Poverty: cause, consequences, and the tax on the rich

Furthermore, the transnational NGO Save The Children which works side by side with UNICEF, adds that even before the pandemic, two thirds of the world's children lacked of access to any form of social protection, which prevents their families from withstanding the financial crises that perpetuate the vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty. On the other hand, in the report entitled A Future for the World's Children? carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet it was concluded that the health and future of all the world's children and adolescents - but especially those of the most vulnerable - are under immediate threat from ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push them to consume products harmful to your body. For our lares, Mónica Rubio UNICEF social policy adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean, indicated that “most of the children in the region live at permanent risk of contracting diseases that can be caused chronic, they tend to lag behind their education - which ends up excluding them from the system - and it is sadly common for them to suffer from periods of hunger or malnutrition that, even if they are short, can leave them sequelae for a lifetime ”. they do not have a decent quality of life in the world are - immorally at this point in the 21st century - too many. Because a malnourished child is a tragedy. Billions lacking is, directly, an unspoken intolerable genocide.

The main reason why this happens is undoubtedly the unequal distribution of resources at the global level. Because the creation of wealth and the accumulation of capital –real or fictitious / financial-, has been on a growing trend since the appearance of the capitalist system as we know it. And it will continue to be so. A study by academics James Davies Rodrigo Lluberas and Anthony Shorrocks for the Global Wealth Databook of 2019 is enlightening: at the end of the Last year, 47 million adults in the world (0.9% of the total of the elderly) have assets of more than 1 million dollars, accumulating 43.9% of global wealth. On the other side of the pyramid, 2,883 million adults (56.6% of the total) own assets of up to $ 10,000, which together represents only 1.8% of global assets.

The disparity described is abysmal both inter-state and intra-state. The children of South Korea, Norway or Australia have all of their basic needs satisfied, as well as the best chances of survival and well-being; As a counterpart, most of the children in Chad, Bangladesh or Haiti are extremely poor and their future could be described, at the very least, from bleak to hopeless. On the other hand, endogenously, countries also have differences - sometimes incredibly abysmal - between different regions or socio-economic sectors. For example, in the Kampala region of Uganda, poverty does not reach 6% of the population; while in Karamoja, within the same country, poverty affects 96.3% of its inhabitants. And in India, while the sons of the upper castes are trained as engineers at the world's most prestigious universities, hundreds of millions of Sudras (the lower caste) survive with enormous shortages of all kinds. [19659008] We could cross-examine ourselves and discuss endlessly how we got to this situation in our country and in the world. But no. Time is valuable and we are urged to give quick, effective, forceful answers. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to achieve them; There is no lesser sector of global society, which transfers social classes, which has already had enough of so much space for collective claims, of so much attention from the State to the underprivileged ( “with my taxes NO” ) , of those evicted foreigners who threaten the economy and insecurity. A hatred, a contained anger that encourages microfascist behaviors that have been intelligently visualized until their seduction, by candidates who offer a repressive and ultra-conservative agenda regardless of the costs.

A speech like that of Bolsonaro, Trump, Alternative for Germany or VOX in Spain, it is a sweet melody for those fearful of a worse future - even more so than the already unfortunate present - that promotes the fervent anti-statism, the free market in pursuit of individualism, the lowering of taxes on the rich 'so that they invest', and moving swiftly towards labor flexibility. Of course, this is not enough: they have already tried –fatally- with the lukewarmness of democratic discussion and the marginal progressive advances; now it is the turn of authoritarian conservatism. A deja vú to the most stale Thatcherism, where the "There is no such thing as society: there are individuals, men and women, and there are families" supported by the iron lady, coexisted with oppression - and when not repression-; This can be clearly observed through a variety of period films (such as the famous Touching the Wind by the screenwriter and writer Mark Herman) which show, through drama, comedy or the tragedy, a process of deindustrialization and outsourcing - involuntary for millions of British workers - that paved the way for the later savage neoliberal globalization of the 1990s'.

As a moral buffer, the ideological model described never preaches selfishness : it simply rests on an implicit pedagogy of respect for one's neighbor as a condition for social order. "Your freedom ends where that of others begins", a self-emancipation generated within a circle of autonomy that surrounds us and that no one should trespass. "Invade" would be the word according to a world where scarcity reigns and aggressiveness and excessive competition prevail. The bet is that each one takes care of and protects how much (or little) they have: be it material, emotional, health, or survival itself. Here I am calm. The outside is always worse. It is shown by the most powerful and transcendent media, why not believe them.

Under this phobic, individualistic and pro-market logic, the other does not matter much, the one outside my circle of interest and control who is not a potential consumer. To whom marketing does not make a dent; not because they do not want it, but because they cannot directly access what is offered to them. On the other side of the counter, there are many Social Organizations, which are usually positive and voluntaristic, but never have the power - and above all the money - that the only institution has that coercively forces to contribute with the wealth generated, including those who strenuously pursue the liberal order. Who then can give an answer, if not other than the State?

However, it is difficult to oppose an aggressive order from the discursive and the repressive, if when the politicians who come to power fail to comply with the premises of efficiency, honesty, and putting the most technically and morally capable men and women into office in order to generate the true change that the millions of evicted children need. Because reality indicates that within the framework of the visual, the superfluous, the immediate –which prevails in an immaculate society in the simplicity of the lack of understanding and the generated lie-, what is observed at first glance is failure: the failure to comply with the promises of successive governments that have made public affairs a large "box" of money; and not much else.

As a consequence, the civilizing scenario today has focused, consolidated and solemn, on the totalitarianism of capital: the alliance of corporations, media and politicians that has decreed that no aspect of social life can exist outside the market, that no horizontal bond subsists outside the rule of law, that the individual must enrich himself by his own means without looking to the side, the suffering of the other. Where the State, once the center of the life of societies, was relegated to a position of secondary weakness, which only reinforces its authority in the face of catastrophic events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic that we are experiencing. Therefore, from the vital and overcoming discussion, one passes to a reductionism that leads to a bipolarity of the center, where the only thing the average citizen wants is to avoid what we dislike, the "least bad." Of course, this negativist agenda moves away from pro-positivism that requires taking the bull by the antlers to end poverty, especially that which affects the most vulnerable, our children.

I would like to conclude with the words of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General: “Too often, decision-makers around the world are failing today's children and youth: failing to protect their health, rights and protection. your planet. ” There is no time to look the other way or ignore. Because strictly speaking, there is no such thing as the described "circles of autonomy" that could happily coexist without touching or invading each other. Starting with understanding, rational voting, consenting empathy, monitoring and control of those with executive responsibilities. The millions of impoverished children in our country are crying out for it

(*) Economist and Doctor in International Relations. Author of the book “La Sociedad Anestesiada. The global economic system from the perspective of citizens. "

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