people slide into the mire and stress of deprivation. Germany, the richest nation in Europe, and one of the richest in the world, has seen poverty spread its tentacles further afield, dragging more of its people into that state of misery and blighted future. The Netherlands, seen as an affluent part of “affluent” Europe, in 2012 saw its biggest increase in poverty since 2008, figures from the national agency Statistics Netherland, show that with a population of less than 17 million, the Netherlands has approximately 1.2 million of its people considered to be living in poverty. The Netherlands has also seen a particularly sharp increase in the number of children living in poverty, while in parallel to this there has been a rise in those affected by longterm poverty. And so it goes on, wealth spewing from this society, straight into the pockets of the already very rich. We continue to create wealth at an astonishing rate, but we continue to see poverty spread further and deeper among the general population.
How much longer will we accept this injustice, this blatant exploitation? How much deeper in the mire of poverty will we let ourselves be pushed? How much longer will we tolerate the future of our kids and grandkids being blighted by unnecessary and avoidable poverty? The answer is in our hands, if we want to stop the plundering of the wealth that we produce, if we want to see it spread with more justice and equality, we have to do the changing. We can't expect those rich parasites who gain immense wealth and power from the existing system, to do anything to change it for our benefit. We surely have the imagination and ability to create a society of fairness, all that seems to be lacking is the desire.