Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/407/4625
Change the system
ANOTHER DISASTER is looming. It's not a tsunami or a hurricane or a 'natural' disaster. This is a disaster that will kill 4.4 million of the world's poorest people - and it's totally predictable and avoidable.
"Deep rooted human development inequality is at the heart of the problem". Those are the words of the United Nation's Human Development Report, which says that the Millennium goals of reducing world poverty will not be met.
Because the capitalist system puts profits before need, because it is rooted in exploitation and inequality, millions will die needlessly and millions more will be condemned to a life of misery.
The report says that: "In the midst of an increasingly prosperous global economy 10.7 million children every year do not live to see their fifth birthday and more than one billion people survive on less than $1 a day".
The income of the richest 500 individuals is more than the poorest 416 million. Redistributing just 1.6% of the income of the richest 10% in the world would provide $300 billion - enough to lift the one billion on $1 a day out of poverty.
And it's not just in the 'Third World' countries that inequality kills. In New Orleans it was the poorest who were left to drown when Hurricane Katrina struck. That disaster lifted the lid on the terrible poverty in the world's richest nation where the infant mortality rate is now the same as in Malaysia. And if poor children in Britain linked arms they would stretch 800 miles - the equivalent of from London to Glasgow and back.
What more proof do we need? It's the capitalist system itself that is the real disaster. And the struggle for a democratic, socialist planned economy is an urgent necessity for working-class, poor and young people the world over.
In The Socialist 15 September 2005: