Making the wealth divide even greater PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 September 2018 14:53

Remedios F. Marmoleño

We often hear or read about the life of the poor. We know that some people have to walk distances just to be able to access clean drinking water. We know of people who live not in nipa huts but in karetons that move about cities choked with traffic and fumes. We are told of people so poor they have to scrounge in garbage piles to find something to eat. Many of us are not indifferent to the plight of the “poor of this earth” and while we do not feel that we contribute to their state of life, we know that we feel blessed that we do not live the kind of lives they live.

There has been a lot of media comment on the movie Crazy Rich Asians. I haven’t seen it yet but I am sure I will not be surprised at what I will see when I finally get down to buying a ticket for the movie.

In one column some months back I expressed my unease about reading a Valentine’s Day dinner ad which promised a special dinner with drinks at “just” P3950,00 per person. What would people think of this dinner if for them a special dinner is a chicken joy meal at a popular fast food chain, something that costs just some pesos more than a 100?

More and more social scientists and economists say that what our world has to deal with is not just poverty per se, where so many have so little, but the huge difference between those who have and those who have not.

A news item  recently said that in China 79% of the wealth created in China in 2017 went to only 1% of the population. In India 1% of the country’s population  acquired 73% of the wealth created during the same year. Simply said – around ¾ of the wealth created in 2017 in China and India, two countries with huge populations – went to  just 1% of these two country’s huge population, respec  tively. We are not saying the 1% stole the wealth. It is simply saying that if you have the money you can create more money very easily.

What this means is that the great divide between the rich and the poor is growing ever bigger each year.

In Thailand the uneven sharing is even greater. 96% of the wealth created in 2017 went to just the top 1% of the population. It is like saying that those already wealthy practically got all the wealth in the scheme of things.

There has been little written about those of us who are not dirt poor nor rich and crazy. We just continue to worry about the price of rice and galunggung.