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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Inégalités = pauvreté

by Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin

Inequality = poverty

Translated Thursday 26 November 2015, by D. Phillips

Get this: 1 % of the world’s wealthiest possess 99 % more than that of the world’s population. Wealth like poverty leaves, first and foremost, the appalling reflection of inequalities.

Do you hear the media-driven global tune? Since the last UN session, in which the world’s most powerful were assessing the famous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted fifteen years ago, “poverty is on the decline”, was their rallying cry to us, and that more than one billion people would come out of “extreme poverty”. Everyone knows that the criteria chosen for officially “entering” and “exiting” misery is questionable. The implementation of these “objectives” has admittedly seen some “results” – evidence that a way is possible – but mainly some undeniable failures to achieve them, particularly due to a number of unfair choices. Even then, is this cause for celebration? No. Sorry. Because the statistics don’t erase what’s left- and what’s left continues to haunt us. Every year, six million people die of poverty, malnutrition and disease. A type of perpetual crime against humanity that we look at passively, at the risk of falling into the habit, or even a sort of cynical nihilism that fuels the cruelty of an already unbearable reality. Because never before has the world produced so much wealth, never before have there been those who have accumulated so much cash. Get this: 1 % of the world’s wealthiest possess 99 % more than that of the world’s population. Wealth like poverty remains, first and foremost, the appalling reflection of inequalities.

And France? Let’s discuss. In the last ten years, more than one million people were further driven into poverty. At present, 8.5 million of our citizens, almost 14 % of the population, live on less than 900 euros per month. Conclusion: Poverty has gained intensity. The poorest are becoming poorer still. And the richest, richer still… If our world faces very unprecedented times with every crisis (of civilization, global economic, moral, social, etc.), the means are still there, within reach, to cut out of capitalism’s rut a new path of development, which will never exist without a real and equitable distribution of wealth.

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