Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The price of progress

I have watched in the last few days what are really sad tales of our world. While we bemoan the price of petrol and the cost of food in Australia, there should be no reason why anyone in this land should not be able to access at least one and probably three square meals tomorrow.
It is not so fortunate elsewhere. Last night's Dateline highlighted the shortage of bread in Cairo.
Now Cairo is not Zimbabwe or Mali, it is relatively affluent and people are without staples.
Tonight's Insight was frighteningly close to home.The story of families trying to make it on $400-$500 a week...with mortages, petrol, health and children.
The all too common story of families not having enough money to meet crisis needs.
Having grown up in an household with one income, many children and no capital to fall back on I am all too well aware that many of the middle-class just don't get this. They do not understand how a family can simply not have enough money to put petrol in the car, or to replace clothing.
They do not understand how the poor do not insure their houses and cars not because they are stupid, but because there is simply not money to do it.
There are always those ready to moralise about the way those who try to live on tiny incomes spend their money. I just don't think they get the reality of poverty means not that the poor choose foolishly but that they have no choice.
I am drawn to one banking advert which says...Every generation should live better than the one that went before...and I think we should be ashamed that too many people, certainly in the developing world, but also in our midst can't actually relaise that goal.

1 comment:

Stephen James Bloor said...

Well said, unfortunately all too true.