plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

October 15, 2008

blog action day – poverty

Filed under: giving — Tags: , , — plonkee @ 9:13 am

Does everyone else find that it’s easy to identify other people’s problems?

I was talking to an Aussie and a Yank last week and we were discussing politics, or rather our respective political systems and parties. The Aussie mentioned that she’d voted for Kevin Rudd in their last elections and was absolutely delighted that he’d given a formal apology on behalf of the Australian government for the Stolen Generation of Aborigines.

Which reminded me that I think the single biggest, most important and most difficult problem facing Australian society is that Aboriginal life expectancy is still 17 years less than that of white Australians. That single statistic actually highlights the vast array of issues currently facing members of the oldest continuous culture on the planet. Whatever people are trying to do about it, they need to do more, and better. It’s not really good enough.

As I said, it’s easy to identify other people’s problems. Because there’s actually enormous disparity in life expectancy between the rich and poor in the UK as well. Men in Glasgow have a life expectancy that’s 11 years less than men in London.

Poverty is closely correlated with lower life expectancies. People in poverty have worse diets and lifestyle, poorer housing, are more likely to work in physically taxing jobs, and often have worse education for their kids and may be be able to access healthcare.

The problems within individual developed countries however, don’t really compare to those in less and least developed countries. Life expectancy in many countries has been decimated by the Aids epidemic. Because with malaria and TB running rampant, it needed to get worse 😐 . The number of people worldwide who live on less than $1 a day is unbelievable. I know that some things are cheaper in other countries, but not really things like pharmaceuticals.

We, you and I, could do something about this if we wanted to. If you and I each donated some money, that would help. We are after all, rich beyond many people’s wildest dreams. And giving money will make us each feel richer – there’s nothing like a warm glow on a cold autumnal day.

I’m donating September and October’s adsense earnings for Blog Action Day 2008. What are you doing?

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