World Bank economist Branko Milanovic concluded in his book 'The Haves and the Have-Nots' "...In the grand scheme of things, even the poorest 5% of Americans are better off financially than two thirds of the entire world....."
According to a Barnes and Noble book review: "...Bold, engaging, and illuminating, 'The Haves and the Have-Nots' teaches us not only how to think about inequality, but why we should.
Most Indian reservations still do not have indoor plumbing, or electricity, to this day.
In India and most of the African Continents, women and children must make daily pilgrimages - sometimes walking many miles to the local well or river just to get water for basic tasks like bathing and cooking. Along the way, they face innumerable dangers, such as rape, attack by soldiers, snakes, and theft from others wanting to steal their water.
I myself am still struck by the memory I have of an incident which happened when living in Korea, serving in the Army. I call it the 'Pied Piper Incident'. My friend and I had decided one day to take a walk through the local town. We got lost. So, while wandering aimlessly down alleys and side streets we began to hear giggling behind us. Turning around, we realized that we'd inadvertantly gathered a following of little children. Though I didn't speak Korean sufficiently to understand exactly what they were saying, it was clear that they were poor and hungry. It was obvious they were following us begging for money and/or food. At first we thought it was funny, and cute. Then - when we realized the seriousness of the situation, we stopped laughing, and emptied our pockets - giving them everything we had.
Here, in the United States - we who are supposed to be more civilized and educated - funnel money and services to the 'poor'. The 5%. I'm well aware when I write these blogs that there are people who are worse off than myself. But, even you have to admit that - when you're watching those commercials with Sally Field begging for a dollar a month to feed a hungry child - how come those childrens' parents aren't advocating for their children themselves?! So, as selfish as this blog sounds - this is ME begging for a better quality of life for myself and my child. This is ME exposing how our taxpayer money is being mispent and squandered. This is ME detailing how there are still a class of people who go to work worrying where they're going to sleep tonight, and how they're going to feed their children. This is ME stating as succinctly as I can that there are people who - while they're being 'helped' on the one hand, are expected to sacrifice personal safety, health and welfare on the other.
And, this is ME saying that it's not ok; And that I think - no, I KNOW we can and should do better.