Global Starvation

This report is about the essay “Global Starvation Ignored by American Policy Elites

Summary of the article

Nearly 20 million people live on $1.25 a day and another 20 million on $2.50.  The situation is severer in urban areas and over 25,000 children under 5 a day die of malnutrition, curable diseases and starvation.  David Rothkopf calls them “the unlucky” in his book “Superclass”.  He says the top 10% wealth holders own 84% of the wealth.  The writer of the article asks if such a wealth inequality can be described just as “the lucky” and “the unlucky”.  He asks if it isn’t the result of policies, supported by political elites, which protect the few at the expense of the many.

New agricultural development has been made every year and farmers around the world grow more than enough food to feed the entire world adequately now, yet billions of people go hungry.  This strange phenomenon happens because commodity speculators and huge grain traders control the prices.  Their idea is that starving people demand food and the demand brings the prices up.  A little increase in the prices is very severe to poor people but huge corporations seek for it rather than feeding the hungry.

Many more people die from starvation than die from the terrorism, but neither candidate has declared a war on starvation.  Instead they talk about national security and the continuation of the war on terror.  The mass media shows outrage against terrorism, but they have no programs which reveal who are benefiting from hunger.

Many people in America think starvation in developing countries is not their responsibility but feel sorry when they see starving children.  They know there is a great inequality in wealth and send donations for guilty relief.  Yet giving is not enough.  We should demand hunger relief as national policy in the next presidency.  Global hunger and massive wealth inequality is based on political policies that can be changed.  There will be no national security in the US without the basic food needs of the world being realized.

My opinion

The article says the poorest group of people in the world live on $1.25 a day, and it is  exactly the figure that Mrs. Kawazu said 2 months ago that a large percentage of people lived on in Bangladesh.  But I watched a program on TV the other day which said the country’s economy had been developing by 6% or so until the present economic recession started last October.  I remember Mrs. Kawazu saying that she saw tall buildings in the middle of shabby huts.  It’s true a big percentage of national income depends on the money sent by people working in the foreign countries and many of them are being sent back to Bangladesh and so the economy is severely affected.  But the TV also said that Islamic banking system was different from the capitalistic one, and the influence of the recession was smaller in Islamic countries.  Singapore is already entering a newly developed country.  The government is eagerly recruiting top class scientists and engineers.  They pay very big salary and provide very good working conditions to attract applicants.  Many top scientists and engineers work there, but the competition is very severe and if they can’t show any apparent good results in 2 years they are fired.

China and India are big threats to us.  They have both advanced technology and cheap labor force.  South Korea is also advancing rapidly and they are selling many advanced products at competitive prices in the world market.

I think their future is bright and I dare say that 21st is a century of Asia provided that there aren’t big political changes.  There are some reasons but the biggest reason is that the population is very large and they are industrious.  They are used to living in very poor living conditions and so are more ready to accept hard work than people in advanced countries.  They are poor and are desperate to earn money to support their family.  Japan is located in Asia but I didn’t say “we” because I don’t think our future is so bright.  Geographically we belong to Asia, but our living condition is that of an advanced country and many young people’s attitude is not as industrious as other members of Asia.  We parents are partly responsible but they don’t know what it means to be poor.  When I see languid attitude of such young people and the poor leadership of our government, I can’t stop feeling pessimistic about our future.

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