BY SOFO ARCHON
“Poverty is the worst form of violence.” ~Gandhi
Being used to the economic system that we have been brought up in, we never stop for a moment to question its existence and think what are its actual impacts on society and the environment. Most of us believe that it exists as it is for our own benefit, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, and this post will help you to understand how our economic system is causing tremendous harm to humanity and the planet in general.
1. It leads to poverty
Although we have the technological capacity to provide food, clean water and shelter for each and every human being in the world, our economic system prevent us from doing so. That’s because money is scarce and not all people can have enough of it to meet their basic needs. In fact, according to statistical reports, 40% of the global wealth is owned by 1% of people, while over 1 billion people are starving on this planet, which is unbelievable, considering that there is enough food for everyone and that starvation is not caused by a lack of resources.
2. It triggers violence
In a world where there is such a big wealth gap between the higher and lower classes, it is inevitable that there’s going to be plenty of violence and conflict. Poverty is breeding violence, especially when both rich and poor people are living close to one another, showing how the sense of injustice deeply affects our psyche.
Statistical studies have repeatedly shown that an increase in unemployment is usually followed by an increase in violence. Obviously, when a person doesn’t have enough to live decently, he or she feels compelled to act violently towards those that have more than himself or herself.
In addition, child abuse, both physical and emotional, along with increasingly difficult levels of personal stress, which are likely to be experienced by impoverished individuals, have a direct correlation to both premeditated and impulsive acts of violence.
3. It gives rise to greed
In our economic system, money is needed by people so that they can survive, but since money is scarce, we’re all in an endless competition for acquiring money. And since nothing can guarantee us that we’ll have enough money in the future, we tend to want more and more of it. No matter how much money we have already collected, we always feel financially insecure, which explains why even millionaires, who have all the luxuries one can desire, still want to earn more money, always feeling that they are financially insecure.
4. It creates disease
Our economic system is tremendously affecting our health, but most people don’t seem to recognize this fact.
Due to the amount of poverty that exists worldwide because of the inequality created by our global economic system, over 1 billion of people are dying each year, with about 1.5 million children in poverty stricken societies being killed from diarrhoeal diseases that could be easily preventable and treatable.
Studies have shown that people living in poverty are more likely to develop physical conditions such as heart disease because of poor health habits that occur in lower income environments due to the lack of funds for better nutrition, medical attention and education. In addition, they are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses, such as depression, due to their high levels of stress caused by their harsh conditions of living.
5. It destroys nature
Lastly, the way our economic system works is causing irreparable harm to our planet day by day, because of the need for cyclical consumption.
If people stopped buying as much stuff as they currently do, fewer sales would be made, which means that fewer jobs would be needed, hence more unemployment would be created. Assuming that this slowed consumption to a great extent, the economy would shrink more and more and eventually collapse.
As you can understand, constant consumption is required for the money to keep on flowing in the system. The problem, however, is that the more we consume, the more waste we create, and where does that waste end up to? It ends up on Earth, killing the sea life, destroying the soil, polluting the atmosphere, poisoning the food that we eat, causing biodiversity loss and a multitude of other environmental problems.
“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish has been caught, and the last stream has been poisoned, will we realize that we cannot eat money.” ~Cree Indian proverb
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