Poverty is real everywhere
Change is said to be the only thing permanent in the world, however, poverty might as well qualify as another thing becoming permanent in the world, unless we do something about it. There have been many debates as to how to eradicate poverty and it has become a worldwide concern that the UN top it on the list of its priority for its millennium development goals.
In the Philippines the root causes of poverty according to an ADB publication are macroeconomic issues; unemployment issues; population growth; problems in the agriculture sector; governance concerns; armed conflict; and, disability. These are aggravated by corruption and other social problems.
When we think of poverty, what comes to mind sometimes are names of developing and least developed countries such as African and Southeast Asian countries. However, poverty is so pervasive that it is a reality even here in a first world country like Australia.
Despite ranking top in the recent world prosperity index, Australia still has to deal with poverty among its small population. A report from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research updated the poverty line for Australia recently as follows:
Inclusive of housing costs, the poverty line is $710.14 per week for a family comprising two adults, one of whom is working, and two dependent children. This is an increase of $3.91 over the poverty line for the previous quarter (December 2007).
A non government organization report claimed that more than half of all Australians who are unemployed live in a family that is poor. Poverty in Australia meant income poverty. A household might still live in a house, however, might not have enough income to cover food and other necessities such as electricity, water or petrol.
There are some advantages for the poor in first world countries as they have access to government help, as they have here in Australia, compared to the poor of the rest of the world who, most of the time, have to rely on outside help.
Nevertheless, poverty, be it in a developed country or not, it must end. Now, maybe the US can take the lead by requiring CEOs of Wall Street’s failed companies to donate half of their ‘shredded’ net worth (they are not worth the pay anyway)?