If a country is getting deep into poverty there should be steps taken by government and public alike to increase savings in view of the tougher times, but he opposite seems to happen here. USA's is building on it debt to finance more and more spending and feed corporate greed and do nothing to stem the financial problems for the long term. No wonder US today has got a debt mounting to 100% of its GDP. Germany's debt accounts to more than 150% of its GDP. Compare that to India which has got only 25% GDP in debt.
About the cartoon: Poverty stricken people all over the world might be starving but the poor fill their diet with cheap fast food like McDonalds. Obesity by poverty and fast food chains is rampant in lower class in the US, while the opposite is true in India. Middle class and effluent communities cherish the American fast foods like the McDonalds, KFCs, Dominos and hence put on weight.
Behind the poverty definitions
Definitions of poverty vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations.
Dictionary.com - the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor.
Standard definition - Significant material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate nutritious food, reasonable shelter and clothing.
What does poverty in India actually mean? It is difficult for those living in an industrialised country to truly appreciate the level of poverty in our country.
In the West, even those living in poverty can live in well-constructed dwellings, with heating, clean running water, indoor toilet facilities, access to health care, and even a vehicle. But such luxuries are a distant dream for India's poor.
In the US, the poverty level defines a earning threshold of $22,350 (total yearly income) for a family of four. If a family of four falls below this level its considered in poverty.
USA - Nearly 46 million in poverty that's 15% of US population (as per US Census Bureau)
India - Nearly 415 million in poverty that's 41% of Indian Population (as per World Bank)
There has been no uniform measure of poverty in India.The Planning Commission of India has accepted the Tendulkar Committee report which says that 37% of people in India live below the poverty line(BPL)
The Arjun Sengupta Report states that 77% of Indians live on less than INR 20 a day (about $0.50 per day).The N.C. Saxena Committee report states that 50% of Indians live below the poverty line.
India has 33% of World's poorest population. India's number of 415 million are more than combined numbers of Africa's 26 poorest countries.
Income Levels of poor
USA - Poverty level for 2011 was set at $22,350 (total yearly income) for a family of four. That's $5587 per person per year. This doesn't take into consideration Social security, unemployment, food stamps and state paid benefits. If one where to consider these benefits most of them are above the threshold.
India - 80% of Indian Population earns less than 2 $ per day. That is less than 750$ per annum if they earn for 365 days. Which is 7 times less than what US follows as its standard.
What do the Poor Own ?
USA - According to data compiled by US government agencies, the typical household considered “poor” by census officials has a car and air conditioning. For entertainment, the household has cable or satellite TV, two color televisions, a DVD player and a VCR. If children (especially boys) are in the home, they have a video game system such as Xbox or PlayStation. In the kitchen, the household has the ordinary conveniences: refrigerator, oven, stove, microwave. Half the poor now have a personal computer. A third have a widescreen TV (plasma or LCD); a quarter have a digital video recorder such as TiVo.
USA - The media cry with alarm that “nearly one in four kids” in the nation are hungry. Again, government data show otherwise. Fully 96 percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry at any time during 2009, despite the severity of the recession, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
THE BAD NEWS: one in four of the world's people still live in severe poverty. It's worse for women than for men; and for black people than for white. Even in the so-called 'rich' world increasing numbers of people do not have enough to live on.
1) Were you aware of the growing gap between the rich and the poor? May be