Too rich and too poor PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 November 2017 12:01

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

There certainly is a lot of poverty in our world. But economists and social scientists say that poverty per se is not the true problem. The problem instead  is the disparity between the wealth of the haves and the have nots. One report in the Internet claims that the wealth of 8 individuals in the world ( who were not named) is as much as the wealth of the lower half of the world’s population. That is a worrisome situation.

If we were all equally poor there will be no ache to have what others have nor will there be  the perception that those who have more exploit those who have very little. Perhaps under these circumstances our world, our society, will be more harmonious.

But this is not the situation in our world.

I like to enter websites that have real estate properties of the rich and famous up for sale. Not that I ever dream of living in such luxurious digs. It is more to wonder at how people live on the other side of the tracks from mine. The websites allow us to see the homes priced at several millions,  dollars or pound sterling. Since seeing the interior  of such fabulous homes on the screen is  about as close as I can get to these houses, it is a kind of vicarious thrill for me.

Kim Kardashian has put up her house for sale and she has bought a new one  for $20 million -   a house with 7 bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

What I see is also a point for reflection for me. Many of the people of Tacloban who lost their homes to the destructive force of Yolanda are still waiting for the houses the government promised them. It is now 4 years since that destructive typhoon wrecked its havoc and thousands of families are still waiting for the houses they hope to move into. Many  houses have been built but the families still cannot move into them because water and light  have not yet been connected. And yet we have people in the rich countries who have homes with 9 bathrooms!

An interesting Internet item  was about an expensive restaurant in Ibiza  where dinner  can cost as much as 1000 euros per person. With the exchange rate of the euro to Philippine peso that meal will cost P59,695.76. For one dinner for one person. Many  Filipino families   don’t even earn that much in a year.

Even if the rich come by their money honestly there is something absurdly wrong when a meal can cost more than a breadwinner can earn for a month for her/his family.