Monday, June 20, 2011

EDITORIAL: Poverty and the Changing Landscape

By Christina Fermin

Politics & Society Columnist

In a world where there are 6.9 billion people in the world, 3 billion people live off of less than $2.50 a day and 80% of the world’s population lives off of less than $10 per day. In a world where there are 2.2 billion children, 1 billion of those children live in poverty. 70% of the worlds poor are women, and of the almost 1 billion people who are illiterate 2/3 of them are women. In rural areas, the numbers are even more staggering, 3 of out every 4 people live off of less than $1 a day. Today it seems as though the poor are mostly women and children, and as the income disparity among the world widens more and more people are falling into this category, I know I live off of less than $10 per day.

Water is the largest threat to the human population in this century, water effects almost half of the world’s population. 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water and 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation. Almost half of people in developing countries suffer from water or sanitation related illness’ every year. Millions of women every day spend hours collecting water. 12% of people living in developed nations use 85% of the world’s water. That is an extraordinary number, that 12% most likely includes you and I. The average person only uses 20 liters of water per day, while here in the U.S. the average water use is 600 liters per day. Wow!

As of 2011 there are 1,210 billionaires in a world where there are 6,925,847,078 people. These are the 0.13% of people who control most of the world’s resources and finances. These are the people who dictate policies, governments and corporations. Their bottom line is profit, profit at all costs, profit which does not have a face, a personality, a need or an emotion. These 1,210 billionaires could literally WIPE OUT poverty tomorrow if they wanted to. When I looked up the wealthiest companies in the world, there were over 200 companies that profited more than 40 billion dollars last year! Imagine if every one of these companies contributed a mere 5% of their profits to solving the problems of the world?

Poverty has nothing to do with being lazy, different, or weak. Poverty stems from years of bad policies, bad decisions and corruption. Policies and decisions which benefit a small group of people and corporations at the expense of the people of this world. For every $1 in aid a developed country gets, $25 is spent on debt repayment. Poverty stems from the bad policies of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, other similar institutions and developed nations. Treaties such as the North American Trade Agreement and the Central American Trade Agreement should be repealed because they only benefit corporations.

This model is failing. The economies around the world have collapsed, middle classes around the world are disappearing, corporate profits and CEO earnings have risen exponentially while taxes for them have disappeared, it is as though the world has gone hay wire. As the old ways crumble and fall and the reality of what our world really looks like comes to light more people are disliking what they see. Thanks to the internet we are now realizing we are all the same, there are minor differences but we all share the same feelings, emotions and goals. As the old world crumbles we must give birth to the new world. A world I see that is free of poverty, hunger and suffering. It is time we each stood up to the machine; demand from your elected official, demand from your favorite companies, demand from your local providers, it is up to us the people to change things, and unless you do not want to make the world a better place it is time to stand up for humanity and make a stand.

Here are some websites and blogs to check out:

Peace & Harmony,


About the Columnist

With a bachelors degree in political science from Florida Atlantic University, Christina Fermin has always cultivated her love for history, politics, sociology, ancient knowledge and teachings, the outdoors, the ocean and the environment. Christina strives to make our world better by helping us all create a new reality and understanding of all taking place here and now.


I see thing differently.

People from all over the world come to the U.S. to live in Poverty. Why?

If you're poor in the U.S. you actually LIVE better than the Middle Class do in Europe.

Compared to the Average U.S. Poor, most middle class Europeans live in homes that are half as large, most don't have a car, most don't have Air conditioners, most don't have Dryers. Most don't have Dishwashers. Most don't have Cable TV, most don't have Microwaves.

All things that the American Average Poor takes for granted.

Truth is that the more Socialist or Statist that a country is, the more poverty you find within their borders.

Would Haiti be poor if they were free?
Would Cuba be poor if they were free?
Would the Chinese be poor if they were free?
Would Africans be poor if they were free?
Would North Korea be poor if they were free?

What Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Russia and other countries have found is that by freeing their people and opening themselves up for trade and keeping business friendly environments, they've been able to defeat poverty at a rate MUCH better than any of the Socialists have ever dreamed and by keeping the Statists tyrannical rule at bay, the wealth flows to the average citizens, not by fiat, but by each individual's hard work.

What good does it do a Farmer in Africa to work hard at his farm, when the state comes in and tells him at what price he can sell his goods, especially when they're giving him a price that is MORE than what it costs him to bring it to market?
This is how entire families are ruined, not by greed, but by the tyranny of the many over the few.

Those things that you mentioned, are exactly that things. Materialism shouldn't be a marker for a better way of life. While at least the Europeans have shelter and food. When you look at South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia the VAST majority of the poor, many of them have very little shelter and the shelter they do have is something made of sticks. Many of them suffer from malnutrition because of the bad policies of the IMF and World Bank, where they are forced to export much of the food that is cultivated. While many of the world's poor try coming to the U.S. because Yes we do have a better standard of living, but many of them do not want to leave their native lands or their families.

My point in this article is the fact that because of BAD U.S. policies along with the policies of the IMF and the World Bank and the power of the few people are forced to go to more "developed" countries because these very same countries are responsible for their poverty. When you look at the countries of South America, Africa and the Caribbean these countries have rulers and presidents that are our puppets.

Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive governments of today and we are best friends with them. While the Chinese may be poor, their middle class has grown exponentially and their GDP has grown much faster than our own.

It's not about Socialism, Communism, Democracy, Capitalism....NONE of those systems work anymore. Capitalism cannot survive without the exploitation of others, those others are exactly the areas of the world which are extremely poor. At one point in time they may have worked, but in today's ever increasingly fast technological globally connected society those are the structures of the old which do not fit the new. People shouldn't be forced to move here or anywhere else in search of a better life because of the policies and mismanagement of the U.S. How is it that while the U.S. preaches democracy and capitalism, we ever increasingly support Corporate Welfare and tyrannical regimes that do what we like.
And yes while families are ruined by the tyranny of the few, it is the few that is ruined by greed and power.


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