Third World Slaves to West
I think we're all guilty. Guilty of not standing
up to governments that enforce slavery in Third World countries
to obtain a more decadent standard living for themselves.
Every time we buy inexpensive coffee from
supermarkets, some poor labourers in Asia, Africa or South America
have been paid about 20c an hour for their work because they owe
money 'given' to them as aid from Western countries. Each time
we buy these goods, the money comes straight back to a First World
country in the form of repayments on the interest of huge loans
that can never be paid off. In 1985, the year Live Aid raised
millions of dollars for starving people in Africa, the poorest
African countries gave twice as much money to Western countries
as they received. Almost half the Filipino national budget is
devoted to paying off foreign debt.
The gap between rich and poor has never been
greater. 40,000 people are dying of starvation every day and
there's little the people who care can do because our countries
don't seem to want an equal distribution of wealth. As 'wealth
equals power equals wealth', there are too few people who will
sacrifice this for the satisfaction of seeing starving mouths
fed. As long as the poor are kept poor, they will work for next
to nothing just so we can save an extra dollar or two.
Although it seems we can't do much, we can
do some things. We can buy products from companies like Community
Aid Abroad where the money goes back into schemes in Third
World countries to help the people help themselves. We can educate
people by writing to magazines. We can write to politicians and
let them know we are not happy with the way we are treating our
Third World brothers and sisters. And we can actively try to
change our own lives: use resources sparingly, live simply and
spend money on schemes run by genuine organisations aimed to help
people worse off than ourselves.
People power is the only way we are ever going
to change the injustices of the world. Let's change the attitude
so many of us have - 'rape the Earth and its inhabitants and damn
the consequences as long as number one's alright'.
Dan Davies, Australia