Thursday, October 17, 2013

World Day for Overcoming Poverty

Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty; see e.g. here.


Anonymous said...

6,000 Runners Fail To Discover Cure For Breast Cancer.

Less cynically, Charles Simic has a short reflection on the American elite's toleration for poverty.

LFC said...

The Simic piece is good; its exclusive focus, however, is poverty in the U.S., whereas the Int'l Day, as the name suggests, is about poverty globally.

Poverty of the sort Simic discusses might force, for ex., an elderly couple to choose betw. food and heat, or betw. buying tissues and painkiller (as in one of his opening anecdotes). This is a different kind of poverty than the kind that means, for ex., that one is severely chronically malnourished and does not have access to sanitation or clean water. The latter kind of poverty *does* exist in the U.S., probably in increasing amounts, but is still, I think, relatively isolated geographically and not widespread. Which does not mean poverty and inequality in the U.S. aren't important; they most definitely are. It's just that poverty in the U.S. is, for the most part (not entirely), a different phenomenon than poverty in the poorer parts of, e.g., S.Asia or subSaharan Africa.

What prompted the post is that I happen to be on the e-mail list of an organization (ATD Fourth World) that flagged Oct.17 in one of its e-mails. Otherwise I wdn't have been aware of it. The pt of these things is partly, I think, just to focus more attention on an issue.