What if there was no third world? Many of us wish for more equality when it comes to the wealth of the world. I watched a show the other night about China. Although they are still communist, they have certainly embraced capitalist/materialistic thinking. The Chinese government actually said recently that pursuing wealth and success is a good thing and that “wealth brings great glory.” Wow. Is that ever unbalanced! I don’t think that even the richest man in Canada would necessarily agree with that! He would probably say “wealth brings great tax implications” or perhaps “wealth brings great toys.” It’s a bit shocking to think about – what if there were great wealth everywhere!!?! What if there was no third world? For one thing, how would we North Americans and Western Europeans feel superior? Would we still have trade with countries on par with us? Where would we get cheap goods from? If there were no sweat-shops, or people getting paid very little for making all the things that we are used to paying a nice low price for, what would the true cost of things be? I have thought about this before… if a sweater, for example, purchased at an ordinary store in the mall was not made by an automated knitting machine in China or India somewhere, manned by a person paid only a few dollars a day, but was made in Canada, on the same automated knitting machine that was instead manned by a person being paid minimum wage, would the price for that sweater go up? Probably, and by a lot. Or would the price stay the same – having exchanged the cost in wages for the savings in transporting the sweater across the Pacific Ocean?
Now consider if everyone in China (all 1.3 billion), and other places where people have less material goods than we do, suddenly wanted all the same gadgets, vehicles, etc, that we want and have? And why shouldn’t they? They have caught the same materialistic bug we have. This is exactly what is happening. The show on TV said that China uses 1/3 of the world’s steel and 1/2 of the world’s concrete in construction right now. Wow. They also said that experts estimate that in 20-30 years, a whole other Earth would be needed to support China alone. Well, that’s a bit of a problem, isn’t it, since we don’t have a whole other Earth! Has anyone else thought of this? Is it just me, with my simple mind, saying that there are only so many people living at such an extravagant lifestyle that the Earth can support. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe people think that the Earth is just going to sprout more resources, or we’re somehow going to make more with less without spending more or making less profit. Recycling! Recycling is the answer! We’ll recycle the whole planet! Okay, the sarcasm might be getting a little thick now…. Don’t even get me started about how many malnourished people could be fed by restaurant leftovers in Canada and the US alone! Not that we should send leftovers – we should send good quality food, that would otherwise be wasted. And you know, most of us could probably eat a bit less.
So although I still wish for more for the poorer countries (which China used to be), now I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s better to wish for less for the rich.
See ya later, everybody!