Poverty and the effects of poverty are the direct result of an inequitable distribution of a nation’s wealth.
What is wealth?
It’s something I have discussed before and it’s actually quite a simple concept yet easily misunderstood.
Wealth is collectively generated by the citizens of a country. It is the economic worth of that nation. The citizenship of a nation is, for all intents and purposes, the only form of wealth generation. Entrepreneurs do not create wealth, they do not generate wealth, they devise ways to disproportionately accumulate wealth.
Why have an equitable distribution of a society’s wealth when you can disproportionately distribute it in a way that favours those with cumulative advantage? Governments can tackle the inequitable distribution of society’s wealth, what it can’t do is tackle things like ‘wellbeing’ or ‘happiness’ or ‘social mobility’ or the million other intangible things that it sets itself to. Governments won’t tackle poverty because tackling poverty is something it could actually do by simply equitably distributing society’s wealth through imposition of true living wages, universal basic incomes, and suitable taxation properly enforced. Instead, Governments choose to tinker around the edges and waste £billions of society’s wealth tackling the symptoms of poverty because that permits those who currently are advantaged by the current inequitable distribution of society’s wealth to continue to enjoy their status.
It’s that simple. Governments can choose to act in favour of the citizenship or it can choose to act in favour of a small percentage of privileged individuals. It’s a political choice. But what if you’re not in the 5% but not affected by poverty? Does that mean a change in the status quo would negatively impact upon you? Unless you’re among those privileged few that the current inequitable distribution favours, no, you won’t be negatively affected. Most likely, you’ll actually benefit. Right now, if you are modestly comfortable under the current system you will still be paying a sizable price for the symptoms of poverty. If poverty was eradicated, then you would stop paying for the symptoms. You are currently subsidising the privileged few to maintain their privilege.
Is it Communism? No. Although all wealth is collectively generated, it is not proposed that wealth should be equally distributed because it would be impractical. Capitalism functions as a means of distributing wealth in a way that Communism quite famously failed but the current form of Capitalism is inequitable and unsustainable and must be reformed.