Social Apartheid

+ I read with real sadness about the Indian women who gave their lives for a new sari [yahoo news], and wondered whether they had left motherless children, uncared for elderly parents and all the other implications of such a tragic piece of news, all for the sake of a dress. They must be really poor people, I thought.
+ Then another bit of news caught my eye, about the recent street battles that have taken place in the main shanty towns of Rio de Janeiro, known as Rocinha and Vidigal. Overlooking some of the most expensive real estate in the world, the shanty towns stretch for miles and house some 150,000 people, who live on an average of 70pence a day. There is a new proposal to build a ten foot high wall [similar in idea to the israeli west bank wall] to separate the shantys from the 'normal' areas and prevent them from growing.
+ Then I saw another interesting item about the average size of americans. Americans are shrinking, it's official. We all know they're getting fatter, but shrinking? The accepted theory for shorter americans is being blamed on 'the great social inequality that now exists in the United States', [ref John Komlos of Munich University, after decades of reasearch.] The (poor) Europeans, he argues, have still got enough protein in their diets, and have far superior health care, whereas in America, the poor have insufficient diet, and children suffer from blighted growth and malnutrition.
+ I took a small journey to a 'poorer' area of London, and it was plain to see the percentage of obese people was roughly double that of more well off areas. The difference is now clearly noticeable. My richest neighbours are all stick thin, whereas my poorer neighbours are now all sixteen stone apiece.

After all the political suffrage for minorities, workers, women, racial and legal equality et al, we have thrown it all away in the name of greed and selfishness. In the future, the rich will live, not in 'gated communities', but self styled prisons, probably walling off entire boroughs of cities for their own private use. The totally destructive force of western greed politics not only divides the world, it divides each country within itself. So, even countries not of the 'western block' are being torn apart by the effects of the so called free market. It's a classic downward spiral, and can only end in dead markets, as it excludes more and more of the potential consumers.


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