Haves and Have Nots: Who’s responsible ?


Top and bottom 1% together

Around 400,000 such persons (lying on the street above) can be fed for a day, with the amount of money spend on this car.  If you love cars, that’s one thing, but otherwise, are you part of this income disparity or against it ?

Now, check out following Income disparity comparison around the world. Red being greater inequality and Blue less and Purple in the middle.

gini map twotonefull pos.jpg

 

Have a look at this short video clip:

 

Ever wondered, why we see vast difference between haves and have nots, in almost every country. Rich are filthy rich (no offense), while poor living in extreme poverty. Rich throw half of the food eg in Saudi, when they’re full, while poor eat half meal to their satisfaction, once a week in Somalia. Some have made cars with gold, while others spend their life pondering how to accumulate gold for their girls marriage in India. Some go on vacation in Spain with entourage of more than 3000, while others save money his whole life to perform Haj (Pilgrimage) travel to Makkah, with two or three family members.

Let’s take a look at some startling facts:

  • Just like in America, the wealthiest 0.5% control over 35% of world wealth, Credit Suisse has compiled and released its latest “Global Wealth Report.”
  • “The combined wealth of the world’s 200 richest people hit $1,000,000,000,000 in 1999; the combined incomes of the 582,000,000 people living in the 43 least developed countries is $146,000,000,000.”
  • Pakistan’s 36,000 elite millionaires owns 40% of Pakistan’s total wealth (Rs. 2,118 billion) as per SBP report.
  • I remember, in 2011, US dumped food worth $6 billion, because it doesn’t want to disrupt global food price, if it gives on charity to any country.
  • “The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”
  • “The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (of the world’s countries) is less than the combined wealth of the world’s 3 richest people.”
  • “The wealthiest nation on Earth has the widest gap between rich and poor of any industrialized nation. “
  • “20% of the population in developed nations consume 86% of the world’s goods.”
  • “It would cost approximately $40 billion to offer basic education, clean water and sanitation, reproductive health for women, and basic health and nutrition to every person in every developing country.”
  • The number of U.S. residents living in poverty edged up to 46,000,000 in 2012
  • The richest 1 percent of the population received almost a fifth of the national households’ income in 2012, thus breaking the previous record set in 1928.
  • 870 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.
  • The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.
  • According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
  • “The developing world now spends $13.00 on debt repayment for every $1.00 it receives in grants.”
  • We normally pay 10 times more on a meal, while we can eat ourselves modestly and instead feed 9 people with rest of the money.

Now take a look at the situation of debt of the majority of population and find how it’s skyrocketing for the poor and falling for the rich. This clearly tells us that rich are getting richer and poor are getting poor. I heard ‘Interest’ or what we call it as ‘Riba’ has such effect ? Following data is from US trends, to elucidate the point, rest of the world has similar picture.

Growing income inequality has led to ballooning debt loads for the bottom 95% of Americans.

Now look at the income disparity graph as an example from US, over the decades and see how the Top 1% progressed in it’s income and how the bottom percentiles have remained subdued, effectively increasing the divide between haves and have nots over those years.

Picture speaks a thousand words, I’ll leave following photos to your imaginations.

I will never waste my food 

“It would cost approximately $40 billion to offer basic education, clean water and sanitation, reproductive health for women, and basic health and nutrition to every person in every developing country.”

Did that happen all of a sudden ? Why did that happen in the first place ? Should we hold ‘Haves’ accountable or are the ‘Have nots’ culprit themselves ?

Sources & Further Readings:

http://myscienceacademy.org/2013/09/13/us-inequality-at-historic-high-surpassing-roaring-20s/

http://www.massrecycle.org/getinvolved/advocacy/organics-waste-ban

http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats

http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/supersized-hunger-pangs-supersized-waste-infographic

http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/02/news/economy/income-debt-inequality/

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/income-inequality-around-the-world-is-a-failure-of-capitalism/238837/

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Extravagance or ‘Israaf’ something we need to be careful about


I remember, someone gave me Rs. 10,000 (=$100) for food charity (food distribution to the poor, I run with my friends). Some 300 poor people satisfied their hunger for one time, with that much money. Imagine, how many had their meals with Rs. 26,000 (=$260) and so on. But the point is, we can easily spend Rs.10,000 in a group of 8 people, for one meal at any buffet (eg iftaar, lunch or dinner), so compare that with a meal for 300 people.

Extravagance – is to exceed the limits of what is required or what is customary. We should not spend wastefully in the manner of the spendthrift. Eat and drink but not waste by extravagance. As you know, extravagants are considered the brother of evil. And we should also not be miser, in fact when we spend, we should neither be extravagant nor niggardly (scrimy), but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes). It does not relate to food or eating, instead we should avoid being extravagant in all matters, eg in drinking, clothing, conversation, spending, sleeping, hygiene, laughing, joking, praising, criticism, prayers (ibadat), in fact we should choose the path of moderation in virtually every part of our life. The method of determining whether or not an action is extravagant is to consider whether it exceeds what is needed or exceeds what is customarily regarded by the people to be within acceptable limits or common in the society or people with your same stature.

If we (blessed to be rich) observe these practices in our life, there would not be this much of a poverty in our neighbourhood, cities, countries and planet earth, that we see today,  the extreme economic disparity in our society. If everyone abstains from excesses or lavish lifestyle and instead share extra money to the less privileged and thus does his/her part in charity, according to his/her capacity, we would have removed poverty and hunger from the world and it would be a lot happier place. Bless you all!

Some quotes on this:

In everything the middle course is best: All things in excess bring trouble to men.
Titus Maccius Plautus

The passion of acquiring riches in order to support a vain expense, corrupts the purest souls.
Francis De S.Fenelon

A bedroom requires a bed. Everything else was extravagance. Well, he had a bed all right.
Audrey Meadows

If extravagance were a fault, it would not have a place in the festivals of the gods.
Aristippus

An extravagance is something that your spirit thinks is a necessity.
Bern Williams

He who buys what he needs not, sells what he needs.
Japanese Proverb
Prodigality is indeed the vice of a weak nature, as avarice is of a strong one; it comes of a weak craving for those blandishments of the world which are easily to be had for money.
Sir Henry Taylor