#fightinequality, #BDS, #endpoverty

Whatever criticism you may have of social media, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been instrumental campaigning tools for many charities and activist groups. Hashtags have provided a focal point for those fighting for change and seeking justice. #fightinequality, #BDS, #endpoverty are examples of how online campaigns can gather momentum and bring about real and tangible change. 

Not only do these campaigns help to highlight issues and educate the public, but they also help to bring about political change. 

Ditch the Three Wise Monkeys

Joining the fight for peace and justice has become easy. Such is the suffering of millions of people across the world that we can no longer stand-by idly. Doing so makes us complicit.

Turning a blind eye to people’s suffering makes me complicit

#fightinequality, #BDS, #endpoverty, and #metoo

If you’re keen on fighting for change, start by finding like-minded people. Using hashtags this is easy. Let me give you an example. You may for example like to join the anti-homelessness campaign in Ireland. Go on Twitter and do a search on homelessness. Within minutes, you’ll find countless campaigns, relevant hashtags, and numerous activist groups to join. 

Moreover, you’ll find links to informative websites where you’ll be able to get to grips with the homelessness issue in Ireland. 

Create a New Hashtag

If you are unable to find an appropriate hashtag for your campaign, create one. Make it concise and catchy so that everyone can understand it immediately. Share it across all your online channels, post information on the issue and network with like-minded people. It may take a while for your hashtag to generate momentum, but your persistence is well-worth it. Meanwhile, you’ll come across people who want to contribute to your campaign. 

Silence and Inaction Prolong Suffering

On a world-stage or at a local level, failing to speak up and highlight issues only helps to copperfasten the suffering of the most vulnerable people. It is up to each individual to speak up and take whatever action possible to help end the suffering. Even small acts of kindness, speaking up in a confined environment makes a difference. 

So, don’t live like the three wise or perhaps not so wise monkeys. #fightinequality, #BDS, #endpoverty. 

Trashcan Humans

The don’t haves have a hard time in this world. This is poem calling on all trashcan humans to revolt. I confess I am a trashcan human.

You, lying in the gutter - revolt!
You, struggling to pay bills - revolt!
You, lacking food and water - revolt!
You, beaten half to death - revolt!
You, incarcerated for no reason - revolt!
You, maimed, stabbed and shot - revolt!
You, abused and raped - revolt!
You, silenced and gagged - revolt!
You, working like slaves to stuff the pockets of the rich - revolt!
You, jobless, hopeless, homeless - revolt!
You, sectioned, mocked, derided - revolt!
You shunned and persecuted - revolt!
Trashcan humans unite, stand up and revolt!

Plaster your pain across the front pages!
Broadcast your cries on all channels!
Make your suffering go viral!

Don't be intimidated by slick suits and sly words!
Don't be silenced by the echoes of bullsh*t!

Until they listen!
Until they see!

 

Trashcan humans, together, we're strong and unstoppable!

The Rise and Rise of Prejudice

Prejudice

 

Respect

Coloured people, you’re worthless!
Foreign people, you’re despicable!
Poor people, you’re animals!

Coloured people show me your shades.
Foreign people teach me your ways.
Poor people join me at my table.

Fat people don’t go out!
Disabled people lock yourselves away!
Spotty people hide!

Fat people show off your curves!
Disabled people teach me resilience!
Spotty people let me show you my spots!

Atheists shut up!
Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews bin your beliefs!
Open-minded people dummy up!

Atheists enlighten me!
Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews teach me your strength!
Open-minded people broaden my mind!

LGBT community deny yourselves!
Opponents keep your trap shut!
Supporters share my righteousness!

LGBT community teach me about love!
Opponents help me understand and learn from me!
Supporters let’s open our minds!

The Art of Giving and Taking – Fair Exchange World

balance

Just giving without receiving is just as bad as receiving without giving. In all human relations, a fair and balanced exchange of all things provides balance and harmony. There’s an art in giving and taking.

This applies to the material as much as the emotional, as a natural balance of giving and taking is a prerequisite for good relationships.

Take nature for instance, unless nurtured, cannot provide nourishment and in society, givers have to be takers as much as takers must be givers.

Much the same applies in matters of the heart and love can only flourish if recipricated, between a child and a parent, on friend and another, and between strangers.

Those lacking can only contribute if their underlying unfulfilled need is addressed first. This is particularly true for those subject to poverty of a material or emotional nature.

Givers need to learn how to take and takers must learn the art of giving in the interest of a fairer world.

Be it in the exchange of goods, feelings, deeds or any other type of contribution that can be made, a natural flow, to and fro, must prevail.

fair-exchange

First World Poverty – The Ever-Widening Wealth Gap

Be it London, Paris or New York, there are plenty of poor people living in our midst. Many of them are homeless, while others just about manage in low-paid employment or on state benefits. But why is the gap between the haves and the have-nots ever widening? Why are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? 

