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Global Haves And Global Have-Nots – OpEd

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By Hamid Golpira

The phenomenon of globalization has brought into sharp focus the fact that this world is divided into global haves and global have-nots. And almost all of the global have-nots live in the Global South.

There are 7 billion people living on Earth, and more than half of them have to make ends meet on less than two US dollars per day. They are the global have-nots.

And all the people earning more than two dollars a day are the global haves. However, a number of social commentators have said that some people who earn more than two dollars a day but who suffer from extreme racism and social exclusion are also global have-nots.

This argument is valid to a certain extent, but for the most part the two-dollar earning mark is the boundary between the global haves and the global have-nots.

When the great chasm between the global haves and the global have-nots is taken into consideration, it becomes clear that there is no true class struggle in the United States and the rest of the Western world.

Although about 15 percent of the residents of the US are living in poverty, according to the standard of living of the United States, most of those people are not truly global have-nots since they have access to services and are usually not hungry.

The only people in the United States who could in some way be regarded as global have-nots are the homeless, the long-term unemployed, the poorest of the American Indians living on reservations, the poorest of the Blacks living in ghettos, the poorest of the Hispanics living in barrios, and undocumented immigrants.

But even they have a higher standard of living than most of the people in the Global South.

Europe has almost no global have-nots, except for a few undocumented people, who have actually immigrated to Europe from the Global South.

A glance at the great disparities between the Global South and the Global North, in terms of earnings and standard of living, gives one a picture of what is really happening on this planet.

A person in Spain who has been unemployed for the past ten years is actually eating much better than a person in Somalia who has been working for the past ten years.

An unemployed person in the United States has a much higher standard of living than the average person who is employed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, and many other countries of the Global South.

A German citizen who is homeless and unemployed has better access to medical care than a person in rural Ethiopia who has a home and who is working.

And homeless children in the United States have access to better schools and educational facilities than children living in villages in Chad, Niger, and many other countries of the Global South.

All of the protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement and all of the other people holding demonstrations in the United States and Europe should reflect upon these facts.

The demonstrators in the Global North, who say they are protesting against corporate greed and social injustice, must understand that there will be no justice on this planet until there is justice for the people of the Global South.

The people of the Global North must wake up to the fact that they must start sharing with the people of the Global South. After all, the people of the Global North have had so much for so many years, with much of their wealth stolen from the people of the Global South.

And they can’t say “We are the 99%.”

Actually, they are the 50%, the global haves.

In the 1990s, an article in the newspaper MIM Notes wrote that every person in the United States who earned over USD 20,000 a year was actually receiving a share of the super profits of the United States’ imperialist exploitation of the Global South.

The cost of living has risen a great deal since the 1990s, so the mark should probably now be set at USD 40,000 or USD 50,000 a year.

Thus, the protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York and the demonstrators in all other parts of the Global North should be on their guard.

What will happen if the wealthy owners of the corporations — the fraction of 1% — decide to pay all of them salaries of USD 50,000 a year from the profits earned from exploitation of the Global South?

Will the protesters all go home? Will they sell out?

Whatever they do, the fact remains that there will be no justice until there is justice for the people of the Global South. There must be a just dispensation for everyone on Earth.

So what must be done?

Efforts must be made to promote solidarity between the people of the Global South and the people of the Global North.

It is truly One World, we just have to convince people of the truth of this fact.

There must be a global paradigm shift in thinking, to the point where everyone understands that it is One World.

About 25,000 children are dying of hunger or poverty-related causes every day in the Global South, so there must be a serious redistribution of wealth to end this genocide once and for all.

So, if we truly believe in social justice, let’s all begin working for the global paradigm shift to create a brighter day and a better world.

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