This article attempts to explore some of the issues and causes of the ever-growing divide, while also highlighting the plight of countless poor people living in affluent societies.

Wealth Gap Statistics

According to a survey carried out by Credit Suisse last year, 1% of the world population own half of the world’s wealth. If you expand this share, 10% of the wealthiest adults now own 89% of the world’s wealth. This highlights enormous inequality, with Credit Suisse pointing out that the middle classes have been feeling the squeeze. Since the global financial crises, middle-class wealth has grown more slowly, in fact, many have pointed out that low and mid-income earners are now worse off than ever because wages have not kept pace with inflation. In the UK, the divide between the wealthiest members of society and those on the lower end has increased.

Identifying the Reasons for the Widening Wealth Divide

Opinions on what the causes of the ever-widening wealth gap are, differ. While some blame tax incentives for the rich and low corporation tax rates, others point to exceedingly low incomes and a rising cost of living. The housing crisis which sees many middle-income earners priced out of the market also plays a significant role.

There is a consensus, however, that the disparity of income exacerbates the problem. Surging profits do not filter down to workers, hence company wealth increases while worker wealth remains steady. As inflation rises, everyday items get more expensive, said incomes can no longer sustain the increasing expenses and people’s disposable income disappears.

As for the people living on benefits, the poverty trap is all but too real. Life on benefits excludes many from seeking gainful employment or providing a college education for the next generation.

Living in Poverty in an Affluent Society

If you are poor in an affluent society, you rely on government benefits and housing provisions. People with children struggle to make ends meet without spending wastefully because the benefits payments barely suffice for everyday necessities. With no money to spare to even purchase professional-looking clothing for a job interview, lack of access to training, the chances of making the transition from unemployment to employment are slim to none. Lone parents struggle even more because of the additional costs and the time-constraints of rearing children.

Homelessness has been spiralling out of control in many affluent societies because rents have been increasing at a faster rate than wages or benefit payments. Homeless agencies have been calling on governments to tackle the worsening housing crisis to little avail. Once homeless, seeking employment becomes a nigh-impossibility, while personal issues grow beyond what is manageable for the person involved.

Responsibilities of Governments and Corporations

Anti-inequality campaigners are urging governments of developed countries to do more for those on benefits and low incomes. Education must play a major part, in particular, giving access to college education to school-leavers of disadvantaged areas.

On the other side of the equation, many left-wing political groups have been calling for increases in corporation tax, the removal of tax incentives for the wealthy, as well as the introduction of a “rich tax”. Many believe that after bailing out banks following the financial crisis in 2008, it is now time to ease austerity measures and implement tax regimes that favour the low-paid.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Perspective on Inequality

In June 2015, the IMF published its findings on the causes and consequences of income inequality. To summarize the findings, the IMF highlighted that increasing low incomes for a large populous would fuel world economic growth, whereas increasing the income of the top 20% would, in fact, lower the growth rate. This may come as a surprise to many, however, the findings are in some ways self-evident. If all the people who are now on low or medium incomes were to receive a significant boost to their income, consumer confidence and spending would rise, which would obviously lead to global growth. In contrast, awarding pay increases to those who are already on high earnings would make no contribution to world economic growth.

The IMF recommends that each country should introduce policies geared toward raising low and mid incomes through wage increases and relevant changes to the taxation system. Furthermore, the IMF believes in the importance of protecting the middle class from sliding into poverty.

Through training and education, changes in taxation and wage increases, the economy as a whole would benefit and experience significant growth.

The Wealth Gap – Inequality Doesn’t Work, even for the Wealthy

An ever-increasing number of financial experts have been pointing out that maintaining the wealth divide potentially costs more money than a proper distribution of wealth would. Between benefits payments and donations to crippling nations, governments all over the world are pumping resources into helping the poorest of the poor in all the wrong ways. Rather than building a solid base for people on benefits or low incomes by increasing wages and changing taxation systems and thus allowing for more spending, governments are maintaining the wealth divide and opting to award tax breaks to those who do not need it instead.

As a result, economic growth is stifled, and the status quo is exacerbated. When economic growth is slow, everyone’s gain is reduced, even that of the richest of corporations.

It is simple, common sense to recognise that a more equal distribution of wealth would provide those on minimal incomes with the funds they need to spend. If the thousands upon thousands of poor people had more disposable income, spending would increase, as would government tax takes along with company profits. Everyone wins.

Inequality, in contrast, leads to spiralling poverty, needless suffering, starvation, death, and conflict.